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Latest News in Shaver Lake, CA
California Farm Bureau Commentary: Smart Timber Practices Support Forest Sustainability
2020 California: Sierra National Forest Creek Fire burn area south of Shaver LakeCredit: InciwebMarch 10, 2022 - By Devon Boer - Mendocino County grows trees. It always has and always will. But what is done with our forest resources remains at the heart of a cyclical conversation that has gone on for several decades.Now that conversation is intensifying anew in our county, with debate over management of the Jackson Demonstration State Forest—the largest of California's 10 state-run demonstration forests a...
2020 California: Sierra National Forest Creek Fire burn area south of Shaver LakeCredit: Inciweb
March 10, 2022 - By Devon Boer - Mendocino County grows trees. It always has and always will. But what is done with our forest resources remains at the heart of a cyclical conversation that has gone on for several decades.
Now that conversation is intensifying anew in our county, with debate over management of the Jackson Demonstration State Forest—the largest of California's 10 state-run demonstration forests and a model for multi-use forestry practices. The forest serves as a laboratory for University of California forest ecology researchers, as a treasured recreational resource and as the home of sustainable timber practices important to our economy.
In 1947, the state of California purchased the 48,652-acre JDSF property to demonstrate that previously cut-over timberland, if properly managed, can become a valuable asset that offers a multitude of benefits. The results of that experiment have proven positive for Mendocino County.
Timber is an agricultural commodity here, employing foresters, loggers and sawmill workers, and supporting numerous additional jobs. The work of our local harvesters, including members of the Mendocino County Farm Bureau, is governed under California's stringent forest practice rules and administered by licensed professionals.
But now that work is being paused. In the face of anti-logging protests, Cal Fire on Jan. 19 suspended additional timber sales for 2022 as it reviews future forest management plans for the demonstration forest.
The current debate centers on whether the cutting of timber resources in the forest should continue to be included in the overall JDSF management strategy. The forest has a timber inventory of approximately 2.3 billion board-feet of conifer trees that grow about 53 million board-feet each year. On average, JDSF harvests 14.3 million board-feet of conifer timber each year, which is approximately 27% of the annual growth.
Mendocino County Farm Bureau's Natural Resources Committee has been meeting with our affected membership, lawmakers and state agency representatives to seek a broader conversation on the future of JDSF and the ability to continue harvesting timber while providing important stewardship of the property. The anti-logging sentiment fanned during recent protests should not steer the discussion of smart, sustainable forest management in Mendocino County and throughout the state.
The ideal outcome is for all sides to have an honest discussion about timber management on JDSF, through one of several existing platforms to do so.
One of those, the Jackson Advisory Group, was formed in 2008 to work with the public and numerous stakeholders. It provides recommendations to Cal Fire and the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection on the review of the JDSF management plan, ongoing implementation issues and other policy matters relevant to the forest.
The committee reached out on multiple occasions for discussions with those opposing current and future logging on demonstration forest lands. But overtures seeking open dialogue have by and large been ignored.
The JDSF management plan was last updated in 2016, as the result of a thorough review process that allowed for extensive public comment and feedback. The management plan directs the forest for 10-15 years, with the Board of Forestry able to adopt revisions in the interim.
As a result, another opportunity exists for interested groups and individuals to offer suggestions or air concerns during the next scheduled JDSF management plan update.
Approved timber harvesting plans on the demonstration forest go through a rigorous review process. They are scrutinized by multiple agencies, which review California Environmental Quality Act requirements and provide opportunities for public input.
Over its history as a state-run forest, the JDSF has demonstrated its value in environmental stewardship and has provided important research data on forest sustainability and watershed protection—all while supporting recreation and sustainable logging.
Amid perilous wildfire threats, sound management practices are being discussed to improve fire prevention, carbon sequestration and watershed health, as well as to protect habitat for fish and wildlife. As the timber debate flares up anew, it seems counter intuitive to be arguing once again about whether to allow trees to be harvested under strict mandates that are designed to protect the forest ecosystem.
Cal Fire is central to working with the Board of Forestry, the governor and state elected officials to steer the future of forest management. If the ability to harvest timber on the largest state demonstration forest is eliminated or significantly reduced, it will weaken forest-management approaches that have been improved upon over many years and that remain vital today.
