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Tahoe National Forest reopens, fire restrictions revised

From a release:

The USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region has rescinded the Regional Closure Order affecting all National Forests in California including the Tahoe National Forest as of Sept. 15 at 11:59 p.m.

To protect natural resources and provide for public safety, the Tahoe National Forest has revised fire restrictions and implemented a new, temporary closure order on dispersed camping and target shooting effective Thursday, Sept., 16, 2021, through Nov. 1, 2021.

This Forest Order prohibits the following activities across the Tahoe National Forest:

No building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire.

The use of a portable lantern or stove using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel within a Developed Recreation Site (such as an official campground listed below) is allowed. A valid California Campfire Permit is required.

While popular activities such as hunting, hiking, boating, and other types of general recreation are now allowed across the Tahoe National Forest, Dispersed camping and Target Shooting prohibitions have been extended through Nov. 1, 2021. These prohibitions include:

No camping outside of developed campgrounds. A list of open, developed campgrounds is provided below. There is one exception to this prohibition:

Dispersed camping within 300 feet of the Pacific Crest Trail is allowed.

No target shooting. Discharging a firearm, air rifle, or gas gun, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, and federal law and regulations, is prohibited.

Developed Recreation Sites

The following campgrounds are open and available to use stoves with a California Campfire Permit.

YUBA RIVER RANGER DISTRICT

RECREATION SITES

1. Berger Campground

2. Big Bend Campground

3. Cal Ida Campground

4. Camp Chrystalis

5. Canyon Creek Campground

6. Carlton Flat Campground

7. Carr/Feeley Lake Campground

8. China Flat Cabins

9. Convict Flat Day Use Area

10. Dark Day Campground/Day Use Area

11. Diablo Campground

12. High Sierra Schaffer Camp

13. Hornswoggle Campground

14. Fiddle Creek Campground

15. Fuller Lake Day Use Area

16. Hampshire Rocks Campground

17. Indian Springs Campground

18. Indian Valley Campground

19. Indian Valley Outpost

20. Jackson Creek Campground

21. Kokanee Cabins

22. Liahona Camp

23. Lindsey Lake Campground

24. Loganville Campground

25. Pack Saddle Campground

26. Packer Lake Day Use Area

27. Packer Lake Road Boy Scout Camp

28. Packer Lake Road Girl Scout Camp

29. Packer Lake Resort

30. Petra Spring Camp

31. Rocky Rest Campground

32. Rucker Lake Campground

33. San Francisco Field Campus

34. Sardine Campground

35. Sardine Lake Resort

36. Sand Pond Day Use Area

37. Salmon Creek Campground

38. Salmon Lake Resort

39. School House Campground

40. Skillman Campground

41. Sterling Lake Boy Scout Camp

42. Sterling Lake Campground

43. Union Flat Campground

44. White Cloud Campground

45. Wild Plum Campground

TRUCKEE RANGER DISTRICT

RECREATION SITES

1. Boca Campground

2. Boca Rest Campground

3. Boca Springs Campground

4. Boyington Mill Campground

5. Emigrant Group Campground

6. Goose Meadows Campground

7. Granite Flat Campground

8. Lakeside Campground

9. Logger Campground

10. Prosser Campground

11. Prosser Ranch Group Campground

12. Silver Creek Campground

AMERICAN RIVER RANGER DISTRICT

RECREATION SITES

1. Ahart Campground

2. Big Reservoir Campground

3. Brimstone OHV Staging Area

4. Coyote Group Campground

5. Forbes Creek Group Campground

6. French Meadows Campground

7. Gates Group Campground

8. Giant Gap Campground

9. Lewis Campground

10. Manzanita Day Use Picnic Area

11. Morning Star Campground

12. Parker Flat Staging Area

13. Shirttail Creek Campground

14. Sugar Pine Staging Area.

SIERRAVILE RANGER DISTRICT

RECREATION SITES

1. Aspen Group Campground

2. Cold Creek Campground

3. Cottonwood Campground

4. East Meadows Campground

5. Findley Campground

6. Fir Top Campground

7. Lower Little Truckee Campground

8. Meadow Lake Campground

9. Meadow Lake Group Campground

10. Meadow Lake Shore Shoreline Sites

11. Pass Creek Campground

12. Pass Creek Overflow Campground

13. Silver Tip Group Campground

14. Upper Little Truckee Campground

15. Woodcamp Campground

16. Wheeler Sheep Camp

Source: Tahoe National Forest

Mary West: Exploring Shealor Lakes Trail

 

This is a proper Sierra Nevada mountain hiking trail. Shealor Lakes Trail has it all with mountain views, mountain lakes, wildflowers in spring, and the peace and quiet of a moderately challenging trail. It is a bit short at only five miles round trip but there is some elevation change and loose rock that make it moderately challenging, so wear sturdy shoes and if you have trekking poles bring them along.

