October 15, 2021

Photo of the Week

Bodie State Historic Park
On Monday, October 11, we had subfreezing temperatures, 25-30 mph winds and about 4 inches of snow. The aftermath on Tuesday was spectacular. The James Stuart Cain House in Bodie, painted with snow and dripping with icicles. It was about 14 degrees in the morning, minus 2 degrees with windchill.
Photo from Hillary Colyer, Sierra District
Channel Coast District Parks Impacted by Alisal Fire; Orange Coast District Reopens Park Units After Oil Spill Incident
Story from: Jorge Moreno, Communications and Marketing Division, and Dena Bellman, Channel Coast District
The Alisal Fire near Refugio State Beach on Monday night (October 11). The fire had started earlier in the day and quickly spread. Photos from Greg Martin, Channel Coast District. 
Several California state park units in the Channel Coast District were closed this week due to the Alisal Fire that began on Monday (October 11), about 20 miles northwest of Santa Barbara in Refugio Canyon and exploded in size over the past five days due to the gusty winds. El Capitán and Refugio State Beaches and Gaviota State Park were closed and will remain closed through October 24 while fire personnel utilize them for staging, housing and access. State Parks is working closely with CAL FIRE and other public safety agencies to actively monitor and evaluate fire conditions and park closures when needed.
The Alisal Fire has burned almost 17,000 acres but the good news is that it reached 41% containment Thursday night as fire personnel were able to run air drops all day yesterday and will continue to do so as weather permits. More than 8 million people in the Santa Barbara area are under a red flag warning and an air quality watch was issued by the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.
As the fire intensified, there were close calls with the water treatment plant for El Capitán and Refugio State Beaches, the office complex and residences. Fortunately, these locations were spared and remain in operation. There are still some areas of coastal terrace affected, including portions of Gaviota State Park and Refugio State Beach. Staff is still assessing the impacts.
A huge thank you to Channel Coast District facilities and visitor services staff who are at work 24 hours a day keeping the generators fueled and running, keeping the park facilities operating for fire crews and helping to keep the parks safe. Resource staff is doing a fantastic job integrating with Fire Planning Teams to strategize the best process to fight the fire while protecting resources. The Channel Coast District support behind the scenes has been steadfastassuring their communication is clear, meaningful and effective; and expediting administrative processes allowing them to effect emergency decisions integral to their success and to carry out their mission in this emergency incident. 
Southern California Oil Spill Incident
The Unified Command, local, state, federal and entities, and volunteers continue to respond to the coastal oil spill in Orange and San Diego Counties. A positive note for this week has been the full reopening of beaches in Orange County. The City of Huntington Beach and State Parks announced the reopening of city and state beaches on Monday, October 11. The joint decision to reopen them was the result of coastal ocean and wetlands water quality testing results that showed non-detectable amounts of oil associated toxins in our ocean water (view press release).  
Currently, state park units in the San Diego Coast District remain open. State Parks continues to work with Unified Command on assessing any impacts. 
As beach assessment and cleanup operations continue in Orange and San Diego Counties, the public can expect to see cleanup crews equipped in protective gear, monitoring, inspecting and cleaning the beaches.
With the reopening of the state park units, State Parks reminds everyone to utilize caution when visiting the beaches. Beachgoers are advised to avoid areas where an oil smell is present. Further, officials expect to see oiled materials and tar balls wash up on the beach, and individuals are advised not to handle or ingest any oil materials. Any sightings of oil or tar balls on beaches can be reported to tarballreports@wildlife.ca.gov
Thanks to the public for their cooperation and patience. For the latest information on the oil spill incident, please visit www.SoCalSpillResponse.com.
For additional resources, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/Incidents
Photo 1: Water Treatment Plant Supervisor David Flora starting pump to provide additional pressure for fire hoses on Monday night at Refugio State Beach (SB). Photo 2: First incident command post for the Alisal Fire at the entrance of Refugio SB. Photo 3: The fire near the administrative complex at Refugio SB. Photo 4: Smoke begins to cover the sun on the first day of the Alisa Fire at the day-use parking lot at Refugio SB. Photos from Greg Martin, Channel Coast District. 
Email photos to the WeeklyDigest@parks.ca.gov.
Click here to submit your articles and photos for the Weekly Digest
California State Park Canine Foundation: Helping K-9s During Retirement 
Story from: Sasha Wessitsh, Capital District
K-9 tracking into the sunset at Prairie City State Vehicular Recreation Area. Photo from Briana Kennedy-Feldhaus, Monterey District. 
