The Fourth of July holiday period is the busiest time of year in the Lake Tahoe Basin. For those visiting during the holiday and attending one of the firework displays over the lake, expect extremely crowded conditions and excess traffic. Because of the Basin’s high elevation, expect intense sunlight during the day and much lower temperatures at night. Bring sunscreen, a jacket, and carry a flashlight. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. If planning to camp overnight at a designated campground, make reservations ahead of time at http://www.recreation.gov. Read more at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/July4.
The Forest Service in collaboration with the California Tahoe Conservancy will resume work on the Upper Truckee River Reach 5 Restoration Project on June 13, 2016. For public safety, the Forest Service has issued a forest closure order closing the project area to pedestrians from June 27 through October 14, 2016. The forest order is posted under the heading Upper Truckee River Reach 5 Restoration Project at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/ForestOrders.
As the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act nears a half century of protecting some of our greatest rivers, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating its accomplishments—and in working for its future. While there is much we have to do, there is much we have done, and to the thousands of people across the country that have worked tirelessly to save their local river, it’s time to take a moment to celebrate, to congratulate each other, to look forward. Visit the link above to read more.
On February 12, 2016, President Obama signed a proclamation declaring the Sand to Snow National Monument east of Los Angeles in Southern California. The 154,000-acre monument extends from Bureau of Land Management lands on the Sonoran desert floor up to over 10,000 feet in the San Gorgonio Wilderness on the San Bernardino National Forest. Follow the link above to read more.
The Lake Tahoe Basin Mgmt Unit Conservation Education report for 2015 is now available. The Conservation Education Program works with partners and volunteers to deliver programs to youth, local communuties, formal and non-formal educators and visitors to National Forest Lands. Programs connect people with nature, promote environmental literacy, provide ecological restoration opportunities and create future land stewards. Follow the link above to view the report.
The Lake Tahoe Basin and nearby Hope Valley are great places to experience fall foiliage. Follow the link above to see photos and suggestions for the best areas to view fall color at Lake Tahoe.
The Eldorado National Forest (NF), in cooperation with El Dorado County and the State of California, placed a California State Historical Marker at the site of the 1968 Olympic training facility at Echo Summit on the Eldorado National Forest. A celebration entitled “Return to the Summit” honored the site where U.S. Olympic Men’s Track and Field athletes broke four world records during the Olympic trials at a tumultuous time in our nation’s history. Follow the link above to watch the video.
Urban street trees provide critical services by lowering energy use, storing carbon, inducing air pollutant uptake, intercepting rainfall and increasing property values, among other benefits. Although the number of street trees in California has increased from 5.9 million in 1988 to 9.1 million in 2014, street tree density has declined by 30% as cities added more streets than trees. The total annual benefits provided by street trees are $1 billion. For every dollar spent on tree care, $5.82 in benefits is returned. Visit the link above to read more.
Yesterday, local students from the Lake Tahoe Unified School District learned about the cultural history and environment of Lake Tahoe during the Children's Forest program at the Tallac Historic Site. The program is coordinated by the South Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition (STEEC), which is a collaborative network of over 20 local agencies and organizations. Follow the link above to check out the video.
The loss of property and firefighters during wildfires are a reminder of the challenges we face in reducing the risks associated with large, unpredictable wildfires. Climate change, drought, insect infestations, changing land-use patterns, and other factors have contributed to increases in the complexity and in the numbers of wildfires across the United States. Visit http://www.fs.fed.us/news/2014/stories/04/responding-wildland-fire.shtml to read more.
Over the past twenty years, a changing climate, population growth near forests and rangelands, and the buildup of brush and other fuels have dramatically increased the severity of wildfires and the damage that they cause to our natural lands and communities. Year after year, fire seasons grow longer and longer, destroying homes, threatening critical infrastructure and the watersheds that provide clean drinking water to millions of people. Between 1980 and 2011, the average annual number of fires on Federal land more than doubled, and the total area burned annually tripled. Even as fire seasons have grown, the way we pay to fight these fires remains unchanged – and fundamentally broken. Follow the link above to read more.
Fire is so important in the Sierra Nevada that it can be seen as medicine for ailing forests. However, as with most medicines, too large a dose is harmful. Past fire exclusion and timber harvest practices have resulted in significant changes to the structure and composition of many western coniferous forests, and they are often much denser and less resilient to drought, insects, disease and wildfire. Follow the link above to read more.
The U.S. Forest Service and movie-goers have seen agency-managed lands as the backdrop for dozens of motion pictures over the years, but this year it is participating in the magic of Hollywood in a slightly different way – as a creative consultant for the soon-to-be-released “Planes: Fire and Rescue.” Visit the link above to read more.
“People who live in a wildland-urban interface often forget or disregard the wildland fire cycles and dangers,” said Tom Harbour, Fire and Aviation Management director. “We need homeowners to understand that they can make a difference by making their homes defensible from wildfire.” Follow the link above to read more.
Horses are used all over U.S. Forest Service lands, especially in the west to get work done on trails and in wilderness areas. What’s interesting about the Blackrock Ranger Station on the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming is the way they get such specialized horses. Wild mustangs are rounded up on Bureau of Land Management property, and then given to the Forest Service for free as weanlings or yearlings. Those horses are then trained to work in the wilderness. Folow the link above to read more.
The Blackwood Canyon OHV trail on the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is a good case study of a successful 20+ year old joint project between the U.S. Forest Service and the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division’s grant program.
The Forest Service launched a new wildland fire website with insightful information to help you learn about all these Forest Service activities from before, during and after a wildland fire. You’ll read about how the Forest Service feeds its firefighters, how they live while in fire camp and about the state-of-the-art technology they use while protecting natural resources and communities.
As the flames from the recent Carstens Fire in the Sierra National Forest approached, two baby Western screech owls huddled abandoned in a nest. Then, without warning, the tree that was their home came crashing down to the ground. Firefighters working to contain the quickly-spreading fire had cut down the tree to build a fire control line. Too young to fly, the baby owls tumbled to the ground and onto a roadway. Read more by following the link above
Scorch resulting from prescribed fires is expected and accepted. Trees can survive with as little as 10 to 30 percent green needles remaining in the canopy. Some trees will die, and this is also expected and accepted. Often, the trees that succumb to scorch are the less fire-resistant species, such as white fir. Many of the trees should green back up within the next year to two years, helped by the thinning we’ve done there, which decreases competition for water, sunlight and nutrients. View photos and read more by following the link listed above.
Puff and Fluff, the baby owls that Forest Service firefighters saved during the Carstens Fire in June, are finally home. Terri Williams of the Fresno Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Service released the Western Screech-Owls on July 24 near where they were found over a month ago in a downed tree in the Sierra National Forest. Read more and watch video of their release by visiting the link above.
The Forest Service has placed the salmon cam in the creek on the Tongass National Forest so viewers world-wide have the opportunity to view fish in their natural setting. The ability to watch salmon in the wild is a treat for many people, but the underwater camera gives you a more intimate, unique look. To view the salmon cam, follow this link, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-VY9rPwQJc.
Chips the bobcat, who was only four weeks old when she was rescued last August by U.S. Forest Service firefighter Tad Hair and his Mad River Hand hotshot crew, is now 8 months old and back in bobcat territory in Lassen County, Calif.
The warm-water fish recently made the news when University of Nevada researchers displayed photos of an enormous goldfish found in Lake Tahoe. While the goldfish may seem innocent and beautiful in a glass fish bowl, they like other invasive species can wreak havoc on the lake’s natural ecosystem.