The drive out Mormon Emigrant Trail and Highway 88 in El Dorado County are great previews to the hike that starts just above 8,000 feet in elevation. I went in early summer and the wildflowers were stunning. The parking area was paved and had ample space. No toilets at the trailhead but a good map to get you started. The one sign I found on the trail was to the right of the trailhead map high up on a tree that simply said ‘trail.’

The adventure took me through the trees and out onto the exposed granite of the mountain. I stayed right to check out the view of the surrounding mountains as well as the glacial erratic rocks scattered there. Off to my left I could see the Shealor Lakes and picked my way across the rock face down to the first lake. The trail is fairly clear and the rock piles designating trail routes were a benefit. Signs would be better but just keep your eye on your destination and you will get there.

After a swim in the lake, lunch and enjoying the peace and quiet of this lovely mountain lake, I made my way back up the trail. I kept a particular tree in sight as the area where I started my decent. I returned to the tree and over the ridge top. The wind at the top is cut sharply once you make your way down the other side. Before I knew it the sound of cars on Highway 88 returned and I was back at the parking lot.

Mary West is the author of the book series Day Hiker – Gold Country Trail Guide. The books are a collection of Day Hiker columns where West shares her longtime love of the outdoors, and favorite hikes in Northern California’s Gold Country and beyond (Available on Amazon). West was the recipient of the 2017 and 2019 CRAFT Award for Best Outdoor Newspaper Column by the Outdoor Writers Association of California. You can follow West on Facebook and Instagram

 

 

 

Shealor Lakes Trail has it all with mountain views, mountain lakes, wildflowers in spring, and the peace and quiet of a moderately challenging trail.
Photo by Mary West
The trail is fairly clear and the rock piles designating trail routes were a benefit.
Photo by Mary West
Wildflowers are abundant along the trail in spring and summer.
Photo by Mary West
A swim in beautiful Shealor Lake.
Photo by Mary West

Denis Peirce: Salmon still off the coast

When you step out of your air conditioned car these days it is hard to find the motivation to spend time outdoors. Normally heading up the hill into the Sierra is the answer to escaping the heat. That option is off the table currently with the national forests closed. The other option is to head west to the coast. One hundred miles from here there are air temps requiring warm clothes and occasionally a rain jacket.

A few weeks back I had the opportunity to get a seat on the Reel Obsession. A six pack fishing boat which fishes out of Bodega Bay north of San Francisco. A friend, Adam Koons, invited me to fill an open slot on the boat for a salmon trip.

The boat started loading at 5 a.m. For me the best bet was to leave home at 9 p.m. arriving at Bodega Bay after midnight. Boats leave on time to hit the morning bite, they don’t wait for late anglers. I slept in my truck for a few hours. I awoke in the early morning darkness as other cars were pulling in. There was a light rain falling, you might have described it as a mist but it was water falling from the sky. I had not seen that for months.

We were on the boat and headed out of the harbor at 5:30 a.m.

The boat was part of a fleet headed south to fish off the Point Reyes Peninsula. All of the fishing boats were in the shallower water between 50 and 90 feet deep. For some reason the jellyfish were present in considerable numbers in deeper water. This area had been producing the most salmon for the past week.

As is often the case the salmon bite had dropped off in the recent past and the bite was slow. There is a progression to the salmon migration as the summer draws to a close. The salmon, that have been feeding somewhere in the north Pacific, start their migration back to the Sacramento Valley. Some will move down the coast coming within range of Bodega Bay on their way to the Golden Gate. They come through in schools and if you hit it right, you will have an epic day. The most recent reports have the best saltwater salmon fishing near the Golden Gate as these fish funnel through the bay headed for the Sacramento River.