If you have worked for California State Parks for any length of time, you probably know that we have teams of officers and K-9s that work in many of our parks. From reservoirs and historic sites to beaches and off-highway vehicle parks, there are currently 19 K-9 teams that work tirelessly to ensure our visitors and fellow staff are safe in our parks.
The K-9 program started over 50 years ago in 1969 with K-9 Sam in Big Sur and has grown to what it is today: teams with specialized training serving through patrol, deterrence, apprehension, narcotics or explosives detection, and interpretation, both formally through programs and informally while out on patrol every day. K-9s reside with their handlers and generally work together for about eight years before health reasons dictate the patrol dog’s retirement.
So what happens to the K-9s when they retire?
Ownership of the K-9 is transferred from the state to the handler, who then assumes all financial responsibility for the furry retired state worker. While the K-9 worked for the state, they were athletes: repeatedly running down suspects, jumping into vehicles, searching for drugs and bombs in varied weather and terrain, and their food and veterinary expenses were covered by the state. Retired K-9s typically have costly medical issues, and these hard workers don’t receive a pension.
Along comes the California State Park Canine Foundation (CSPK9). CSPK9 is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps educate the public on the benefits of police service dogs in state parks and the surrounding communities. With monies raised from donations, online purchases and fundraising events, they also provide financial assistance for veterinary care for retired K-9s and fund the purchase of interpretive resources such as trading cards for active K-9 teams. Some handlers snap their own photos while others partner with local photographers, such as Karen Chow of Sacramento. Karen has a love and appreciation for the K-9 teams and has donated numerous hours to take photos of K-9s for their trading cards, which are then paid for by the Canine Foundation.
For more information on the foundation, visit their websiteThe foundation would like for you to know that they are one of the entities in the 2021 Our Promise: California State Employees Giving at Work campaign. The 2021 campaign ends on Nov. 12, 2021.
Top left: Patriotic K-9 Rex. Photo from Alex Lucero, Gold Fields District. Right: K-9 Pedra's and K-9 Bodie's birthday celebration. Photo from Daniel Grant, San Luis Obispo Coast District. Bottom left: K-9 Rex on boat patrol. Photo from Alex Lucero, Gold Fields District.
Left: K-9 Ben's trading card. Backside of card has information about K-9 Ben and his handler Sasha Wessitsh, Capital District. Right: K-9 Chase ready for work. Photo from Brian Lane, San Diego Coast District. 
Bay Area District Interpretive Program in Sonoma Draws to a Close

Story and photos from: Dave Duplantier, Bay Area District

Getting a “thumbs up” on fire ecology learnings.
The successful summer interpretive program series came to an end at the recent Sonoma’s Tuesday Night Market in the Sonoma Plaza. The goal was to focus on education and experience at our local state parks, using a variety of techniques, exhibits and hands-on programs.
The exhibits and activities included a snake display where kids could create their own colorful snakes; a tule boat exhibit, which included an actual tule boat donated by a local Pomo band; the opportunity to build your own scale boat, complete with a portable lake (a tub) to see if it floats; exhibits, including “Bat Night,” “Birds and Build Your Own Bird Nest” and “Fire Ecology”; and information about wild animals with pelts, pictures and replica skulls on display—always popular with attendees. Our local mascot, Sonomie Bear, was regularly in attendance to greet visitors with a smile.
According to the farmer’s market event manager, the State Parks exhibits and activities are always a “big hit with the kids and adults, too!” We look forward to next year’s farmer’s market to keep furthering California State Parks' mission. 
Top left: Kids hard at work constructing their own craft after learning about Native American tule boats. Right: Sonomie Bear helping out at the Fire Ecology exhibit. Bottom left: Kids checking out the wildlife table.
Tales of the Roundhouse Annual Event at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park
Story and photos from: Jackie Olavarria, Central Valley District
Visitors get a nighttime steam train ride at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park.
The Tales of the Roundhouse, sponsored by the California State Railroad Museum Foundation, is an annual interpretive event held at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park—this year's event took place September 24 and 25. The lantern-lit event, which first began in 2016, has quickly become a popular community experience.
Visitors were led on a "haunted" tour of the historic roundhouse at dusk. Along the way, they heard the real life-and-death tales of past railroad workers and passengers who lost their lives in ghastly accidents, gruesome train wrecks and sometimes by cold-blooded murder. Dedicated volunteers portrayed various people from the railroad’s long history, bringing life to their stories. Some of the railroad equipment involved in these tragic accidents are still preserved on the property as part of the park's vast collection.
