Weekly Digest: July 12, 2024


 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.


San Bernardino Public Library offers passes for California state parks: For the third year in a row, the San Bernardino Public Library is offering its library cardholders free vehicle day-use entry to more than 200 participating state parks operated by the California State Parks. The Sun, July 5, 2024 

Lake Oroville is at 93% of its total capacity: OROVILLE, Calif. - Lake Oroville is at 885 feet elevation as of Friday, the Department of Water Resources said. Lake Oroville’s storage is at around 3.2 million-acre feet, which is 93% of its total capacity and 121% of the historical average. Ariana Powell, Action News Now, July 6, 2024

Report: Mount Tamalpais ecosystem in “fair” health: Some of Mount Tamalpais’ plant and wildlife communities are thriving, while others are suffering, a new report says. Adrian Rodriguez, Marin Independent Journal, July 6, 2024 

Over a dozen homes destroyed in Butte County's Thompson Fire: BUTTE COUNTY – More than a dozen homes were destroyed in a fire that burned more than 3,700 acres in Northern California last week, Cal Fire said on Sunday. Cecilio Padilla, Brandon Downs and Richard Ramos, CBS News, July 7, 2024

Temporary closure of Briceland Road for construction: The Needle Rock Visitor Center, Campground, and Lost Coast Trailhead at Sinkyone Wilderness State Park will be closed for the period of August 6, 2024 – November 16, 2024 due to a road repair project managed by Mendocino County Department of Transportation. Redheaded Blackbelt, July 8, 2024

Water contact closures, advisories listed for San Diego County beaches: Several San Diego County beaches are closed Monday because of high bacteria levels, according to county health officials. KPBS, July 8, 2024

California Department of Water Resources (DWR) using advanced lasers and sonar to determine if Lake Oroville has lost capacity: LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) laser and multibeam-sonar bathymetry systems combined to map the terrain of Lake Oroville above and below the water’s surface. Bathymetric sonar data illustrates the depth of Lake Oroville at various locations with the darkest blue indicating the deepest areas of the reservoir. Sierra Sun Times, July 8, 2024

Lifeguards rescued more than 5,600 beachgoers over busy holiday weekend: Lifeguards scrambled to save thousands of lives during the four-day holiday weekend when an inland heatwave drove crowds to the coast and big waves and strong rip currents threatened the beachgoers seeking relief. Laylan Connelly, Orange County Register, July 8, 2024

Thompson Fire now fully contained near Oroville: The Thompson Fire, near Oroville, is now 100% contained at 3,789 acres. The Thompson Fire broke out before noon Tuesday about 70 miles (110 kilometers) north of Sacramento, sending up a huge plume of smoke that could be seen from space. 2News Nevada, July 9, 2024

Lost Coast Trail access limited by road closures at Sinkyone Wilderness: The Needle Rock Visitor Center, Campground, and Lost Coast Trailhead at Sinkyone Wilderness State Park will be closed for the period of August 6, 2024 – November 16, 2024 due to a road repair project managed by Mendocino County Department of Transportation. Mendofever, July 9, 2024

California State Parks launches General Plan Update for El Capitán, Refugio, and Gaviota: California State Parks has announced a comprehensive General Plan Update for three of Santa Barbara County’s most cherished coastal parks: El Capitán State Beach, Refugio State Beach, and Gaviota State Park. Edhat, July 9, 2024

Hearst Castle agreement with San Simeon throws wrench into dissolution: For nearly a year, Hearst Castle, one of California State Parks most profitable properties, has not paid its disadvantaged neighbor for processing its sewage. Issues and complexities with San Simeon Community Services District and State Park’s agreements have thrown a wrench into the district’s plan to dissolve. Karen Velie, CalCoastNews.com, July 9, 2024

Six tips to preserve and protect the outdoors this summer: Summer is here, and many Californians are headed out to enjoy the warmer weather and wonders of the outdoors with friends and family. Before recreating outside, be sure to think about your impact and do your part to keep public lands clean to protect the natural ecosystems. Randall, AsAmNews, July 9, 2024

$50,000 reward remains active for unsolved Butte County campground murder: BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Governor Gavin Newsom’s office has issued a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the murder of Tyler Dickson. Matt Wreden, Action News Now, July 9, 2024