Our day on the water yielded three salmon. The number was less than hoped for but the quality was excellent. All three were over the 20 pound mark, good size by California standards. The feed has been good off our coast and big fat salmon have been the rule this season. You can see this in the river caught salmon, from the Sacramento River in recent weeks.

We were a full eight hours on the water fishing from 6 a.m. until after 2 p.m. The salmon were eating squid and anchovies close to the bottom. Our results were similar to the other boats. The most notable catch of the day was a 70+ pound yellowtail caught incidentally while salmon trolling on another boat in our area.

Many of the sportfishing boats based at Bodega Bay have switched to bottom fishing when the salmon are not passing through. As we head into October, the rockfish and lingcod move out of the deep water and head into the shallows for fall spawning. Late summer through fall conditions on the Pacific Ocean are the best of the year for modest seas and light winds, a good time to go, and escape the late summer heat.

Denis Peirce writes a fishing column for The Union’s Outdoors section and is host of “The KNCO Fishing & Outdoor Report,” which airs 6-7 p.m. Fridays and 5-6 a.m. Saturdays on 830-AM radio. Contact him via his website at http://www.trollingflies.com

KEEPING IT LOCAL

The best local fisheries have been the Lower Yuba River for steelhead/trout. Tom Page, Reel Anglers Fly Shop, has been on the river seeing a good run of salmon which has led to a good egg bite for the steelhead. The “local fish” have been well fed this year and are an inch or two longer than normal. Tom also has reported a few large 20+ inch steelhead showing up. The river above the Hwy 20 bridge is closed to fishing until December.

The best salmon fishing in the valley is on the Sacramento River where cool water can be found above Corning. The Feather River is so low that fishing is tough. I am guessing that some of these salmon and steelhead have been tempted to swim up the cooler flows in the Yuba.

— Denis Peirce

 

Adam Koons with a 20 pound salmon.
Photo by Denis Peirce
Trolling for salmon along the coast off Point Reyes.
Photo by Denis Peirce
A good grade of salmon.
Photo by Denis Peirce

Forest Service closes all California National Forests for public safety

To better provide public and firefighter safety due to the ongoing California wildfire crisis, USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region is announcing a temporary closure of all National Forests in California. This closure went into effect from Aug. 31 at 11:59 p.m. and runs through Sept. 17, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. This order does not affect the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, which is not in the Pacific Southwest Region.

“We do not take this decision lightly but this is the best choice for public safety,” said Regional Forester Jennifer Eberlien. “It is especially hard with the approaching Labor Day weekend, when so many people enjoy our national forests.”

Factors that led to this decision include:

1. By temporarily reducing the numbers of people on national forests, we hope to minimize the likelihood that visitors could become entrapped on National Forest System lands during emergency circumstances.

2. The closure order will also decrease the potential for new fire starts at a time of extremely limited firefighting resources, and enhance firefighter and community safety by limiting exposure that occurs in public evacuation situations, especially as COVID-19 continues to impact human health and strain hospital resources.

3. Due to state-wide conditions, any new fire starts have the potential for large and rapid fire growth with a high risk to life and property. The Forest Service and our partners are absolutely doing all we can to fight these fires and will continue to do so, but the conditions dictate the need for this region-wide closure order.

4. Forecasts show that conditions this season are trending the same or worse as we move into late summer and fall.

5. Although the potential for large fires and risk to life and property is not new, what is different is that we are facing: (a) record level fuel and fire conditions; (b) fire behavior that is beyond the norm of our experience and models such as large, quick runs in the night; (c) significantly limited initial attack resources, suppression resources, and Incident Command Teams to combat new fire starts and new large fires; and (d) no predicted weather relief for an extended period of time into the late fall.

The following persons are exempt from this Order:

1. Persons with Forest Service Permit No. FS-7700-48 (Permit for Use of Roads, Trails, or Areas Restricted by Regulation or Order), specifically exempting them from this Order.

2. Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting force in the performance of an official duty.

3. Persons with a Forest Service special use authorization for an electric transmission line, an oil or gas pipeline, communications site, or any other non-recreation special use.

4. Commercial recreational special-use permit holders and their customers are not exempt from this Order. However, commercial recreational special-use permit holders, under the terms and conditions of their permit, may access their permit areas to conduct administrative functions and to protect property and related assets. Recreation residence permit holders are not exempt from this Order.

