March 29, 2019

Photos of the Week

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve
A sea of poppies are all the rage this week as thousands of people flock to see the iconic flowers. A reminder to stay on trails and #DontDoomtheBloom. For more information on all the wildflower blooms happening across our state, please visit our
Wildflower Bloom web 
Photo by: Matt Williams, Great Basin District

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve
A closer view of the beautiful poppies.
Photo by: Brian Baer, Communications and Marketing Division

Chino Hills State Park
You can also find gorgeous poppies and fiddlenecks at Chino Hills State Park. This was taken atop Bane Ridge Trail.
Photo by: Monica Stupaczuk, Southern Service Center

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San Diego Coast District Lifeguard II Marisa Kuiken Receives American Legion Medal of Valor
Story from: Tim Fellars, San Diego Coast District
City of Oceanside Lifeguard Eric McWeeney (center) and State Parks Lifeguard II Marisa Kuiken honored by the Oceanside Elks Lodge and American Legion Post on March 14. Photo from Yvonne Chavez, Marisa's mother
Marisa Kuiken, a Lifeguard II (Seasonal) and State Parks emergency medical technician for the San Diego Coast District North Sector, was honored by the Oceanside Elks Lodge and American Legion Post 146 at their annual Law and Order Awards Ceremony, “Honoring Local Heroes,” on March 14.
Marisa received the American Legion Medal of Valor for her heroic actions during a rescue on Nov. 25, 2018. Marisa responded, along with Oceanside Lifeguard Eric McWeeney, to a call for a person entangled in a buoy line in the Agua Hedionda Lagoon in Carlsbad. An outgoing tide created an extremely strong current emptying out of the lagoon. The victim
was caught in the river-like current and she fell off her stand-up paddleboard. When her leash wrapped around the buoy line, it prevented her from swimming free of the obstacle. Lifeguards Kuiken and McWeeney dove into the current and used a knife to cut the woman free from her leash; other lifeguards on scene provided CPR. Sadly, despite the best efforts of Kuiken and McWeeney, the woman drowned.
We are very proud of Marisa for her efforts that day and for the way she represents all of California State Parks. We also want to congratulate City of Oceanside Lifeguard Eric McWeeney, who was awarded the Medal of Valor.

State Parks Places in Top 10 in Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay Race

Story and photos from: Dan Kraft, Monterey District
Photo 1: Lifeguard Darby Fultz from Silver Strand State Beach riding the "pain train" as he runs stage 4. Photo 2: Team follow-vehicles arrayed at the pre-race staging area near Baker, California. Photo 3: Logos of those sponsoring State Parks. 
For the third consecutive year, California State Parks placed in the top 10 of the annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay Race—finishing in 14 hours, 24 minutes and 49 seconds. The 35th annual race, a 120-mile relay run through the Mojave Desert, was held last weekend with State Parks among the more than 280 departments completing the run. 

This year’s race ended dramatically for the State Parks team as Taylor Riis (Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area) out-sprinted a runner from the San Diego Police Department team over the final 100 yards. Riis was met at the finish line by two of the team’s follow-vehicle drivers—Bob Burke (retired) and Scott Bayne (Law Enforcement and Emergency Services)—whose ecstatic reaction was captured live on Facebook despite a technical difficulty caused by the camera operator (your humble author). This year’s team ran in memory of Bob’s brother, Jim Burke, and Scott’s mentor, Theodore “Ted” Jackson, both of whom passed away since last year’s run.
The follow-vehicle crew, which hydrates, times and encourages the runners, included Mark Allen and Sal Goshorn (Orange Coast District), Carmen Zone (Southern Communications Center) and Ron Krueper (retired). Many thanks to the team’s on-course volunteer, Brittany McLaughlin (Gold Fields District), who endured 12 hours alongside a remote stretch of Highway 178 near the California-Nevada border as part of the race’s extensive team
of volunteers. 