Mendocino County Farm Bureau will continue to engage on this issue to help our member commercial forest landowners, loggers, foresters, mill owners, truck drivers and forest-product representatives. They are caught in the middle as the future of timber harvesting at the JDSF hangs in the balance.
We hope the conversations we are having with decision makers will not fall on deaf ears and that a lasting solution can be found to allow JDSF to continue to be managed under the multi-use model that has supported valuable research, recreation and our local economy since 1947.
(Devon Boer is executive director of the Mendocino County Farm Bureau and may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
ABOUT CALIFORNIA FARM BUREAU FEDERATIONThe California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 32,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 5.5 million Farm Bureau members.Source: Reprinted with permission CFBF
Blue Fire update: Shaver Lake safe for now, Forest Service says; evacuations in place
Jim Guy and joshua teheehttps://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article252468113.html
Forest Service commanders Wednesday ordered 100 more fire personnel into the battle against the Blue Fire burning south of Shaver Lake, in a “full suppression response.”The fire, which erupted Tuesday afternoon, forced evacuations for residents along Road 10S02, (Peterson Mill) to Nutmeg Saddle. That includes Bretz Mill Camp. The Fresn...
Forest Service commanders Wednesday ordered 100 more fire personnel into the battle against the Blue Fire burning south of Shaver Lake, in a “full suppression response.”
The fire, which erupted Tuesday afternoon, forced evacuations for residents along Road 10S02, (Peterson Mill) to Nutmeg Saddle. That includes Bretz Mill Camp. The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office released an online live fire map Wednesday morning, where residents in the area can find the latest evacuation orders and warnings.
The Blue Fire has burned about 400 acres as of 7:30 a.m. Wednesday and was 10% contained, according to the National Forest Service. At 2 p.m., the fire remained at 400 acres and containment was up to 25%. The blaze was burning in a northwest direction, toward a ridge line at Soaproot Saddle and an area burned by the 2020 Creek Fire, the largest single fire event in California history.
Shaver Lake is not under threat, because of the distance and location of the fire, said Alex Olow, with the National Forest Service incident command. Two structures are under threat, Olow said.
Additional crews have been requested, including three strike teams, with engines, three type 1 hand crews and an additional helicopter.
The fire is burning in timber and short grass and officials are hopeful that a fire break created by forest workers will aid in slowing the fire’s progress. Crews on Wednesday will continue to build fire lines with bulldozers and hand crews, with air support.
Cal Fire is assisting the forest service in the battle.
The fire was being closely watched after the devastating Creek Fire.
Said Assemblyman Jim Patterson on Tuesday night: “It will be a long night for our friends and families living near Blue Canyon. Please keep them, and all the fire crews working to stop this fire, in your prayers tonight.”
The Central California Animal Disaster Team has a toll-free hotline number for people who need information on moving animals, shelter-in-place animal care assistance and emergency animal shelters at 866-333-3822. Officials said they encourage text messages to that number.
For people who want to volunteer or donate for animal services, call the disaster team at 888-402-2238.
This story was originally published June 30, 2021 6:55 AM.
If you love Big Bear, you’ll also love these 3 Central California lakes
There are few better ways to escape California’s long, dry summers than lounging by a cool, clear lake. But if Big Bear and Arrowhead have become too familiar, head four hours north to Bass, Shaver and Huntington, lush mountain lakes in the central Sierra.These beautiful alpine destinations — each with its own vibe — are a short drive from one another, making a tour of all three doable in less than a week.These off-the-beaten-path beauties, often overshadowed by Lake Tahoe to the north, are ripe for hiking, ka...
There are few better ways to escape California’s long, dry summers than lounging by a cool, clear lake. But if Big Bear and Arrowhead have become too familiar, head four hours north to Bass, Shaver and Huntington, lush mountain lakes in the central Sierra.
These beautiful alpine destinations — each with its own vibe — are a short drive from one another, making a tour of all three doable in less than a week.
These off-the-beaten-path beauties, often overshadowed by Lake Tahoe to the north, are ripe for hiking, kayaking, camping, fishing, boating and a cool late summertime splash or swim. And they are three hours closer to Los Angeles by car.