Shark sighting off Torrey Pines State Beach prompts warning for beachgoers: SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A shark was spotted in the waters off Torrey Pines State Beach on Tuesday, prompting a warning for beachgoers in the area. Jermaine Ong, ABC10 News (San Diego), July 10, 2024

10-foot shark spotted in Torrey Pines State Beach waters, prompting advisory signs: A shark was spotted close to shore Tuesday at Torrey Pines State Beach, prompting lifeguards to post shark advisory signs at the beach. Christina Bravo, NBC7 (San Diego), July 10, 2024

Donner Canyon Loop named Contra Costa's best hiking trail: CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA — A trail loop in Mount Diablo State Park offers the best hiking in Contra Costa County, according to updated rankings published by the San Francisco Chronicle. Lucas Combos, Patch, July 10, 2024

Over 2,000 lbs of illegal cannabis grow waste found in Northern California’s largest state park: (FOX40.COM) — California State Parks continues to make progress in mitigating the harmful effects of waste from illegal cannabis grows left behind on state parks land after collecting thousands of pounds of waste this spring. Matthew Nobert, Fox 40 News; msn.com, July 11, 2024

Illegal marijuana grows left 6,000 pounds of waste in California state parks, helicopters were needed to clean it up: About 6,000 lbs of trash left behind by illicit marijuana grow operations were removed from four state parks in California. This effort was part of a cleanup operation by California State Parks' Cannabis Watershed Protection Program (CWPP). Nina Zdinjak, Benzinga, July 11, 2024

California State Parks’ Cannabis Watershed Protection Program cleans up illegal grow sites across the state – from Henry W. Coe SP to Topanga SP: July 11, 2024 - SACRAMENTO, Calif.— California State Parks removed about six thousand pounds of trash from four state parks as part of a cleanup operation by its Cannabis Watershed Protection Program (CWPP). Sierra Sun Times, July 11, 2024

State cleans up 2,000 pounds of illegal cannabis waste in park: California State Parks conducted a clean-up operation that resulted in the removal of over 2,000 pounds of waste from illegal cannabis grow sites in Northern California’s largest state park. Bruce Clayton, The Sun, July 11, 2024

Northern California deputies execute massive marijuana bust yielding over 25,000 plants: (FOX40.COM) — One day after California State Parks revealed the removal of about 6,000 pounds of marijuana grow waste from a series of parks throughout the state, a Northern California agency has announced the discovery of even more illegal marijuana in the region. Aydian Ahmad, Fox 40 News (Sacramento), July 11, 2024

How Hearst Castle adapts during hot weather to protect visitors and artifacts: At Hearst Castle, there are numerous historic items on display but as temperatures warm up, staff says it’s important the doors remain closed to help protect those pieces. Sophia Villalba, KSBY Central Coast, July 11, 2024

Extreme heat | Anza-Borrego Desert State Park officials warning people not to visit: BORREGO SPRINGS, Calif. — Officials at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park are urging people not to visit as hot temperatures continue to soar towards 120 degrees. Shannon Handy, CBS 8, July 11, 2024

California State Parks closes Skyline Trail (Cactus to Clouds) in Mount San Jacinto State Park due to extreme heat: PALM SPRINGS— California State Parks has temporarily closed the popular Skyline Trail, also known as Cactus to Clouds, at Mount San Jacinto State Park (SP) due to dangerously high temperatures impacting the Palm Springs region. The Desert Review, July 12, 2024

North Coast Redwoods District partial park closure – Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park: The Big Tree Parking Lot at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park will be temporarily closed to pedestrian and vehicle traffic for the period of July 16, 2024 – July 19, 2024 due to a parking lot repair project. Kym Kemp, Redheaded Blackbelt, July 12, 2024

High Desert residents can enjoy free entry at 200 participating California state parks: Over 200 California state parks are entirely free of charge for the next year for California library card holders. McKenna Mobley, Victorville Daily Press, July 12, 2024

How to bike Donner Memorial State Park: Yes, Donner Memorial State Park has an interesting past (most of us know the story of the Donner Party) making its mark in the big migration of settlers coming out west to build a better life, their oxen pulling slow-moving covered wagons on the California Trail. Kayla Anderson, Sierra Sun, July 12, 2024

Thousands of pounds of pot trash removed by helicopter from Bay Area park: California state parks are still littered with the trash of illegal pot operations — eight years after recreational cannabis was legalized in California. Cate Peters, SFGate, July 12, 2024