In addition to those mentioned above, this year’s runners (arranged by district or section) included: 

  • Darrell Readyhoff (Angeles)
  • James Bray (Channel Coast)
  • Kevin Craig (Channel Coast)
  • Adam Borello (Inland Empire)
  • Eric Palmer (Inland Empire)
  • Ryan Rzab (Northern Buttes)
  • Michael Cueto (Oceano Dunes)
  • Killian Rose (Orange Coast)
  • Wes Ewart (Orange Coast)
  • Pete Estes (Ocotillo Wells)
  • Darby Fultz (San Diego Coast)
  • Erik Burgan (San Diego Coast)
  • Jake Pflepsen (San Diego Coast)
  • John Anderson (San Diego Coast)
  • Michael Lawrence (San Diego Coast)
  • Bill Wolcott (Santa Cruz)
  • Micah Moore (Santa Cruz)
  • Terry Kiser (Santa Cruz)
  • Jack Futoran (Training Section)
The relay race was broadcast live on Facebook and Instagram stories. To see some of the highlights, click here. (Please note you do need an Instagram account to view the video.) To view the final overall results of the race, click here.
Left: Ranger Ryan Rzab from McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park signs in at the start of stage 11. Right: Ranger Adam Borello from Palomar Mountain State Park is lighted for safety and ready to tackle the hill at stage 16.

Natural Resources Division Holds Annual Training

Story from: Prasanna Hankins, Natural Resources Division
Group photo of the Natural Resources Division's annual training at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds. Photo from Sara Skinner, Training Section
The annual Natural Resource Managers training was held this year from at our beautiful Asilomar facility in Pacific Grove. This year’s meeting provided an opportunity for a large cross section of Natural Resources staff from across the system, including the Division of Boating and Waterways, the service center and State Vehicular Recreation Area staff, to share their work, innovative resource management solutions and perspectives.

By all accounts, the week was successful. More than 110 participants attended, thanks to the generous support from the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVRD), the Natural Resources Division, the training office and, of course, the districts. One of the first large meetings of its kind since our reorganization, staff heard themes of alignment and collaboration directly from Director Mangat, Special Assistant to the Director Karl Knapp, OHMVRD Acting Director Dan Canfield, and Deputy Director for Park Operations Kathy Amann, as well as Field Division Chiefs Jason De Wall and Sam Allsop. 


Over the course of the week, internal and external presenters covered topics ranging from fire management, vegetation management, emerging technologies, OHV issues, coastal issues and climate adaptation. External keynote speakers included Steve McCormick, former president and CEO of the Nature Conservancy, and Jonathan Jarvis, former director of the National Park Service.

One evening event included a screening of the movie Wilder than Wild with a panel discussion afterwards, which included filmmaker Kevin White, CAL FIRE’s Deputy Director for Resource Management and State Parks staff. The movie—and so many of the week’s presentations—prompted a good deal of discussion and some fresh ideas about the future of our parks. Many thanks to all for their support of this important training!
Photo 1: Keynote speaker Jonathan Jarvis, former head of the National Park Service. Photo 2: Panel discussion with State Parks executives. Photo 3: A rainbow spotted during the training. Photo 4: One of the breakout sessions. Photos from Natural Resources Division staff.
Multimillion Dollar Deal Protects Redwood Forests in
Santa Cruz Mountains
Story from: Adeline Yee, Communications Office
Gazos Creek, 320 acres of mature redwoods, near Butano State Park. This area has not been harvested by the McCrary Family, who has cared for it for more than 50 years. Photo from Teddy Miller, courtesy of POST.  
Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) and the owners of Big Creek Lumber, the McCrary family, this week announced an $11.7 million agreement to permanently conserve 937 acres of redwood forests in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The multiparty deal would protect two different areas.
The first would be 320 acres of mature redwoods called Gazos Creek near Butano State Park. POST will pay $3.5 million to Big Creek Lumber for this property that will be open to the public and be managed by the Sempervirens Fund, a land trust in Los Altos. This area is home to critical habitat including the endangered Coho salmon and marbled murrelet. Sempervirens Fund will care for the Gazos Creek site until it can be formally incorporated into Butano State Park.
The second area would be 617 acres of second-growth redwood trees, known as Valencia Creek, in Corralitos near Aptos. POST paid $8.2 million to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, but will transfer ownership of Valencia Creek to Big Creek Lumber. As part of this agreement, Big Creek Lumber will be able to log the land but under stricter rules, including limiting harvests to once every 10 years and no clear-cutting of trees. This area will not be open to the public. 
To learn more about this land agreement, see POST’s press release.
Valencia Creek, 617 acres of second-growth redwoods, in Corralitos. Photo from Teddy Miller, courtesy of POST.
Map showing two areas, Gazos Creek and Valencia Creek, that are part of this land agreement. Map from POST.
Annual Mendocino Whale Festival Draws Hundreds to Celebrate Cetaceans
Story from: Steve Jahelka, Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District
Photo 1: Katherine Gabielson educates visitors, Lucca and Aspen, on the skeletal similarities of whale pectoral fins to human hands during the whale skeleton painting activity. Photo by Steve Jahelka, Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District. Photos 2 and 3: Interactive games included “Hungry, Hungry Whales” with baleen crafted from invasive European beach grass, and the “Echolocation Station” simulated echolocation clicks of toothed whales to educate visitors on different whale-feeding strategies. Photos by Bill Maslach, Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District.  
Every year throughout the month of March, Mendocino County celebrates with the
Whale Festival. The festival was originally dedicated as an anniversary of the Green Peace movement known as the “Whale Wars,” which halted international whaling activities along the California coast in 1971. Since then, the festival has grown to be an opportunity for tourism, and every year visitors flock to Mendocino to get a chance to see the eastern Pacific gray whales as they pass close to the shore while making their way north to the feeding grounds off the coast of Alaska.         
The Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District’s interpretation program offered several programs to engage visitors, including guided whale-watching hikes and historical barn tours, educational presentations and interactive games and activities. In Mendocino, programs and events are made possible through the contributions of various local businesses and the proud sponsorship of MendoParks, our cooperating association that aims to “inspire and ensure stewardship of Mendocino-area state parks.” Together, State Parks and MendoParks drew several hundred visitors—locals and from afar—to celebrate our treasured coastal resources.
Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District Sponsors Cliff Rescue Training Event for Lifeguards
Story and photos from: Terry Bertels, Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District