5. Persons with a Forest Service non-special-use written authorization to conduct non-recreational activities, such as harvesting timber or forest products, or grazing livestock.

6. Owners or lessees of land, and residents of such private landholdings, to the extent necessary to access their land.

7. Persons engaged in a business, trade, or occupation are not exempt from the prohibitions listed above, but may use National Forest System roads to the extent necessary to carry out their business, trade, or occupation.

More than 6,800 wildfires have burned 1.7 million acres across all jurisdictions in California, and the National Wildfire Preparedness Level has been at PL5 since July 14, 2021, only the third time in the past 20 years that the nation has reached PL 5 by mid-July – indicating the highest level of wildland fire activity.

The Forest Service thanks our partners and the public for their cooperation and understanding of this extreme public safety and fire threat. Citizens with specific questions within their area should consult their local forest website or social media pages for more information.

Source: USDA Forest Service

The peaks of the Tahoe National Forest in Nevada County. To better provide public and firefighter safety due to the ongoing wildfire crisis, USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region is announcing a temporary closure of all National Forests in California.
Elias Funez/efunez@theunion.com

CDFW asks anglers to limit fishing hours due to drought conditions

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is requesting that anglers voluntarily avoid fishing during certain hours of the day because of drought conditions.

Called “hoot owl” restrictions, anglers are asked to avoid fishing after noon and to only fish during the cooler “hoot owl” periods of the day when water temperatures are lowest.

The drought conditions and warm temperatures negatively impact fish in many ways.

“Biologically, fish experiencing elevated water temperatures and associated lower oxygen levels will be highly stressed and, in some situations, have elevated levels of mortality or disease. Low water conditions may also limit fish abilities to naturally migrate for spawning or to seek cooler water refuge,” a press release from CDFW stated.

The press release went on to state, “coldwater species such as trout and salmon have the greatest likelihood of being affected by the drought this year, but low water levels and high water temperatures can potentially affect all inland aquatic species.”

Water ways are added to a “Hoot Owl” watchlist when the afternoon water temperature exceeds 67 degrees. While hoot owl restrictions are voluntary, CDFW, “strongly recommends adhering to the recommendations.”

The current restrictions impact:

∙ The Lower Owens River (Pleasant Valley Dam downstream to Five Bridges)

∙ Hot Creek

∙ Mill Creek (Walker Basin)

∙ Lower Rush Creek (From Grant Lake to Mono Lake)

∙ Bridgeport Reservoir

∙ Deep Creek

∙ Crowley Lake

∙ Truckee River (From Lake Tahoe to Nevada Stateline)

∙ East Walker River (From Bridgeport Reservoir to Nevada Stateline)

∙ Upper Truckee River (From Lake Tahoe to headwaters, including tributaries)

During elevated temperatures, many fish species will often search out cold water refuges which include deeper water, spring seeps or cold-water tributaries. CDFW asks anglers to avoid fishing those refuge areas to avoid angling-based mortality.

For more information, visit https://wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Inland/Hoot-Owl?

Tips to decrease fish stress

Minimize the time you spend “fighting” the fish and any hands-on handling.

Use rubber or coated nylon nets to protect a fish’s slime layer and fins.

Quickly remove the hook with forceps or needle-nosed pliers.

Minimize the amount of time the fish is exposed to air, especially when the weather is warm. Keep your hands wet when handling the fish.

If the fish is deeply hooked, do not pull on the line. Instead, cut the line as close as possible to where it is hooked and leave the hook.

Allow the fish to recover in the net before you release it.

If the fish does not stay upright when you release it, gently move it back and forth.

Avoid fighting fish from deeper, cooler waters and bringing them into warmer waters at the surface.

Target fisheries that have stable water levels or species that are more resilient to elevated temperatures.

Source: CDFW

Young bears active in Lake Tahoe Basin

A young bear goes through trash on Memorial Day in a N. Upper Truckee neighborhood.
Provided by Bill Rozak

With the traditional start of summer and with warmer weather and fewer coronavirus restrictions, many campgrounds are opening and visitor numbers are increasing in the Lake Tahoe Basin. With this activity comes more human food, more garbage, and more people sharing space with bears.

