Important Communities Preparedness Open House Sept. 22 in Lake Arrowhead! GO!!!!!!

NewspaperMountain residents…..do you know which emergency preparedness and other important services are available in the San Bernardino Mountain communities? If not, you need to be at the annual Mountain Communities emergency Preparedness Open House and Town Hall Forum that is set for September 22. This important event can provide invaluable help to all mountain area residents. This important event will be held  from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa. Even if you attended this important community event last year you need to go again to get updates and new information that could help in an emergency situation.

Among the events there will be presentations by the National Weather Service, the U.S. Forest Service and San Bernardino County Public Works. This event is one of those that at least a representative from each family should attend. Learning about how to take care of a family or families during and following a disaster. No one wants to think about what could happen but the reality is that earthquakes, fires and other natural disasters can, and do occur all the time.

This annual event will include information that literally has the possibility of saving lives. The first 150 families who attend will receive a free emergency preparedness kit. Come and meet and talk with over 20 exhibitors and meet and talk with emergency responders and volunteers. This is a “learning event” and it is being offered (once again) in our local Rim of the World communities.

While it’s not easy to do the time to start preparing for a potential disaster is before it happens. Trying to plan for a disaster after it happens doesn’t do much good.

Come! Attend this event! You’ll come away with new ideas to help protect your family, your home and other information that truly can be lifesaving. Remember, what you learned last year may or may not be “up to date” and if you didn’t attend a previous open house you need to attend this upcoming one.

Wouldn’t it be fabulous if Mother Nature could send out an e-mail to everyone around the world that a disaster is one the way? We would know when it would happen, where it would happen and how it would happen. We would all know what is coming…but that’s not reality. Don’t be caught. Be as prepared for  potential disaster as much as you can be. You’ll sleep better at night knowing that you have, at least, done what you can do to protect yourself, your family and perhaps your property.

For more information contact the San Bernardino County Fire Office of Emergency Services at (909) 356-3998.

 

Sunday: August 23: Summit Fire Burning in Big Bear

Thank you to Laura Dyberg, head of the  Mountain Rim Fire Safe Council,  for her information on the Summit Fire which is burning in U.S. Forest Service property south of Big Bear Lake. The fire was reported at 12;25 p.m.today and it has burned approximately 10 acres. The fire is burning with moderate spread into heavy fuels (large trees, ect.). There are mandatory evacuations for the area from Knickerbocker Road east to Georgia Road and south to Pennsylvania Road.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and it was reported at 12;25 p.m. The fire is burning south of the Snow Summit Ski Resort and it has burned, to this early update, from 20 to 25 acres in brush and timber.

Update: Fire units on scene or those who are supplying help in some way include Cal Fire, Big Bear Fire Department, Running Springs Fire Department, Arrowbear Lake Fire Department and assistance from the California Highway Patrol and the San Bernardino Fire Department.

 

Forest Service: Seen Any Flying Squirrels Lately?

If you’ve seen any flying squirrels recently the U.S. Forest Service would like to hear from you. The San Bernardino flying squirrel is a subspecies of the northern flying squirrel (it must have decided to move where the weather was warmer). Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

The squirrels are only known to be from the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains although it has not been seen in the San Jacinto Mountains for about 20 years.

Flying squirrels are closer in size to chipmunks rather than the local larger native gray squirrels. They are nocturnal and have large flaps of skin that connect their front and hind feet. These flaps of skin allow them to glide from tree to tree. They do not fly the same way birds do as no flapping of their wings is involved and their flat tail is used as a rudder to steer them as they glide.

Since the early 1990s Forest Service biologists have been studying flying squirrels in the Mountaintop District of the San Bernardino National Forest. Research is needed to have a greater understanding of the current distribution, their habitat requirements and the status of the population so if you have seen them in the local mountains you are asked to report the sighting information to Robin Eliason at (909) 382-2832. If you have photographs the forest service would like to see them.

Currently much of the information the Forest Service has on the flying squirrels and their “whereabouts” is based on reports from residents who see them at their bird feeders at night or those who have found dead flying squirrels.

 

Forest Service Soliciting Comments on Proposed ORV Grant Program

Forest Service flogoThe Forest Service has announced that San Bernardino National Forest recreation managers will seek public comments on their proposals for the 2014-15 State of California Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) grant program. According to information from longtime Forest Service employee John Miller, public comments will be accepted from March 3 through Monday, April 6, 2015.

A three-step application process is used by the state to allow public comment and feedback before the final  public recommendations regarding the development of preliminary applications were solicited, received and considered by the Forest Service in February. The preliminary grant applications can be submitted through Monday, April 6.

A three-step application process is used by the state to allow public comment and feedback before the final comment submittal deadline. At this time the Forest is soliciting input specific to the 2013-14 grand application proposals for Cooperative Agreements with the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division . The public is encouraged to provide the Forest Service with constructive criticism and/or suggestions that will enable them to make the program better.

The preliminary applications will be available online by visiting the California State OHV grants and Cooperative Agreements program at: http://www.ohv.parks.ca.gov. Hard copies may be requested by contacting Deveree Kopp at (909) 382-2831 or at dkopp@fs.fed.us. The Division’s website will provide detailed instructions for accessing the preliminary application and submitting comments. All comments must be submitted via email to both the OHMVR Division and the San Bernardino National Forest.

State regulations require annual public participation in this fun allocation process. The agreements support OHV management activities on the national forest, including operations and maintenance, restoration, law enforcement and education and safety. The State of California Department of Parks and Recreation and the San Bernardino National Forest have maintained a successful partnership for more than 29 years with funding assistance for well-managed OHV recreation on National Forest lands.

 

Want a Unique Experience? Volunteer to Count Bald Eagles!