Cliff rescue training at Mendocino Headlands State Park from March 18 to 20.
The Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District sponsored a cliff rescue training event from March 18 to 20 for local lifeguards at Mendocino Headlands State Park. Local CAL FIRE captains Drew Rhoads and Eric Chisholm taught the three-day low angle rope rescue operator course, which covers the basics of rope-rescue operations. CAL FIRE, the Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department and State Parks were involved in the training, with State Parks Peace Officer (Lifeguard) Joe Stoffers serving as the district liaison.  

There are many cliff rescues along the Sonoma-Mendocino Coast, and a great deal of staff are needed to perform a rope rescue safely. With the knowledge gained in the course, our lifeguards and rangers can work seamlessly with local fire departments when conducting rope rescues. We are often first on scene to cliff rescues in the park—having this knowledge and training will allow us to respond in a safer and quicker manner. 

We are proud of our growing lifeguard program and the number of rescues and assists that we have been able to do.
PORTS’ Skype in the Classroom Connects Parks with Students in Morocco
Story from: Stephanie Ambrosia, Sierra District
Interpreter I Stephanie Ambrosia Skypes with students in Marrakesh, Morocco, from Ed Z'berg Sugar Pine Point State Park. Photo from Mohammed Elhilali.
What do California and Marrakesh, Morocco, have in common? Only Skype will tell! 

The Interpretation Division for Lake Tahoe Sector’s state parks has been working on offering virtual programming from our parks for quite a while. In June 2017, we broadcasted live from out in the field for the first time—with the help of Brad Krey, Jennifer Langer, Berndt Stolfi and the late Ben Fenkell—using the Periscope platform to reach a captive online audience. In September 2018, we hosted a live broadcast celebrating the grand opening of Emerald Bay State Park’s Maritime Heritage Trail. Finally, this month, we made our first virtual contact with students, who are the true target audience of the department’s world-renowned Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students, or PORTS, program.  

Using the Skype in the Classroom platform, I spoke with students ages 14 and over in Marrakesh, Morocco, for about 40 minutes. Although their school was experiencing a political strike that prevented many students from attending that day, their teacher still logged in right on time and greeted me with great enthusiasm. The students played a short game of “Mystery Skype” and made guesses about where I was, using a few important clues. Eventually, they hit the nail on the head and guessed “California?” 

They had Skyped with Point Lobos State Natural Reserve Interpreter Daniel Williford only
10 minutes before talking with me. I said, “I know Daniel! What a small world!” They were most intrigued by the fact that Daniel had showed them wildflower blooms at Point Lobos, yet there didn’t seem to be any flowers at Lake Tahoe. So we discussed the varying regions of California, and how, in our state, one could theoretically travel from the city to the beach, to the snow and then to the desert all in one day. They described how Marrakesh is very similar and one can reach either the beach or the snowy mountains within an hour’s drive. Overall, it felt like such a shared accomplishment to discover this one unifying thread between our two regions.