This is also a time when some mother bears (sows) are accompanied by very small cubs, born in January or February. These cubs of the year are following their mothers to learn their way in the wild and will likely separate from the sow in one year. Other sows have yearlings with them that were born in winter dens over a year ago and are about to be cut loose by mom so she can search for a mate for the summer breeding cycle. These yearlings of variable sizes are well equipped to make it on their own.

A young bear roams through a N. Upper Truckee neighborhood on Memorial Day.
Provided by Bill Rozak

Cubs of the year are dependent on their mothers and hopefully will be taught how to forage on natural vegetation, including grass, berries, grubs, and other wild bear foods. The sows may be protective of the cubs and people need to give them space. Never get in between a sow and her cubs. If you see a cub of the year alone, or up a tree for safety, the sow may not want to leave the area so back away and give them room to reunite.

This time of year, wildlife agencies receive many calls from people concerned that they have found an orphaned cub when they are actually seeing a yearling that is safely on its own. A good rule of thumb in knowing the difference is to look at the size of the bear. If the bear is the size of a cat (around 10-15 pounds), it is a new cub of the year and chances are the cub’s mom is somewhere nearby or may have put the cub up a tree while she goes to forage. Keep an eye on the cub and if you do not see mom after a couple of hours, please call the appropriate state wildlife agency below so they can send a wildlife expert out to assess the situation.

On occasion, there are situations in which a cub has truly been orphaned, which could result from a vehicle hit, or other cause of death of the sow. The proper state authorities, California Department of Wildlife or the Nevada Department of Wildlife, should be called to evaluate the situation and safely transport the cub for evaluation and rehabilitation. Picking up a cub too soon or while mom is just around the corner can do a lot more harm than good. If the bear is the size of a medium-sized dog (45-plus pounds) then it is a yearling, and it is perfectly normal for it to be on its own. If you’re not sure, don’t hesitate to call your wildlife experts at CDFW, California State Parks or NDOW to ask.

Don’t teach these young bears to be comfortable around people. If they have gotten too close, make noise and try to scare them away so they don’t feel comfortable and want to stay. While it’s fun to see bears and even take pictures and videos, you’re telling the bear that it’s alright to be close to you. Bears are smart and acquire learned behaviors based on their experiences. If they have a negative, scary encounter with a human, chances are they will try to avoid them in the future.

Allowing bears to become comfortable around people can lead to unwanted activity, including breaking into cars and houses or approaching people who are eating outdoors. It is illegal to feed bears both directly and indirectly by allowing them access to garbage or food.

Throughout the busy summer season, visitors will steadily increase and must be vigilant with food and trash storage whether at home, the beach, campgrounds, picnic areas or trailheads. Enjoy wildlife from a distance, and don’t attempt to handle young bears.

To report human-bear conflicts: In California, contact the CDFW at 916-358-2917, or report online using the Wildlife Incident Reporting system at apps.wildlife.ca.gov/wir. Non-emergency wildlife interactions in California State Parks can be reported to public dispatch at 916-358-1300. In Nevada, contact NDOW at 775-688-BEAR (2327). For general questions, contact the following agency Public Information Officers: Peter Tira, CDFW; Ashley Sanchez, NDOW; or Lisa Herron, USDA Forest Service. If the issue is an immediate threat, call the local sheriff’s department or 911.

For more information on peacefully coexisting with bears, visit TahoeBears.org. TahoeBears.org is made possible through funding from NDOW.

We’ve got them surrounded: Audubon Society installs bluebird nest boxes around jail facility

 

There have been some additions to the grounds surrounding the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility near the Rood Center in Nevada City.

Sierra Foothills Audubon Society (SFAS) was recently given permission to install bluebird nest boxes around the jail facility – this new group of nest boxes is now referred to as the “Jail Birds Trail.” As residents of Nevada County may be aware, there are “trails” of bluebird nest boxes in many locations throughout the county, such as along Jones Bar Road, Dog Bar Road, Garden Bar Road, and along Alta Sierra’s Alan Thiesen Trail, to name just a few. The Jail Birds Trail is our newest addition and includes six boxes positioned in such a way that inmates inside the jail can look out their windows and watch the activity at these nest boxes.