After the walking tour, attendees were treated to a nighttime steam train ride behind one of Railtown’s historic steam locomotives, Sierra No. 28, while learning about railroad superstition and lore. A dimly lit 1920s coach car, sounds of the steam engine and stories of the past provided the visitors with a special experience. 
Left: Visitors hear nighttime tales at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. Right: View during the nighttime stream train ride. 
Coloma Gold Rush Live Returns at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
Story from: Jerrie Beard, Gold Fields District
More than 140 volunteers signed up to work this year's Coloma Gold Rush Live. (Not everyone pictured.) Photo from Holly Thane, Gold Fields District.
Coloma Gold Rush Live came back to life at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park Friday, October 8, to Sunday, October 10. This annual event transforms the park into an 1850s-era tent town complete with miners, merchants, laundresses, a claims office and bakers and boarding houses, not to mention a saloon, candy store and barbecue. For three days, visitors can step back in time and learn what it was like to be in Coloma during the Gold Rush. 
Coloma Gold Rush Live was on hiatus last year due to concerns over COVID-19. As this year progressed and restrictions began to ease, staff became hopeful that circumstances would allow the hosting of the event in 2021. In June a date was set, and staff began soliciting volunteers. The response was overwhelming. When volunteer registration closed, we had over 140 participants registered, the largest number ever.
Staff was still unsure whether the event would happen; however, Acting District Superintendent Barry Smith was ever optimistic and gave staff the thumbs up.
The entire prior week was consumed with creating tent town—raising tents and canvases, moving barrels and furniture, placing brick fire areas and setting the saloon bar top. By late Thursday afternoon, volunteers were trickling in to set up their campsites, and staff were high-fiving each other on a job well done. All that was needed were the visitors … and they did not disappoint!
Expectations were that Friday would be a wind-up day, with a few school groups coming through and perhaps some of the general public. Boy, were we surprised when at 10 a.m. traffic was backed up on Highway 49 as cars lined up to get into the parking lot. Tent town was hopping all day with school groups and homeschool pods all eager to experience the sights and sounds of the Gold Rush. The barbecue and candy store—both run by the Gold Discovery Park Association, the cooperating association for the park—were busy all day and essentially sold out everything that was purchased for the weekend.
Saturday and Sunday proved to be just as busy. Profits for the association more than doubled over previous years and everyone appeared to be enjoying the chance to get out and participate in the event, including Barry Smith, who finally was able to shed his ranger uniform and don period attire, making his appearance as a local fruit grower and vintner.
Coloma Gold Rush Live breathed new life into the park and into our living history program. We look forward to more such events. 
Top left (left to right): Gold Fields District Superintendent Barry Smith, "Double Fist," Volunteer Coordinator Jerrie Beard, Interpreter I Holly Thane and "Monterey Jack." Top right: Susan Zito churning butter like they used to back in the Gold Rush days. Bottom left: Free wagon rides for visitors. Bottom middle: Barry Smith transformed into a vintner and local fruit grower for the event, wearing a real beaver hat! Bottom right: Troy Dunham, the local "doctor," showing visitors his medicine cabinet and surgical tools. Photos from Adeline Yee, Communications and Marketing Division.
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Recognized for Keeping Boaters Safe During Operation Dry Water Campaign
Story from: Shelley Gesicki, Communications and Marketing Division
Deputy Eric Blackard of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department (right) receives the 2021 Operation Dry Water Top Agency award from the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). Darren Rider, Tennessee boating law administrator and NASBLA awards chair, presented the award. 
California State Parks, its Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) and more than 40 law enforcement entities across California participated in a nationwide campaign, Operation Dry Water over the Independence Day holiday weekend. For the 12th-straight year, the goal of the campaign was to reduce the number of alcohol and drug-related accidents and fatalities and educate water enthusiasts about the deadly consequences of boating under the influence (BUI) through outreach and safety education both on and off the water. Statewide law enforcement agencies increased patrols and carried out BUI checkpoints over this weekend, known for being one of the deadliest holidays for accidents.
This past September, one of those agencies, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, was recently recognized for making a positive impact on boating under the influence and was awarded the 2021 Operation Dry Water Top Agency award by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. Over the course of the Operation Dry Water three-day heightened enforcement weekend, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deployed three officers and made 17 BUI arrests.