We are very excited to launch virtual programming at Lake Tahoe Sector’s state parks
using platforms like Skype and Zoom. We hope to travel both near and far in our quest to interpret the cultural and natural history our state offers to all Californians and even to the rest of the world. 
Miner’s Breakfast Kicks Off School Season and Eureka Program at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
Story and photos from: Jerrie Beard, Gold Fields District
Marshall Gold Discovery SHP Ranger Bill Deitchman prepares an old-fashioned miner's breakfast for staff and volunteers.
Staff and volunteers at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park (SHP) were treated to a real miner’s breakfast expertly prepared by Ranger Bill Deitchman on March 26 and 27.
Just like in the olden days, the veritable feast was cooked alfresco in Dutch ovens and cast-iron frying pans and included breakfast favorites aptly named to reflect the history of the park. Bekeart’s Oatmeal Pancakes were a big favorite along with the Sierra Nevada House Frittata and the Emmanuel Pecan Walnut Coffee Cake (which was heavenly!). The gastronomic finale came in the form of Hangtown Fry, a legendary combination of scrambled eggs, bacon, scallions and oysters from the days of the Gold Rush.
The Whine’n Miner Café's breakfast kicks off the heart of the school season and the Eureka Program at Marshall Gold Discovery SHP. During the first five months of the year, staff and volunteers will lead over 900 programs for more than 30,000 fourth-graders from all over California. Programs include gold panning, poke making, Wagon’s Ho and the Gold Discovery Tour.
Thank you, Bill, for all the great vittles. Bring on the fourth-graders!
Left: The menu of options. Note the warning to those who complain. Top right and bottom right: Staff and volunteers enjoy the special breakfast.
To view current job openings within California State Parks, please visit our jobs web page at
Current opportunities include:
  • Administrative Officer I (Resources Agency) positions in El Dorado, San Luis Obispo and Sonoma counties
  • Park Maintenance Assistant positions in San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Sonoma and Los Angeles counties
  • Pool Lifeguard (Seasonal) in Alpine County

Karen Barrett Promoted to State Park Interpreter III

Story from: Maria Mowrey, Bay Area District
Photo 1: "Jazz hands" during a district interpreters training last summer. Photo 2: "Whale of a tale": Karen Barrett with a whale puppet, the first NAI scholarship auction item that started the office collection. Photo 3: Headshot of Karen by Brian Baer, Communications and Marketing Division. Photo 4: Team photo at the Training Center with other Bay Area interpretive staff, including Emily Walski, Rosanna Petralia and John Claget. Photos from Karen Barrett, Bay Area District
Please join me in congratulating Karen Barrett on her appointment to State Parks
Interpreter III for the Bay Area District. 
Karen is a park professional who’s known for working closely with interpreters, volunteers, park partners and staff to create relevant and memorable program, exhibit and training experiences. Karen believes today, as she did on her first job as a Leo Carrillo State Park Aide, that “parks make the world a better place.” 
Recently recognized by the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) as a Master Front-line Interpreter, Karen has been a guide, interpreter I and II, regional interpretive specialist and the statewide coordinator for the Volunteers in Parks Program. Her job locations span the state and reflect the diversity of our State Park System, including Angeles, Northern Buttes, Capital, Sonoma-Mendocino Coast and the Bay Area Districts, and the Interpretation and Education Division. Karen holds a bachelor of science in natural resource planning and interpretation from Humboldt State University.
Before coming to work for California State Parks, Karen was a seasonal park ranger in Yosemite’s glaciated high country, its Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, and Lassen Volcanic National Park, where her favorite day was Friday when she led hikes exploring the crater of the southernmost active volcano in the Cascade Range, 10,457-foot Lassen Peak.
Karen is known for getting in NAI scholarship auction bidding wars to add to her prized park-related stuffed animal collection, and in summer, for her obsession with camping and hiking as much as her schedule will allow. Karen lives in beautiful Sonoma Valley with her husband, Joe, and dog, Lily.
Malibu Lagoon State Beach
Beautiful view from the Adamson House.
Photo from Damian F. Ruddy, Angeles District
Schooner Gulch State Beach
You can see why it's called "Bowling Ball Beach."
Photo from Mikayla Martin, Santa Cruz District
Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area
The campground at Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area. The sun finally came out after a few days of rain and can be seen here shining through the leaves.
Photo from Samantha Ostrin, North Coast Redwoods District
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve
A Mojave rattlesnake hides in some tumbleweeds, only a few feet from a hiking area at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.
Photo from Matthew Williams, Great Basin District
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park 
View of the Borrego Badlands from Fonts Point.
Photo from Michele Hernandez, Colorado Desert District
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park 
A painted lady on a spectacle pod.
Photo from Michele Hernandez, Colorado Desert District
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park 
A Lytta magister, also known as the master blister beetle due to its large size.
Photo from Michele Hernandez, Colorado Desert District
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park 
Top: A desert lily. Bottom: A lone dune primrose surrounded by sand verbena.   
Photo from Michele Hernandez, Colorado Desert District
Pacheco State Park
Wildflowers in bloom.
Photo from Lee Sencenbaugh, Central Valley District
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve
California's state flower is showing off its beauty this spring.  
Photo from Matt Williams, Great Basin District
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve
A panoramic shot of the poppies.
Photo from Matt Williams, Great Basin District
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve
A colorful view at the reserve.  
Photo from Brian Baer, Communications and Marketing Division
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve
Poppy fever is bringing thousands of visitors to the park this week and more are anticipated in the coming weeks.  
Photo from Brian Baer, Communications and Marketing Division
Chino Hills State Park
Golden and albino poppies can be spotted at the park. 
Photo from Monica Stupaczuk, Southern Service Center 
San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area
Castilleja exserta, better known as owl’s clover, blooming at Los Banos Creek.
Photo from Megan Sanchez, Central Valley District
Hearst San Simeon State Park 
Chocolate lilies are a species native to western California and northern Baja California.
It occurs in serpentine soil formations and hillside grassland habitats. It is called a
"chocolate lily" because its flowers resemble the color of chocolate … the taste of chocolate, not so much!