The Western Bluebird. Sierra Foothills Audubon Society (SFAS) was recently given permission to install bluebird nest boxes around the jail facility – this new group of nest boxes is now referred to as the “Jail Birds Trail.”
Getty Images

It had been noticed by local bluebird watchers that there was a sizeable population of bluebirds and other birds which are “cavity nesters,” including chickadees, oak titmouse, nuthatches, etc., near the Rood Center and the County Jail. So it seemed like a good location for a trail of boxes. With the Jail Birds Trail, the inmates will be able to observe, from the windows of the jail, the nest box monitor as she checks each week for the deposit of eggs, the eventual hatching of chicks, and then follow the parents’ hectic feeding schedule for the ensuing 20 days until the babies leave the nest. The typical Western Bluebird nest contains about five eggs, which all hatch within a day of each other. From the moment they hatch, that brood of new baby birds needs about 500 bugs (bits of protein) every day to grow and thrive. The two parents are kept mighty busy flying out, searching for bugs, and flying back to deliver the food to five hungry mouths. This activity will be clearly visible to the inmates in jail who happen to be looking out the windows. We hope they will be rooting for the successful fledging of the new bluebird families.

Volunteers monitor all the nest boxes along these established trails – that means that during breeding season, March through August, dedicated individuals go out weekly and check all the boxes on their trails, usually six to 12 boxes per trail. We currently have 11 trails in Nevada County and four in Placer County. They are all part of a statewide effort to increase the number of nesting sites for Western Bluebirds in order to help boost the reproduction effort of the bluebirds. Many of their “natural” nesting cavities in trees have been lost due to urban development, fire, and the increase in population of “invasive” bird species like European Starlings and English Sparrows who are more aggressive and compete with the bluebirds for nesting cavities. This effort to provide human-made nest boxes is actually happening nationwide.

The hope for the Jail Birds Trail is that being able to observe this bit of nature might instill an interest in birds and nature for some of the inmates by providing them with a ringside seat to this single example of the miracle of Mother Nature. For visitors coming to the Rood Center, the boxes should be viewed from afar as the public cannot roam around the jail grounds.

Sierra Foothills Audubon is willing to team up with other agencies or facilities in our service area, perhaps even local schools, who have a similar “campus” surrounding their buildings to install other nest box trails and possibly provide educational programs about birds as part of the SFAS mission to educate the community on the importance of maintaining a healthy bird population as part of a healthy ecosystem.

For more information about the Bluebird Trails Program, or to inquire about purchasing nest boxes, please send an email to Kate Brennan, Bluebird Trails Coordinator, at katebrennan6699@gmail.com.

UPDATE

About 10 days after installing the first four boxes around the jail, the monitor reported that there were nest starts in three of the four boxes. We have now installed two more boxes, and hope that they too will have nests very soon. Keep your eye out around the Rood Center and see if you can pick out the bluebird parents flying with food in their mouths for their nestlings.

Kate Brennan

 

‘No Motor Day’ at Scotts Flat Lake set for Sunday

FROM A RELEASE:

A reminder that the Nevada Irrigation District’s annual “No Motor Day” is on Sunday, May 16. Come enjoy the quiet beauty of Scotts Flat Lake all day long.

Sailboats, canoes, kayaks and paddleboards will be allowed entry to the Scotts Flat Recreation Area without charge for the day. Use of motorized boats will be suspended for the entire day.

Please note, due to COVID-19, there will be no public barbecue, and the marina store will be closed.

Vehicle admission is $14, which includes up to four people.

More information is available at www.nidwater.com.

Source: NID

Members of the Sierra Nevada Canoe and Kayak Club paddle Scotts Flat Reservoir on a beautiful October day in 2020.
Submitted by June Anderson

South Yuba Club to welcome world-renowned rock climber

South Yuba Club will welcome world-renowned rock climber Hans Florine for an evening showcasing the film “Speed Climbing Yosemite’s El Capitan,” as well as stories of Hans adventures and an opportunity for questions and answers.
Provided photo

South Yuba Club will welcome world-renowned rock climber Hans Florine for an evening showcasing the film “Speed Climbing Yosemite’s El Capitan,” as well as stories of Hans adventures and an opportunity for questions and answers.

Hans Florine is a world-famous, 57-year-old rock climber and adventure athlete who has climbed The Nose in Yosemite one hundred and eleven times (the record), has held the speed record on the route eight times over the past thirty years, and has won three Gold Medals at the X-Games.