Parks California’s ParkSpeak Series Features Humboldt Lagoons State Park in Virtual Guided Tour
Story from: Douglas Johnson, Communications and Marketing Division
ParkSpeak, a guided virtual tour series from Parks California, is scheduled to feature Humboldt Lagoons State Park (SP) on Thursday, October 21. In partnership with the Yurok Tribe and Humboldt Lagoons State Park, Parks California will host a virtual, guided tour through Stone Lagoon (Chah-pekw O’Ket’-toh), one of four lagoons in the park. This event will celebrate the joint operating agreement between the Yurok Tribe and California State Parks-North Coast Redwoods District. 
On Tuesday, October 19, at 11 a.m., there will be a Facebook Live Sneak Peek of the tour. Then on Thursday the virtual tour will begin at noon and last for an hour. Along the way, participants will hear from Yurok Tribal Leaders and learn about the Yurok Tribe’s rich culture and history.
Humboldt Lagoons SP lies on the sandy, windswept edge of ocean and forest. Formed by the clash of two tectonic plates, it is part of the largest lagoon system in the United States. Forty miles north of Eureka, the park includes Big Lagoon, Stone Lagoon and Freshwater Lagoon, as well as Dry Lagoon, which is now a marsh, bordered by dunes, forests, prairies and coastal scrub. With such varied habitats, wildlife thrives inside the park.
The ParkSpeak series features a different set of speakers who share special stories from each park. Email Parks California to give input on which state park you want to explore next.
For more information and to register for the Humboldt Lagoons State Park event, click here.
To view current job openings within California State Parks, please visit our jobs webpage at www.LiveTheParksLife.com.
State Parks Job Spotlights and Open Exams
California State Parks has many exciting and rewarding job and exam opportunities for you to explore!
State Park Interpreter I: Apply-by dates vary
Tell our story! Share the cultural, historical and natural significance of our precious resources with park visitors. There are four current openings for State Park Interpreter I positions throughout California State Parks.
Locations: Fresno, Humboldt, Los Angeles and Marin Counties
Earn: $4,276–$5,354 per month
Minimum requirements:
  • One-year experience in research and development of historical or natural resources programs.
  • A degree with major work in interpretation, social sciences, natural sciences, communications or any closely related field.
Groundskeeper: Apply by Oct. 19, 2021
We have an exciting opportunity in our Facility Management Program of Sonoma State Historic Park! As a Groundskeeper, you’ll lead seasonal maintenance staff in landscaping, maintenance, mowing, weed eating, erosion control and road and trail maintenance.
Location: Sonoma State Historic Park (Sonoma County)
Earn: $3,176–$4,142 per month
Minimum requirements:
  • One year of experience in flower gardening and general maintenance work or have completed a vocational or education program in flower gardening, maintenance, ornamental horticulture or landscaping.
Associate Park and Recreation Specialist: Apply by Oct. 19, 2021 
The Associate Park and Recreation Specialist in the Office of Competitive Review will review grant applications and recommend funding for programs like the Statewide Park Program, Outdoor Equity Program, Rural Recreation and Tourism Program, and the Regional Park Program. Those on the Park and Recreation Specialist eligibility list or those eligible to lateral may also be considered for this exciting position!
Location: Headquarters (Sacramento County)
Earn: $5,913–$7,402 per month
Minimum requirements:
  • A degree in environmental or urban planning, public administration, recreation, park management or a natural resource-related field.
  • Three years of experience in park planning and implementation of outdoor recreation programs.
Seasonal Aides: Apply by dates vary
We have more than 20 part-time/seasonal openings throughout California State Parks. With no exam needed, apply for our park interpretive specialist, park aide, maintenance aide, senior maintenance aide or forestry aide openings today!
Locations: Various through California
Earn: $15.68–$21 per hour
Special requirements:
  • Varies between no previous experience to two years of experience.
  • Some positions may also require a valid California driver’s license.
Interested in learning more about job opportunities and exams? Join the Workforce Planning and Recruitment Office mailing list hereQuestions? Email us at recruiting@parks.ca.gov.
Style time! Here are this week's tips to help spread the word about our departmentwide style guidelines:
  • measurement: Use numerals for inches, feet, yards, etc., to indicate depth, height, length and width. Examples: The branch is 6 inches long. She is standing three feet from the squirrel.
  • everyday/every day: Whether to use one word or two depends on how it is being used. Use one word “everyday” if used as an adjective meaning “ordinary” or “typical”; e.g., Her visit to the park is an everyday occurrence. Use two words “every day” if used as an adverb meaning “daily” or “every weekday”; e.g., “They go to get coffee every day.”
  • K-9: Hyphenate. 