Photo from Justin Olenik, San Luis Obispo Coast District
Los Angeles State Historic Park 
Dark and gloomy clouds approaching the north end of the park.
Photo from Selene Castillo, Angeles District
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park 
On Wednesday, March 27, one hail of a storm cell passed through Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. Lightning illuminated the surrounding hillsides, thunder rolled overhead, and the parking lot was deluged with massive quantities of rain and hail. What a show!
Photo from Jerrie Beard, Gold Fields District
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park 
Another shot of the hailstorm this week that pounded the park.
Photo from Jerrie Beard, Gold Fields District
Calaveras Big Trees State Park 
Representing State Parks in a creative way.
Photo from Devin Swartwood, Central Valley District
Calaveras Big Trees State Park 
Shout out from the team at Calaveras Big Trees State Park.
Photo from Devin Swartwood, Central Valley District
Thank You Email to Mendocino Coast District
Dear Mendocino Parks and Recreation, 
We hope you know how lucky you are to have docent Mary and volunteer Joan at your Mendocino historic preservation location! 
We visited this past weekend and had a very nice whale watching tour with Mary and she did a fabulous job! 
We learned SO much about whales. Mary was interesting, had challenging questions for us, spoke loud enough for everyone to hear, had a great sense of humor and was simply a delight. And Joan made us feel right at home and answered our questions so pleasantly. Great team you have there!! Just want to say thank you for enriching our Mendocino experience!
The Connellys
Rocklin, CA 
Saturday and Sunday, March 30–31
  • Ranch Tours – Wilder Ranch State Park: Discover what life was like a century ago on this innovative dairy ranch. This hour-long tour includes the 1897 Victorian home, 1859 Gothic Revival farmhouse, 1896 water-powered machine shop, barns and other historic buildings. More Information 
Saturday, March 30
  • Community Kayaking Day and Barbecue – Candlestick Point State Recreation Area (SRA): Literacy for Environmental Justice is hosting a community kayak day and barbecue at Jackrabbit Beach at Candlestick Point SRA. More Information
Sunday, March 31
  • The Road Less-traveled: A Dog-friendly Walk – Big Basin Redwoods State Park: On this dog-friendly walk, we travel North Escape Road, a paved road closed to traffic. We tour stunning old-growth redwood groves along beautiful Opal Creek. We will discuss redwood ecology and park history while exploring the deep shade of the redwood forest. More Information 
Saturday, April 6
  • Public Open House: Vaqueros y Bandidos! – Rancho San Andrés Castro Adobe Park Property: Before the cowboys of the Old West, there were the vaqueros of California. Explore a time when cattle ranching was king on the coast, and learn a bit about the Adobe’s historic connection to the infamous local bandit Tiburcio Vasquez. While you’re here, you can check out our traditional vaquero-style saddle and wooden stirrups and even practice a bit of roping with the reata (lasso)! More Information
Saturday, April 6
  • Annual O.A. Tommy Thomas Kids' Fishing Derby – Lake Perris State Recreation Area: Whether you’re new to fishing or you’re a pro, join us for this fun-filled event. Anglers will be on-hand to assist newbies to the sport. More Information
Sunday, April 7
  • Ohlone Plant Use – Big Basin Redwoods State Park: No Safeway? No Home Depot? No pharmacy? How did the Ohlone people survive? Docent Eva Fewel will have plant samples and tools that the local Native Californians used. Learn how they collected, processed and used the local plants. More Information 
Sunday, April 7
  • Sequoia Audubon Trail – Half Moon Bay State Beach: Enjoy an easy 2-mile hike along the California coast into the Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve with popular spots for good bird-watching. Bring water, snacks and binoculars, and wear close-toed shoes, layered clothing and sunscreen. More Information
The Weekly Digest includes a collection of news articles related to the
California Department of Parks and Recreation. The views expressed and opinions do not always reflect that of the department.