South Yuba Club invites the public to join in on this fun community event. Tickets are $10 at the door, with proceeds to benefit DHT Challenge, and include a drink voucher of local brew. A taco truck will be on site for the event.

The event is happening Wednesday, May 26, at 7 p.m. To attend this event, please plan to arrive early to purchase your ticket at the show. For more information, call Mike at South Yuba Club at 530-272-7676. South Yuba Club is located at 130 W. Berryhill Dr., in Grass Valley. More info online at www.southyubaclub.com.

State urges visitors, residents to be bear aware

A black bear with healthy teeth is shown.
CDFW / California State Parks
A diet of human food and waste can negatively impact the health of black bear's teeth. A black bear with healthy teeth is shown.
CDFW / California State Parks

With warming weather, Northern California’s black bear population is becoming more active and on the lookout for easy food sources.

With bears emerging from their dens, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has issued a list of guidelines for visitors and locals to help keep bears wild.

“The California Department of Fish and Wildlife would like to remind both visitors and residents that the Lake Tahoe Basin is home to hundreds of black bears. Unfortunately, it only takes a few careless people to help make a bear accustomed to human food sources,” said Jason Holley, supervising wildlife biologist for the department’s North Central Region, in a news release. “We ask for your help to keep Tahoe’s bears wild. Do not feed or approach wildlife and please store food and garbage appropriately.”

During this time of year, according to the fish and wildlife department, bears seek out freshly sprouted grasses, which often bring them in contact with human occupied areas. Furthermore, these areas often offer bears an easy meal in the form of garbage.

“Bears are an important part of the Lake Tahoe ecosystem and allowing them access to human food and garbage is a detriment to natural resources in the region,” said the fish and wildlife department in its release. “Bears help spread berry seeds through their scat, transport pollen, eat insects and provide other essential functions of nature. As a result, if they find and access human food and garbage, bird seed, pet food, coolers and other sources of human food, the Tahoe Basin loses the benefits bears offer to its natural processes. Bears need to be wild animals rather than garbage disposals, especially since these unnatural food sources can impact their overall health and damage or rot their teeth.”

Bears that unknowingly eat indigestible items from human trash can damage their internal systems, according to the department, possibly leading to death.

The wildlife department is offering the following tips to help keep Tahoe’s bears wild:

▪ Never feed wildlife.

▪ Store all garbage in properly closed bear-resistant garbage containers, preferably bear boxes. Inquire with local refuse companies about bear box incentives and payment programs.

▪ Never leave leftovers, groceries, animal feed, garbage or anything scented in vehicles, campsites, or tents.

▪ Be sure to always lock vehicles and close the windows. Keep in mind eating in the car leaves lingering food odors that attract bears.

▪ Keep barbecue grills clean and stored in a garage or shed when not in use.

▪ Keep doors and windows closed and locked when the home is unoccupied.

▪ Vegetable gardens, compost piles, orchards and chickens may attract bears. Use electric fences where allowed to keep bears out. Refrain from hanging bird feeders.

▪ When camping, always store food (including pet food), drinks, toiletries, coolers, cleaned grills, cleaned dishes, cleaning products, and all other scented items in bear-resistant containers (storage lockers/bear boxes) provided at campsites. Bear resistant coolers that come equipped with padlock devices should always be locked to meet bear resistant requirements.

▪ Always place garbage in bear-resistant dumpsters in campgrounds or in bear-resistant containers at campsites (storage lockers/bear boxes), and close and lock after each use.

▪ Store food in bear-resistant food storage canisters while recreating in the backcountry.

▪ Give wildlife space, especially when they have young with them.

▪ Leave small bears alone, mom might be right around the corner.

To report human-bear conflicts in California, contact the California Department of Fish and Wildlife at 916-358-2917 or report online using the Wildlife Incident Reporting system at apps.wildlife.ca.gov/wir.

Non-emergency wildlife interactions in California State Parks can be reported to public dispatch at 916-358-1300. To report human-bear conflicts in Nevada, contact the Nevada Department of Wildlife at 775-688-BEAR (2327). If the issue is an immediate threat, call the local sheriff’s department or 911.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun, a sister publication of The Union. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2643