Keeping a consistent writing style ensures the Weekly Digest looks and sounds its best. Each week, the Communications and Marketing Division reviews submitted articles for proper grammar and punctuation and style consistency––from capitalization and hyphenation to proper acronyms and active/passive voice­­ usage. In general, we follow the Associated Press style and Merriam-Webster, but at times we use our own department-specific style.
We always welcome your feedback on how to “Live the Parks Life” in (writing) style. Connect with us via email at weeklydigest@parks.ca.gov
Humboldt Redwoods State Park
In the United States, National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15 because many Latin-American countries achieved independence from Spanish colonization during this time. Let's celebrate the achievements and contributions of the Latin American community in this country by exploring the outdoors!
Humboldt Redwoods State Park is yours to enjoy, explore and protect. Celebrate your Hispanic heritage by going out with your family and exploring trails with the tallest trees in the worldthe coastal redwoods! Watch the video above or click here to hear Interpreters Erika Granadino and Natalia Sojka, as they celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and describe the beauty of the park.  
Video from California State Parks
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
State Park Peace Officers (Rangers) Tom Fagan and Kerrie Launey work the Coloma Gold Rush Live 2021 event at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park.
Photo from Adeline Yee, Communications and Marketing Division
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
Since the annual fourth grade Coloma trip didn't happen last year due to the pandemic, we decided to take our kids to Coloma Gold Rush Live 2021 to allow them to experience a bit of California history.
Top photo: Back row (left to right): Interpreter I Holly Thane, Kristi Ng, Information Officer Adeline Yee, Gold Fields District Superintendent Barry Smith and Volunteer Coordinator Jerrie Beard. Front row: Erin and Kailee. Bottom left: Posing with the cannon brigade just minutes after they fired the cannon. Bottom middle: Kailee holding a skunk pelt. Bottom right: Kailee and Erin with "Monterey Jack" and "Double Fist."
Photos from Adeline Yee, Communications and Marketing Division
Bolsa Chica State Beach
Orange Coast District staff has been instrumental in keeping the public informed and safe while cleanup crews removed oil and tar balls from the Orange Coast District park units recently impacted by the oil spill in Orange County. 
Left to right: Orange Coast District North Sector Senior Park Aide Garrett Adriano and State Park Peace Officer Sergeant Nicholas Sterrenburg, and Orange Coast District Social Media Coordinator Michelle Figueroa in front of the visitor center. 
Photo from Jorge Moreno, Communications and Marketing Division
San Francisco Fleet Week
San Francisco Fleet Week is a multiagency event, with a countless number of boats on the water and thousands of people on the shoreline around the San Francisco Bay. State Parks peace officers from the Central Valley and Bay Area Districts assisted the U.S. Coast Guard and local law enforcement and fire department agencies with the annual Fleet Week air show, held this year on October 8 and 9. Officers were tasked with maintaining a safety perimeter in the San Francisco Bay to give pilots the ability to perform aerobatics without interference from watercraft. 
Top: Officer Goodwin Pompa (Central Valley District), Officer Nicholas Streit (Bay Area District) and the Blue Angelsnote all the boats in the background. Bottom right (left to right): Central Valley District Officer Pompa, Sgt. Steve Barber and Officer Levi Pior.  Bottom left: U.S. Coast Guard and the Patriots flight crew. 
Photos from Levi Pior, Central Valley District 
Railtown 1897 State Historic Park
 Student Engineer Barbara Roerick, Conductor Lara Huston and Brakeman Alexa Melvile made up the crew for Railroad Operations on Sunday, October 3, when Railtown staff and volunteers wore pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Photo from Gail Pollard, Volunteer, Central Valley District
California State Railroad Museum
This is a clean machine, thanks to Museum Custodian Sheila Aldrich (right) and Park Interpretive Specialist Taylor Moore (left). The million-pound No. 4294 Cab Forward is the only one of its kind left in the world, so it attracts a devoted following here at the California State Railroad Museum. Our custodial team dusts and inspects the tops of all the equipment in the museum on a rotating schedule. Sheila and Taylor are perched on a scissor lift to get to the hard-to-reach areas. They are careful not to scratch the surface of the engine during the process.
Photos from Debbie Hollingsworth, Capital District
Bolsa Chica State Beach
Glorious moment by the beach.
Photo from Nathan Barrett, Orange Coast District
San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area
Catch of the day: Osprey and its catch.
Photo from Lee Sencenbaugh, Central Valley District
Bay Area District 
A northern Saw-wet owl. 
Photo from Naftali Moed, Bay Area District
Castle Rock State Park
Here's a solifugae, also known as a camel spidereven though it isn’t a spider, but it is an arachnida. If you want to find this friendly bug-eater, come visit the Kirkwood parking lot.