California State Parks provides preview of California poppies at Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve: California State Parks is hosting a media day, Tuesday, March 26, at Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve (Poppy Reserve) to inform the public how to view wildflower blooms in a safe and responsible manner. George Thomas, The Government Center Gazette & Van Nuys News Press, 3-25-19 
California State Capitol exhibit - video: The California State Capitol Museum is showcasing the fascinating 150-year history of Sacramento. Part 1 - GoodDay Sacramento, Part 2 – GoodDay Sacramento, CBS Sacramento, KFBK 
Too many superbloom admirers take toll on landscape - video. Dagmar Midcap, NBC San Diego 
Nature experts warn Pasadena wildflower watchers to 'take pictures, don't pick flowers' during super bloom frenzy: A super bloom of wildflowers is emerging in the areas surrounding Pasadena, but nature experts are asking the public to not trample or disturb the native plants. Donna Balancia, Pasadena Now, 3-24-19 
Wildflowers in the East Bay Regional Parks: Just back from a trip to San Diego and Baja California, I can report that the 2019 wildflower season looks like it will be one of the great ones. Ned MacKay, Post News Group, 3-21-19 
5 breathtaking places to view wildflowers this spring: With record-breaking rainfall this winter, this year's wildflower display will be one for the books. Rebecca Parsons, Adventure Sports Network, 3-22-19 
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur remains closed: California State Parks is reminding the public that Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park remains closed due to extensive damage caused by recent storms. Lorraine Dechter, Action News Now and Travel Pulse, 3-24-19 
Spillway camera at Oroville Dam is still out of commission: California State Parks has a webcam that shows viewers the spillway at Oroville Dam. Lorraine Dechter, Action News Now, 3-24-19 
A poaching conspiracy is playing out on Northern California's coastline: Has the succulent decor trend gone too far? Michelle Robertson, SF Gate, 3-22-19 
California State Parks believes Oceano Dunes could be completely closed in a few years: The area where visitors can hang out at the Oceano Dunes has been getting smaller and smaller. Marie Edinger, KMPH, 3-22-19 
Old West Fest on May 18 to replace Spring Festival this year: City of Sonora officials are replacing the annual Spring Festival this year with a new event called the Old West Fest that will be held on May 18 to coincide with the first day of the Sonora Certified Farmers Market.
Alex MacLean, The Union Democrat, 3-21-19
Chico man makes court appearance in friend’s Lake Oroville boating death: A Chico man facing charges in the Lake Oroville boating death of his friend last year appeared in court Thursday but did not immediately enter a plea, according to court documents.
Andre Byik, Enterprise-Record, 3-22-19
Driver dies after vehicle careens off cliff in Mount Tamalpais State Park, CHP says: A driver traveling alone through Mount Tamalpais State Park Saturday morning died after his vehicle went off a cliff, California Highway Patrol officials said. Lauren Hernandez, SF Chronicle, 3-23-19 
Two vessels recovered after one sinks near Seacliff: A 53-foot powerboat being towed near Seacliff sank and crews were working to salvage the vessel throughout the weekend into Monday. Michael Todd, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 3-25-19 
Super bloom visitors land helicopter on flowers, to dismay of officials: Flower lovers are going to new heights to get to this year’s super bloom. Alejandra Reyes-Velarde, LA Times, KTLA, CBS LA, NY Daily News, 3-26-19; Madison Park, CNN, WFMZ, Fox 5 San Diego, PEOPLE, 3-27-19   
Under the influence of a ‘super bloom’: A small town in Southern California is being swarmed by influencers and tourists seeking a rare, poppy-filled photo opportunity.
Zak Stone, NY Times, 3-23-19 
Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve bloom: It's only going to get better: Dense carpets of orange poppies have bloomed along the hillsides and ridges at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster. Mary Forgione, LA Times, 3-26-19 
