Weekly Digest: September 29, 2023

 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.

How to be a campground host, plus benefits and challenges of the role: Campground hosting is an excellent opportunity to give back while enjoying a season outdoors. Kevin Manning, along with his wife Pauline, knows that there are innumerable benefits of hosting. Helena Guglielmino, September 19, 2023

California cannabis enforcers seize $3.7M in pot from Tuolumne County busts over past week: Authorities seized 2,277 pounds of cannabis worth an estimated $3.7 million, three assault rifles, 11 other firearms, and $6,000 in cash during raids in Groveland, Big Hill, and Columbia this week. Guy McCarthy, Union Democrat, September 22, 2023

City of Lakeport sets October opening for Lakefront Park: LAKEPORT, Calif. — The city of Lakeport is planning a fall celebration for the opening of its new lakeside park. The park’s grand opening will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, at 800 N. Main St. Elizabeth Larson, Lake County News, September 22, 2023

Easier camping reservations? California bill heads to governor’s desk: SAN DIEGO (KSWB) — A bill that would make it easier for campers to reserve a campsite in California state parks is headed to the governor’s desk to be signed into law after it passed through the legislature with unanimous support. Danielle Dawson,, September 22, 2023

Letter | Praise for State Parks tours of Castro Adobe: I just wanted to take a moment to recommend the free tour each month of the Castro Adobe near Watsonville. The tour is sponsored by the California State Parks program and led by employee and volunteer interpreters. Santa Cruz Sentinel, September 24, 2023

The Valley Chronicle - Koi Nation of Northern California and California State Parks renew memorandum of understanding and celebrate renaming of ridge and trail: LAKE COUNTY, Calif.— The California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) and the Koi Nation of Northern California (Koi) today announced the renewal of a 5-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Koi and State Parks and the renaming of two park features at Anderson Marsh State Historic Park (SHP). The Valley Chronicle, September 25, 2023

Revitalizing beaches and inland areas: Coastal Cleanup Day makes a lasting impact – Orange County Register: Tens of thousands of volunteers from Southern California and beyond flocked to participate in California Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday. This annual event, now in its 39th year, is the largest volunteer initiative in the state. Marc Osselmann, Vigour Times, September 25, 2023

Father dies while kayaking with son off Mendocino Coast: Yesterday afternoon, a father/son kayak trip ended tragically after a wave caused one of the vessels to capsize south of Russian Gulch State Park in Mendocino. Authorities report despite attempts to revive the father, he passed away at the scene from an apparent drowning. Matt LaFever, Redheaded Blackbelt, September 25, 2023

Coastal Cleanup Day sees more than 4,000 volunteers out on O.C. beaches: As part of Coastal Cleanup Day, some 4,150 volunteers made their way out Saturday morning to Orange County’s beaches to do their part in cleaning up a slice of the coast — resulting in the collection of about 18,987 pounds of trash, according to numbers made available Monday. Lilly Nguyen, Daily Pilot, September 25, 2023

Scientist to report on Oceano Dunes despite Gibson, Paulding’s objections: Despite objections from supervisors Bruce Gibson and Jimmy Paulding, a scientist with the prestigious Scripps Institution of Oceanography is scheduled on Wednesday to present findings from a study that refutes previous assumptions made by the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) regarding dust on the Oceano Dunes. Karen Velie,, September 26, 2023

Father dies while kayaking with son in Mendocino County: A Fort Bragg man died Sunday after a tandem kayak carrying him and his son capsized in a cove south of Russian Gulch State Park in Mendocino County, officials said. Madison Smalstig, Press Democrat, September 26, 2023

West Marin, Point Reyes National Seashore seeks to become Dark Sky Community: In West Marin, a group of environmental activists is determined to protect the region’s view of the night sky. The group, DarkSky West Marin, has applied for certification with DarkSky International, a nonprofit based in Tucson, Arizona, that aims to “restore the nighttime environment,” according to a recent story in the San Francisco Chronicle. Ashley Harrell, SFGate, September 26, 2023

Prescribed burns begin in the Lake Tahoe region: In an effort to mitigate wildfire risks and restore fire-adapted ecosystems, the Tahoe Fire & Fuels Team is gearing up to launch its fall prescribed fire program. The program burning program began on Monday, September 25. Active NorCal, September 26, 2023

Decades later, closed military bases remain a toxic menace: For much of the 20th century, Fort Ord was one of the largest light infantry training bases in the country, a place where more than a million U.S. Army troops were schooled in the lethal skills of firing a mortar and aiming a rifle – discharging thousands of rounds a day into the scenic sand dunes along the coast of central California. Ralph Vartabedian, New York Times, September 27, 2023 (Subscription Required)

China Camp State Park’s new trail markers aid emergency response for injured hikers: A new trail marker system installed at China Camp State Park near San Rafael this summer is helping emergency responders to more quickly locate and rescue injured, lost and ailing hikers. Will Houston, Marin Independent Journal, September 27, 2023

36-acre prescribed burn at Salt Point State Park scheduled for Thursday: A 36-acre prescribed burn is set for Thursday at Salt Point State Park along the Sonoma Coast, officials said. Madison Smalstig, Press Democrat, September 27, 2023

Prescribed fire operation near Tahoe City brings large plume of smoke: SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - There is a large prescribed fire operation at Burton Creek State Park with a large plume of smoke, causing concern from people around Lake Tahoe. Paula,, September 27, 2023

New playground equipment unveiled at Polliwog: It's time to play again at Polliwog Park. Tuesday marked the unveiling of new playground equipment at Polliwog Park, the culmination of a multi-year project to replace the old sunken galleon playground and equipment that anchored the park for many years. MB News, September 27, 2023

Reviewing the record-breaking water year in Northern California: SACRAMENTO, California — Sept. 30 marks the end of a water year to remember in California. With the new water year kicking off Oct. 1, it’s worth looking back at the water year that was from record snowfall to landfalling tropical storms and everything in between. Brody Adams, abc 10, September 27, 2023

Nearly $3.8 million seized in five Tuolumne County illegal pot grow raids: Tuolumne County, CA – Three people were arrested after five illegal marijuana grows were raided by state cannabis law enforcement last week in Columbia, Big Hill and Groveland. Tracey Petersen,, September 27, 2023

Mt. Diablo Interpretive Association gets $1 million from state for Mitchell Canyon Education Center: Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) recently presented a check for $1 million from the state to the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association. This funding will enable the construction of a cutting-edge Education Center at the Mitchell Canyon entrance to Mount Diablo State Park. The Press, September 28, 2023

Lake Perris announces partial closure for private music festival: LAKE PERRIS, CA — Lake Perris State Park announced a partial closure starting Thursday through the weekend due to the "Same Same but Different Festival." Ashley Ludwig, Patch, September 28, 2023

Prescribed burns continue in Burton Creek State Park near Tahoe City: Prescribed burns are underway in Burton Creek State Park near Tahoe City. Smoke is visible and may continue throughout the day. 2News, September 28, 2023

Pyrotechnic marine flares ignite concerns for safety: In the world of boating, pyrotechnic marine flares are a common sight. Many boaters, however, are unaware of the dangers that they can pose to both human health and the environment. Isabella Zarzar, Scot Scoop, September 29, 2023