Photo from Lucas Dickey, Santa Cruz District
Sunset State Beach
Pink reflections at the beach. 
Photo from Kelley Mooneyham, Camp Host in Santa Cruz District
Gaviota State Park
Top photos: Smoke seen from the Gaviota Pier on Wednesday afternoon (October 13). Bottom photos: Half a mile east of Mariposa Reina near La Canada San Onofre and Canada de las Zorrillas along Highway 101 on Wednesday afternoon.
Photo from Parker Grand, Channel Coast District
Near Picacho State Recreation Area
The Clipp Fire got within 1/4 mile of Picacho State Recreation Area, along the Colorado River. Fire has been contained. Top left: State Park Peace Officer (Ranger) Tim Hayden and Mechanic Bill Cardinal. They were the first Public Safety Unit on scene assessing. Cardinal came along to assist with navigation over the sandbars since river was low. Top right: Clipp Fire from Taylor Lake; photo taken while making way to assess fire. Bottom right: Clipp Fire at Outpost during overnight fire watch; difficult to see but Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife fire units on boats near fire. Bottom left: Clipp Fire from 4S.
Photos from Andrew Ahlberg, Ocotillo Wells District
Bodie State Historic Park
 The aftermath of Monday's, October 11, storm left a spectacular view of the buildings at the historic park the following day. Top:The hills of Bodie's mining district and the abandoned houses of the town covered with about 4 inches of snow, with drifts of up to a foot. Bottom left: Wind-driven snow falling on Green Street in Bodie late Monday afternoon. The snow started a little after 8 a.m. and continued intermittently into the night. Bottom right: This Tuesday morning shot of Bodie's Boone Store and Warehouse on Main Street shows it all: icicles, snow splatter, drifts and the reflection of even more snow!
Photos from Hillary Colyer, Sierra District
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
One of the bathrooms at the Stonewall Mine. It’s amazing what a change of perspective can do when looking at something familiar. 
Photo from Michele Hernandez, Colorado Desert District
Sonoma Coast State Park
Rainbow over Wright’s Beach.
Photo from Alexander Ramm, Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District
Interpreters Erika Granadino and Erin Gates Receive Kudos for Their Thoughtful and Engaging Work 
Hi Victor [Bjelajac, North Coast Redwoods District Superintendent], 
I live in Colorado, but also spend a lot of time in the Northern California redwood forests.  I visited twice this year.  I have been a member of Save the Redwoods League for many years.
When I was in the Women's grove -Humboldt County in July, Erika Granadino was there explaining the "herstory" of the grove and the incredible efforts of the women of that time to save these majestic forests.  Her story was so so engaging and we learned a lot about the herstory.   I bought the book she recommended to learn even more.  Her talk was incredibly interesting and it was very refreshing to hear her tell the real story of native genocide and other "swept under the rug" issues that lack telling in our history.  Her partner that day was a local also and had a ton of great information to share.  She is a heroine to your forests and a truly nice and genuine person.  
The second time I visited was more recently.  I was on a hike with Save the Redwoods League.  Erin Gates was the interpreter on this hike.  She presented the extra hard and thoughtful work of the park crew during the building of Grove of Titans trail.  She engaged the spiritual pieces of me as she spoke of reverence and respect for the forest and all the beings within it, then asked for a moment of silence.  Some children happened along while we were in our group hiking.  Erin's interactions with these children touched my heart.  She also taught the children respect for staying on the trails and for the forest, gently taught, of course.
I am happy that the League is partnering with the Calif. State Parks system to bring this education to the public.  I hope there will be even more of this type of programming in the future.  I do believe that an educated public will have more respect and reverence for our environment and will help to educate and protect it.
Thanks much
Anne Tully
Caldor Fire Firefighters Pay a Visit to Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
Story from: Jerrie Beard, Gold Fields District
Left to right: Thumbs-up from Caldor Fire Firefighter Dan Herschel, Maintenance Chief Patrick Metcalf, Acting District Superintendent Barry Smith and Caldor Fire Firefighter Richard Shelton. Photo from Richard Shelton, Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.
A few weeks ago, a couple of firefighters who were working the Caldor Fire stopped by Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. It just so happened that Gold Fields District Acting District Superintendent Barry Smith was here that day and he corralled them into a tour of the carpenter shop (shocking, I know!). They enjoyed themselves so much that they recently sent the following thank you:
Good Afternoon Mr. Smith and Mr. [Patrick] Metcalf,
It’s been a bit since we last met for the first time in your area while I was deployed for the Caldor fire last month.  I was back for a couple days and then sent to the Windy Fire and have just returned.  I hope that you both are doing well.