Bald eagleIf you are looking for a unique experience the U.S. Forest Service Bald Eagle Count will be right up your alley. Volunteers are needed to help count the bald eagles for the 36th season.

Concurrent Bald Eagle counts are held at Big Bear Lake, Lake Arrowhead, Lake Silverwood, Lake Perris and Lake Hemet. Volunteers are stationed at vantage points around the lakes where they watch for bald eagles during a one-hour period on the “count mornings.”

Volunteers record their observations on maps and data sheets that are used by the forest service.

This is a wonderful opportunity to catch a glimpse of our breathtaking national symbol. Brief orientations are conducted prior to the count so volunteers know where to go and what to do.

The bald eagle counts are scheduled for the following Saturday mornings: December 13, January 10, February 14 and March 14. No experience is needed and people do not have to register ahead of time in order to participate. Just show up at the designated time and location. Be sure to dress warmly, take binoculars and wear or take a watch.

* Big Bear Lake volunteers will meet at 8 a.m. at the Big Bear Discovery Center on North Shore Drive or orientation. Contact Rari Marks at (909) 382-2600, extension 4075 for more information. Please call 909 382-2832 after 6:30 a.m. on the day of the count to confirm if the event has been cancelled due to winter weather conditions. Contact the Discovery Center at 382-2790 for information about Eagle celebrations. There will also be a free slideshow about bald eagles at 11 a.. after the counts. The show will also be held December 27 and January 17.

* Lake Arrowhead/Lake Gregory volunteers will meet at 8 a.m. at the Skyforest Ranger Station on Hwy. 18 for orientation. Contact Rari Marks for more information. Participants are asked to call (909) 382-2632 after 6:30 a.m. on the day of the count to confirm cancellation due to weather.

* Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area-Meet at the Visitor Center at 8 a.m. for orientation. Call Kathy Williams or Mark Wright for information about volunteering or taking an eagle tour (760-389-2303) between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

* Lake Hemet volunteers should meet at the Lake Hemet Grocery Store at 8:30 a.m. for orientation. Call 909-382-2945 for more information.

* Lake Perris State Recreation Area volunteers should meet at the lake Perris Regional Indian Museum at 8 a.m. for orientation. Contact the office at (951) 940-5600 for information.

The best time of year to see bald eagles in southern California is during winter months when there is an influx of eagles. They are usually found close to water because their diet is primarily made up of fish and ducks. As winter approaches in the northern regions and the lakes freeze over the waterfowl fly south. For bald eagles, that means the food they eat has become scarce. Therefore, they head south looking for areas with abundant food supplies and they end up wintering in sunny southern California.

During the winter, southern California bald eagles are typically found at many of the lake, including Green Valley Lake, Big Bear Lake, Badldwin Lake, Silverwood Lake, Lake Arrowhead, Grass Valley Lake, all in the San Bernardino Mountains. They can also be seen at Prado Dam, Lake Perris,Lake Hemet and  Lake Skinner.

This is a unique opportunity for interested people to help the forest service and, at the same time, have a rare experience that they can talk about for a long time.

 

 

 

S.B. National Forest Signs Record of Decision for Land Management Plan Amendment

On November 4 Forest Service officials announced the signing of the Record of Decision for the San Bernardino National Forest Land management Plan Amendment.

The amendment to the land management plan is part of the settlement agreement approved on January 3, 2011 in the case of California Resources Agency, et all vs. United States Department of Agriculture and Center for Biological Diversity, et all vs. United States Department of Agriculture.  This suit challenged the San Bernardino National Forest’s 2006 Land Management Plan.

The Record of Decision maintains the 18,200 acres currently zoned as Recommended Wilderness while re-zoning 10,000 acres as Back Country Non-Motorized.The decision allows for continued fuels” treatments around communities to reduce the threat of wildland fires. The amendment also maintains existing public motorized access and does not amend any permits or contracts.

“My decision brings a higher level of protection to the additional acres, yet allows for continued public recreational use,” said San Bernardino Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron. “The decision will not affect our ability to protect the national forest and adjacent communities from wildland fires.”

To view the documents visit the Southern California National Forests Land Management Plan Amendment webpage at: http://go.usa.gov/76Xz. For additional information contact Forest Resource Officer Mary Beth Najera at (909) 382-2720.

Smokey the Bear Volunteers Needed!

Even Smokey knows the fire danger is huge so pay attention and be careful. We need our forests intact!
Smokey Bear is getting tired so he needs your help. He needs a vacation so a new “Smokey” needs to step forward to attend events and help the forest service.

Everyone on the planet has heard of Smokey Bear but he needs your help. Yes, you! “Smokey” is getting a little tired these days, and just like you and me, he’s getting older by the day so he’s offering you, yes you, a special opportunity. You, too, can be Smokey Bear and just think of the love and hugs you’ll get from children and adults when you “step out” to go to events. Everyone loves Smokey so if you want excited children to run up and hug you or even “big children” to hug you this is the opportunity of a lifetime.

You, too, can consider volunteering to be Smokey Bear….our  nation’s “favorite bear.” Smokey gets to ride in the 1924 Model T forest Patrol in parades throughout southern California. He attends fairs, festivals and special events. In the winter he visits Snow Valley (and gets to ski and snowboard following his appearance). I bet Smokey just loves rolling around in the snow.

There are guidelines for donning the official “suit” and the Wildfire Prevention Volunteers are holding a training session on Sunday, Nov. 9 at 1:30 p.m. in San Bernardino.

The Forest Service needs you! Smokey needs you! The children need you!

For information visit wwww.WildfireVolunteers.com.

Remember, don’t play with matches in the forest or Smokey will be most unhappy!