Dangers rising along with rivers as the heaviest snowpack in recent years melts: Water levels and flows on area rivers are looking similar to conditions in 2017 when there were more than double the water rescues compared to average years. Rosalio Ahumada and Erin Tracy, The Modesto Bee, 3-24-19 
Do wheelchairs belong on hiking trails?: Bob Coomber remembers a moment from 15 years ago like it happened yesterday. Ted Trautman, SF Chronicle, 3-22-19 
Bolsa Chica Dune habitat restoration underway: The Bolsa Chica Conservancy has partnered with California State Parks to restore 10,000 square feet of critical dune habitat and educate the community about the sensitive ecology from the Bolsa Chica Wetlands Ecological Reserve to the Bolsa Chica State Beach across the street. Ashley Ludwig, Patch, 3-26-19 
Photo | A trimaran was pulled to shore after it sank near Seacliff: A trimaran — a triple-hulled sailboat — sank Friday and pulled ashore at the same spot of a powerboat that also sank near Seacliff. Santa Cruz Sentinel, 3-26-19
Creek restoration planned for Pescadero area: The long-awaited restoration project to revitalize threatened and endangered wildlife and reduce flooding in Pescadero took a major step forward earlier this month. Alex Orlando, Half Moon Bay Review, 3-27-19 
Tips for enjoying super bloom 2019 at the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve: As super bloom 2019 continues, poppies are in full bloom at the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, California. Backyard Destinations, 3-27-19 
Couple under investigation for landing helicopter on a poppy rield during California super bloom: “We never thought it would be explicitly necessary to state that it is illegal to land a helicopter in the middle of the fields." Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, The Guardian, KQED, Outside, ABC News, 3-27-19 
Superbloom in southern California - pictures: Visitors look at poppies at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, California, March 26, 2019. Reuters, 2-28-19 
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park visits up thanks to super bloom: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in Borrego Springs is the largest state park in California. Alexandra Rangel, KYMA, 3-21-19  
Happy birthday Columbia: Columbia State Historic Park celebrates 169 years today!
Mark Truppner, myMotherLode, 3-27-19
Anglers pleased with pesticide reduction on the Delta: Bay Area anglers say they are pleased that the California State Parks is drastically reducing the number of sites that are treated with pesticides on the grass and weed-choked Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
Kristin J. Bender, Fox 2, 3-27-19
Super bloom frenzy: Crowds flocking to massive SoCal poppy displays - Video: Spring break crowds are flocking to massive poppy fields in Southern California - including one group of tourists who illegally landed in a field in their own private helicopter.
ABC 7, YouTube, 3-26-19
How to Appreciate a Super Bloom With A Trip To the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve: Many places around Southern California are experiencing not only a bursting of wildflower blooms but also the congestion, traffic and bad human behavior that is an unfortunate byproduct of such a dazzling display of native flora.
That’s It LA
, 3-27-19
Tips for visiting super-bloom sites. And please, don't kill the poppies: Southern California’s super bloom remains in overdrive.
Mary Forgione, LA Times, 3-28-19
17-year-old helps rescue young girls from water near Pismo Beach, officials say: A teenage girl helped pull her sister and another young girl from the waters near the Pismo State Golf Course earlier this week.
, 3-28-19
California Parks And Rec Looking For Volunteers: The California Department of Parks and Recreation is looking for volunteers with a passion for kayaking or paddle boarding to sign up for the SeaLife Stewards program.
Scott Taylor, KVEC, 2-28-19
Lit Trips: Cruise around Big Sur for these literary adventures along the coast: Big Sur isn’t a clearly demarcated space on the map so much as a general location in our collective state of California-dreaming.
Scott Bradfield, LA Times, 3-29-19
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