East Bay Area’s Renowned Wildlife biologist

James M. Hale has been a professional vertebrate zoologist, certified wildlife biologist, ethnobiologist, and ecological consultant for forty-six years. James is an Eagle Scout, and has been a vegan since 1968. He has conducted field research throughout California, the western United States, Hawaii, Canada, and Mexico. James lectures and leads natural and cultural history interpretive field trips throughout California, including the desert regions, Sierra Nevada, San Francisco Bay, the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta, and the Farallon Islands. As a professional ecological consultant, employed by or on contract with private, county, State, and Federal agencies and organizations, James has quantified data and prepared numerous Environmental impact Reports (Statements and Assessments) for various projects. James is an expert on the cultural and natural history of California, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Sacramento River - San Joaquin River Delta Region. He has surveyed for the endangered, endemic Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse at various sites throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. James belongs to several professional organizations. He authors a front page, monthly, feature article about local and regional wildlife and Native American cultural history for the Valley Sentinel, which serves the Diablo and San Ramon Valley. James frequently lectures and offers presentations on his research and natural and cultural history. 

James was a biology professor at San Jose State University, and the University of California, Santa Cruz in the Wilderness Studies program, where he taught his students while backpacking and car camping throughout the western United States. He helped to band and research the natural history of the California Leaf-nosed Bat in the California and Arizona deserts, and Pallid Bats on the Channel Islands. As senior aquatic biologist for Big Ben Fisheries, he imported live seafood from around the world and held them in various closed, regional aquarium systems for sales and distribution. He has studied the natural history of Wild Boar in California for decades. James has rescued injured, orphaned, and wayward wildlife for the Lindsay Wildlife Hospital in Walnut Creek, the International Bird Center in Cordeilia, WildCare in San Raphael, and the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito since 1970. As a wildlife biologist employed by the The Department of the Interior’s United States Fish and Wildlife Service, James was the lead field biologist in a Striped Skunk rabies reduction program in Contra Costa County. James was a consulting biologist and Vice Chair of the Contra Costa County Fish and Wildlife Committee for decades. He served for years on the Contra Costa County Integrated Pest Management Committee as well. He has been Vice President of Friends of the Creeks since its inception in 1990. 

As an ethnobiologist and member of the Bay Area Rock Art Research Association and American Rock Art Research Association, James leads interpretive field trips to cultural sites throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, California, and the United States, and contributes articles to their periodicals. He provides monitoring updates and detailed descriptions on cultural sites to the Northwest Information Center at Sonoma State University. James has researched and recorded the Hawley Lake Petroglyphs in the Sierra Nevada. He is recording the wildlife, plants, and archaeological sites at Brushy Peak for the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District. James is an expert on the Native American material culture of useful, edible, medicinal, and ceremonial plants. 

James has prepared wildlife inventories and management plans for Santa Clara county including Grant Ranch, Santa Theresa Park, Guadalupe River, Coyote Creek, Penitencia Creek, Anderson Reservoir, Lexington Reservoir, Mount Madonna, Mount Umunhum, Loma Prieta Peak, and Castle Rock State Park. He has prepared wildlife resource inventories and management plans for Santa Cruz County at Quail Hollow Ranch, Camp Campbell, Waddell Creek, Pinto Lake, and sites throughout the county and along the San Lorenzo River and coast. He has surveyed for the Santa Cruz Kangaroo Rat, Santa Cruz Long-toed Salamander, and Coast Horned Lizard. James surveyed and monitored nest sites of the rare, threatened Snowy Plover in Monterey County, as well as for natural and cultural resources, including Steelhead and resident Rainbow Trout along the Carmel River. On contract with Pacific Gas and Electric Company during a four year study, James recorded the natural and cultural resources at four proposed coal-fired power plants in the Sacramento Valley, around Willows, Oroville, Fairfield, and Bird’s Landing. In Contra Costa County, James has prepared wildlife inventories and management plans for various clients, including the Contra Costa, Orinda, and Moraga Country Clubs. He surveyed for the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse at numerous sites. He was an expert witness for the Marsh Creek, Mount Diablo Creek, and Walnut Creek Watershed Inventories. He is a member of the Executive Committee for the Contra Costa Watershed Committee and Walnut Creek Watershed Council. He continues his Contra Costa County mountain lion ecology, Walnut Creek fisheries, and Native American archaeological research.

James was recognized at the 2015 Fifth Quadrennial Contra Costa County Creek and Watershed Symposium with a Watershed Leadership Award, by the California State Senate (Steven M. Glazer, California State Senator, District 7), and with Resolution No. 2014/350 by the Board of Supervisors of Contra Costa County, honoring his decades of service on the Contra Costa County Fish and Wildlife Committee and Integrated Pest Management Committee. The Friends of Wagner Ranch Nature Area honored him for his service to the community in 2017 at their annual Olive Festival.

James has produced, co-produced, and assisted with San Francisco Bay Area music events and concerts, including Journey, Dave Brubeck, Cal Tjader, Joaquin Lievano, and Shana Morrison. He is one of the founders of Two Day Town, in its eighteenth year; an annual family camping, music, and nature festival in the Ohlone Wilderness at Lake Del Valle, where he leads natural and cultural history interpretive walks.