I told myself that I needed to email you both and THANK YOU again for the tour of your workshop and area!  The firefighter I was with and I are still talking about it and am looking forward to coming back.  Hopefully on one, if not both of those events you told us about that are coming up.  I also included the pictures that were taken in case you wish to have a copy.  I hope to cross paths again, without fire, and look forward to enjoying my time there in your backyard with my family.  Best wishes to you, and if there is anything that I can do for you, please do not hesitate to contact me.  And if you ever find yourself down in our neck of woods, please do not hesitate to contact me.
—Richard Shelton, Senior Station Captain, Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority in Calabasas, CA 
Firefighters from Strike Team 1279F, a Type 6 patrol team with the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority in Calabasas helped fight the recent Caldor Fire for two weeks. After their deployment, they paid a visit to Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park on September 13. One of the firefighters loves to check out post offices wherever he goes, so they made it a point to visit Coloma because of its historic post office. Photo from Richard Shelton, Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.
Fun fact: The first official post office in El Dorado County was established in John Little’s store in Coloma on Nov. 8, 1849, by the Post Office Department in Washington, D.C. The post office moved around town over the years, residing in at least half a dozen other stores/buildings before it settled in the current building in 1949. 
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.
State Parks Commission approves Auburn State Recreation Area General Plan: Despite the concerns over increased fire risk for the surrounding communities, the California State Parks and Recreation Commission voted unanimously to adopt a general plan for the Auburn State Recreation Area last week. Traci Newell, Gold Country Media, 10-8-21
Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park rededication to honor African American history: Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park and organization, Friends of Allensworth held a rededication event in celebration of African American history. Taylor Levesque, ABC 23, 10-9-21
Chino Hills State Park expands under newly signed legislation: Governor Gavin Newsom today signed State Senator Josh Newman’s (D-Fullerton) legislation to expand Chino Hills State Park through the acquisition of three privately owned properties. Orange County Breeze, 10-9-21
Snowy plovers, already a threatened bird, are caught up in Orange County oil spill: Life was never easy for the Pacific Coast’s western snowy plover. Robin Estrin, LA Times, 10-9-21
O.C. oil spill: Huntington Beach reopens beaches: City and state beaches in Huntington Beach reopened at 6 a.m. Monday morning, the city and California State Parks announced in a statement. Christina Pascucci, KTLA US NewsOC Register and LA Times, 10-10-21; Fresno Bee and MSN, 10-11-2021
Newsom signs bill allowing Chino Hills State Park expansion: After several attempts, a bill that clears the way for the first expansion of Chino Hills State Park in 15 years has become law. Steve Scauzillo, Daily Bulletin, 10-11-21
O.C. oil spill now being investigated by state Department of Justice: As local beaches reopen, officials say they’re launching multiple probes into what happened and efforts to prevent such a disaster from happening again. Brooke Staggs and Alicia Robinson, The OCR, 10-11-21
Free decontamination stations installed to clean oil-covered boats following Huntington Beach spill: Officials are setting up free decontamination stations to clean the dozens of boats that got covered in oil from last weekend’s Huntington Beach spill. CBS LA, 10-11-21
Beaches reopen in Huntington Beach, Newport Beach as oil spill investigations pledged: Surfing is back on in Surf City. Matt Szabo, Daily Pilot and CBS (Los Angeles), 10-11-21
Alisal Fire forces evacuations, shuts down portion of Highway 101 in Southern California: Hundreds of firefighters are battling a brush fire that sparked west of Santa Barbara, forced evacuations and shut down a portion of Highway 101, CBS Los Angeles reports. CBS News and CNN, 10-12-21
Map: Alisal Fire evacuations in Santa Barbara County: The Alisal Fire, which was discovered Monday afternoon, has forced evacuations in Santa Barbara County and the closure of Highway 101. The Mercury News, 10-12-21
State Parks reinstalls snowy plover fencing at Oceano Dunes after ‘dismayed’ reaction: California State Parks has replaced fencing surrounding 300 acres of habitat for endangered and threatened birds at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, a little more than a week after removing it. Mackenzie Shuman, The Tribune, 10-12-21
Top 7 state parks to visit in California this fall: California is home to over 200 state parks! Travel Off Path, 10-12-21