One thing to know before they you go: The scenic drive between Shaver and Huntington lakes changed dramatically after last year’s Creek fire, which scorched close to 380,000 acres, leaving a hellscape of blackened tree trunks and ashen earth on both sides of California 168.
Luckily, many of the giant pines were spared, as I witnessed on a recent visit, preserving the beautiful views that have long lured boaters, campers and the occasional movie crew. Bass Lake served as the backdrop in John Candy and Dan Aykroyd’s 1988 comedy “The Great Outdoors,” and Shaver showed up in 2019’s “Captain Marvel.”
The water levels in two of the lakes are below capacity because of California’s prolonged drought, but this hasn’t affected outdoor activities as much as it has in other areas, such as Big Bear, which has dwindled to half its capacity, with its swimming beach closed and docks and boat slips beached.
Another bonus: Unlike many lakes in Southern California, these reservoirs are open for swimming as well as boating, with small sandy beaches where visitors can spread towels or enjoy a picnic.
Here’s a look at what each lake has to offer:
Think of Bass as a “mini-Tahoe,” with clear blue waters ringed by pines and cedar. But there’s one key difference: Its lower elevation (3,400 feet) means the water is warmer for swimming, water skiing and wave running.
It’s also a popular destination for boating — Bass Lake was one of the top organic search terms on Google for California travel during the COVID-19 pandemic — but for many Angelenos, like me, it may be a new adventure.
Powerboating isn’t the only activity in this 4½-mile-long lake, 47 miles northeast of Fresno on California 41. (The water levels at Bass Lake are about 12 feet lower than full capacity this summer.)
The lake’s sheltered coves lure fishermen angling for bass, rainbow trout or kokanee salmon, as well as kayakers trying to catch sight of bald eagles, herons and the occasional black bear, like the one I saw one morning paddling in front of my kayak. Kayak and boat rentals can be found at Miller’s Landing and the marina at Pines Resort and Bass Lake Watersports.
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Bass Lake is more developed than Shaver and Huntington but is still picturesque. Dozens of hiking trails surround the lake, including the Way of the Mono Trail, an easy one-mile loop featuring the Indigenous history of the area and spectacular views from the top.
Another advantage: Bass is a little over 30 minutes from the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park, for those who want to combine lake time with a hike to the park’s Chilnualna Falls or the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias (don’t forget your Yosemite day-use reservation). If you need a little fun out of the sun, Yosemite Axe Throwing is open in nearby Oakhurst.
WHERE TO STAY Visitors have their choice of several resorts, as well as camping and cabin rentals.
The Pines Resort, 54432 Road 432, Bass Lake; (559) 642-3121. Two-story lakefront suites and chalets as well as an on-site marina for boat rentals and a village with a market, a bar and a few shops.
Miller’s Landing Resort, 37976 Route 222, Wishon; (559) 642-3633. One- and two-bedroom cabins for rent. Boat and kayak rentals at the marina.
The Forks Resort, 39150 Road 222, Bass Lake; (559) 642-3737. Cabins and suites for rent within walking distance of the lake.
WHERE TO EAT
South Gate Brewing Co., 40233 Enterprise Drive, Oakhurst; (559) 692-2739. Many brewpubs in tourist towns aren’t worth the hops in their IPA. Not this one, with its award-winning beer and tasty pub fare.
The Forks Resort restaurant, 39150 Road 222, Bass Lake; (559) 642-3737. A writer for the New Yorker in 2019 proclaimed the Forks Burger one of the best things she had eaten in the previous decade. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but the burgers and shakes are truly delicious.
Ducey’s on the Lake, 54432 Road 432, Bass Lake; (559) 642-3121. This wood-paneled restaurant at the Pines Resort serves cocktails and traditional American fare at tables overlooking the lake.
An hour’s drive up California 168 from Bass is Shaver. Boulders and giant sugar and ponderosa pines ring the 22 miles of shoreline as well as a dam that owner Southern California Edison uses to help supply hydroelectric power to Los Angeles.
The lake’s higher elevation — about 5,500 feet — makes it cooler than Bass, a big selling point in July and August. It’s also a bit more rustic, with no large resorts, just campgrounds and private cabins for rent.
Shaver Lake is forecast by Edison to be at 60% of capacity this month. But on a recent visit, the drought appeared to have had little effect on the lake experience. If anything, Shaver, which at full capacity has little in the way of beaches, now provides a bit more room for visitors to spread blankets and enjoy dips in the water.
The area had a close call with the Creek fire, which burned its way to within blocks of Shaver’s main street. Large banners thanking firefighters hang from homes and businesses, and the community has launched a Rebuild Our Sierra campaign to help those in the area who lost so much in the fire.
Boat rentals are available at several points on the lake, including at Sierra Marina and Shaver Lake Marina. Shaver’s quiet coves are also good for kayaking, canoeing and fishing. Inexperienced anglers can hire a charter such as Dick’s Fishing Charters to make sure they catch a fish.
Just stock up before you arrive. There are no supermarkets in the tiny town of Shaver. Those are on the drive up, half an hour away in the town of Prather. Instead, you’ll find a handful of restaurants, two mini-markets, and shops for fishing and camping supplies.
WHERE TO STAY
Camp Edison, 42696 Tollhouse Road, Shaver Lake; (559) 841-3134, Ext. 6. SCE owns and operates more than 250 RV and tent campsites on the shore of Shaver Lake. Noncamping accommodations can be found at GoShaver.net/lodging
WHERE TO EAT
Seasons Bistro and Tavern, 41830 Tollhouse Road, Shaver Lake; (559) 841-4108. Elevated yet casual American fare, with a menu that changes — you guessed it — seasonally.
Hungry Hut, 42008 Tollhouse Road, Shaver Lake; (559) 841-3222. Popular and often crowded outdoor patio with Shaver’s best burgers, fries and shakes.
Shaver Lake Pizza, 41820 Tollhouse Road, Shaver Lake; (559) 841-7249. Solid thin-crust pizza joint also serves wings, hot sandwiches and beer. Call early; it gets crowded on weekends.
Drive 40 minutes farther up California 168 past miles of blackened tree trunks and you’ll reach Huntington Lake. At 7,000 feet, it’s known for its cool winds and summer sailing regattas.
Of the three lakes, Huntington was most affected by the Creek fire, with flames torching trees and cabins around half the lake.
On my visit, however, the eastern side of the lake near the China Peak ski resort was beautiful, with a couple of day-use areas and campgrounds open as a base for sailing or fishing.
If Shaver is rustic, Huntington is decidedly more so, particularly since the fire, with cabins and one of its resorts closed. Because of the damage, we decided to make it a day trip from our cabin in Shaver. As it turned out, it was one of the best days of our family trip.
Floating in the cool, clear lake — it’s at 99% capacity — watching sailboats and casting a line from an old boat slip made this stop a winner. And it was the only lake in which we easily caught fish.
We didn’t have time to check out the hiking trails that surround the lake, including Rancheria Falls, a steep four-mile hike that pays off with a beautiful waterfall. That’s on our list for when we return.
WHERE TO STAY
Camping is available at Rancheria, Lower Billy Creek, College and Deer Creek campgrounds and can be booked at Recreation.gov.
Cabins and boats are available for rent from Huntington Lake Resort and Marina, 58730 Huntington Lake Road, Lakeshore; (559) 326-6687
Lakeview Cottages, 58374 Huntington Lodge Road, Lakeshore; (559) 553-3550. Cabins for rent on Huntington’s southern shore.
WHERE TO EAT
The Lakeshore Resort and its restaurant are shuttered, but Huntington Lake Resort’s Grill is open for burgers, tacos and other fare.
‘Cute’ bear hanging out in Fresno County vacation spot this summer. Do not feed him
Residents of Shaker Lake have a kind of social media celebrity on their hands — a young bear that’s been wandering around cabins for the past few weeks, going from trash can to trash can and deck to deck looking for food.Photos and videos of the bear have been widely shared among neighbors and in online community groups.“You’ve probably seen the bear by now,” says Dan Fidler, a wildlife biologist with the ...
Residents of Shaker Lake have a kind of social media celebrity on their hands — a young bear that’s been wandering around cabins for the past few weeks, going from trash can to trash can and deck to deck looking for food.
Photos and videos of the bear have been widely shared among neighbors and in online community groups.
“You’ve probably seen the bear by now,” says Dan Fidler, a wildlife biologist with the California Department and Fish and Wildlife out of Fresno.
“This one is particularly cute. It’s got that cute and sad thing going,” he says.