Mount Diablo State Park Centennial Celebration on Saturday, October 16, 2021: This year Mount Diablo State Park turns 100. Sierra Sun Times, 10-12-21
Lake Tahoe water level hits four-year low as drought pummels tourist spot: Lake Tahoe’s water level dropped to a four-year low on Tuesday as gusty winds and the impacts of California’s devastating drought hit the popular tourist destination. Dani Anguiano, The Guardian and San Francisco Chronicle, 10-12-21
PG&E warns of another power shut-off affecting up to 29,000 customers; Santa Ana winds continue to pick up: Cleanup efforts are underway after powerful winds swept through Southern California Monday night, toppling trees, stirring up dust storms and causing power shut-offs for thousands. Laura Anaya-Morga, LA Times and San Francisco Chronicle, 10-12-21
The O.C. oil spill could have been a much bigger disaster. Here is what went right: As oil began washing up on the shores of Huntington Beach early Sunday, officials were preparing for a worst-case scenario.  Hannah Fry and Robin Estrin, LA Times, 10-12-21
Alisal Fire in California shuts down Highway 101, prompts evacuations in Santa Barbara County: The Alisal Fire exploded to about 6,000 acres in less than 24 hours. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 10-13-21
‘The Perfect Storm:’ Alisal Fire in Santa Barbara County explodes to 14,500 acres: Firefighters Wednesday were continuing to battle a growing brush fire which sparked west of Santa Barbara, threatened homes and shut down a portion of Highway 101. CBS LA and Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 10-13-21
Extinction’s Edge: biologists continue to find zero Delta smelt in Sacramento-San Joaquin waterways: For the fifth September in a row, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has caught zero Delta smelt in its Fall Midwater Trawl Survey of Northern California’s Delta. Once the most abundant fish on the entire estuary, the species is now near extinction in the wild, although U.C. Davis continues to raise the fish in a captive breeding program. Dan Bacher, Sacramento News & Review, 10-13-21
Alisal fire in California has prompted evacuations, road and Amtrak closures, and the heavy winds are making it hard to tame: California firefighters are battling flames and strong winds as they tackle the Alisal Fire, which has already shut down a section of the iconic Highway 101 and Amtrak lines in Santa Barbara County. Aya Elamroussi and Joe Sutton, CNN, 10-13-21
Alisal fire threatens homes and burns more than 13,000 acres. 101 Freeway remains closed: A fast-moving brush fire that broke out Monday afternoon north of Santa Barbara, burning more than 13,000 acres and shutting down the 101 Freeway, had firefighters on the defensive for much of the day Tuesday. Lila Seidman, Hayley Smith, and Gregory Yee; LA Times, 10-13-21
This summer was California's driest on record in more than 100 years, here's what that means: In another alarming measure of California’s historic drought, the summer months this year were the state’s driest on record since 1895, when data on the government’s standard drought index began. Danielle Echeverria and Yoohyun Jung, San Francisco Chronicle, 10-13-21
The drought in California this summer was the worst on record: The West's historic, multi-year drought is threatening water supply, food production and electricity generation. Rachel Ramirez, CNN, 10-14-21
State Parks wants to block off more of Oceano Dunes for dust mitigation. Here’s where: The San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District hearing board on Thursday discussed a California State Parks plan to set aside more of Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area for dust mitigation measures. Mackenzie Shuman, The Modesto Bee, 10-14-21
Alisal Fire evacuation zones expanded as fire grows to 16,801 acres: Thursday-Morning Update: Winds Have Calmed Down but Santa Anas Coming. Nick Welsh, Santa Barbara Independent, 10-14-21             
‘Hwy 101 is open!’ Road reopens through nearby wildfire continues to burn: Weary travelers can rejoice: Highway 101 from Gaviota to Santa Barbara is once again open, though the wildfire that prompted its closure continues to rage nearby. Kaytlyn Leslie, The Sacramento Bee, 10-14-21
Alisal Fire damages landfill, park properties along Gaviota Coast: Highway 101 and railroad tracks reopen along the Gaviota Coast Thursday after fire-related closures Jade Martinez-Pogue, Noozhawk, 10-14-21
Chino Hills State Park is slated to expand by 1,530 acres: Chino Hills State Park — a 14,000-acre urban wilderness park at the juncture of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties — is set to grow by roughly 1,530 acres, more than 10% of the park’s acreage. Angelica Hicks, Voice of OC, 10-15-21
More than $80M in government funds to help flooding in California: The California Natural Resources Agency awarded a total of $87.6 million to 26 projects that employ a mix of traditional and green infrastructure solutions to alleviate urban flooding. The Construction Specifier, 10-15-21
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