Fidler says he has received 40 or so calls from residents about the yearling. Some are sacred to have the wild animal in the area. Others are worried about the animal’s safety and well being.
“The other people just want to feed it a lot,” Fidler says.
Do not do that, he says.
Having bears wander into campsites and wildness communities like Shaver Lake isn’t unique. Fidler says he gets reports of one or two bears around Shaver Lake every year.
“They cause some trouble, but for the most part they’re just looking for food,” he says.
And right now, the bear is just taking advantage of the resources in the area. But the more accustomed the bear gets to being in the area, the more bold he may get with people. That’s when a bear goes from looking for food to actually causing damage by breaking into cars and cabins and the like.
That’s when the department has to come in to either remove the bear, which it would rather not do with a bear this young, or move to the lethal option.
“We don’t want to get there,” Fidler says.
The hope is the department can get the word out so the bear won’t become food conditioned before the end of the summer season, and that the bear will move back into the woods as winter comes.
On Friday, the department put fliers out in the area to remind people to not feed bears and to redouble efforts to keep trash locked up and out of the way.
Fidler also suggests people scare this bear away whenever they see it.
“Draw that line where the bear knows it is not welcomed,” he says.
Loud noises work well, he says.
This bear spooks easily, says Jan Akins, who has had a cabin at Shaver since the 1970s and has lived there full time since 2015. She’s posted several videos of the bear on social media as a way to share fish and wildlife department’s old refrain.
“Do not feed the bears,” she says.
Akins believes there might be more than one yearling making its away around the community from the pictures she’s seen shared on social media. The one she spotted was climbing a tree outside her cabin last week. He was trying to get at a feeder she’d put out for the birds.
She saw him again on Tuesday just walking outside the kitchen window. She started keeping rocks nearby to throw at the bear, but didn’t have to go that far with things.
“I yelled ‘git’ and he took off up the hill,” she says.
Key to having a healthy forest? Frequent, low-intensity fires that burn at ground level
John R. Mounthttps://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/readers-opinion/article258782338.html
Once again Chad Hanson in his opinion piece, (Fresno Bee February 16, “Critic finds flaws in UC study on major tree cutting in Sierra”) has distorted facts pertaining to our natural resources of the Sierra Nevada.However, he does say two things correctly. First that fires burned frequently in the past, and secondly the forests were a mosaic of large and small trees throughout the landscape.Lightning ...
Once again Chad Hanson in his opinion piece, (Fresno Bee February 16, “Critic finds flaws in UC study on major tree cutting in Sierra”) has distorted facts pertaining to our natural resources of the Sierra Nevada.
However, he does say two things correctly. First that fires burned frequently in the past, and secondly the forests were a mosaic of large and small trees throughout the landscape.
Lightning started fires throughout the past millennium over all of California, especially the Sierra Nevada. The results of those frequent fires were a mosaic of fewer trees, far less undergrowth and minimal fuels available for hot fires. Therefore, historic fires did not burn intensely, but generally were creating fires that stayed on the ground.
Chad Hanson has only one objective and that is to stop any harvesting by lumber companies. He frequently says that profit is the only motivator of the timber industry. He has used that objective to distort how a natural forest would look without human interference. He advocates both overgrown forests or completely denuded landscapes, such as the 400,000 acres of the Creek Fire.
In fact, active human management is now required to maintain our forests in a natural healthy state. Our extremely overgrown forests have greatly reduced numbers and diversity of wildlife species and obviously increased wildfires, both in size and intensity.
I have proven that active management through both harvesting trees and applying prescribed fire results in a healthy, productive forest, especially for wildlife and fire protection. The examples of management reducing trees and other forest fuels are numerous throughout the West and cannot be disputed. The activists that have stopped any kind of management are responsible for our recent spate of mega fires throughout the West. The proof is really overwhelming and should be recognized, but the environmental and ecosystem deniers have distorted the facts and swayed the public with feel-good rhetoric, which has resulted in the destruction of our beautiful forests of the Sierra Nevada.
Think of all the wildlife species that have no homes because of the Creek Fire. And now those same deniers want to stop the re-establishment of a healthy forest by the Forest Service and local community groups, such as the Central Sierra Resiliency Fund. A healthy forest supports all species of wildlife, including endangered species.