Weekly Digest: January 27, 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.

175 years after gold discovery, California state parks making Coloma’s history more inclusive:
Men dressed in loose trousers and twilled cotton coats. Women wearing long layered dresses with sunbonnets. Alongside the cold waters of the American, they panned for gold flakes, made rope and cooked beef bourguignon. This was Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park on Saturday morning — not much different than pioneer times 175 years ago.
Dominique Williams, Sacramento Bee, January 21, 2023

SF State student missing at beach was reportedly doing 'polar plunge':
A San Francisco State student who is still missing off the coast of Pacifica was reportedly doing a "polar plunge" when waves overwhelmed him. Hamzah Alsaudi, 22, went swimming with two other men at Esplanade Beach around 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Pacifica police said in a statement. While in the ocean, he was knocked below the waves and disappeared from view.
Katie Dowd & Ariana Bindman, SF Gate, January 22, 2023

State Parks Announces 2023 Anderson Marsh Nature Walk Schedule:
The California State Parks Clear Lake Sector has announced the 2023 schedule for guided nature walks at Anderson Marsh State Historic Park. The leisurely walks are led by volunteer State Parks docents on a 3-mile trail over mostly level terrain. There is no charge for the guided nature walks and parking is free for those attending.
A Community Member, The Bloom, January 23, 2023 (Protected Content)

CATHEDRAL CITY — Ocotillo Park, a 5-acre park, centrally located in this community, could be receiving new soft surfacing around the play equipment and new fitness equipment for the Soccer Park Fitness Track if the City Council agrees to spend $220,802.69.
Cindy Uken, Uken Report, January 23, 2023

Dr. Helen Henry Smith honored with Golden Bear Award for pioneering efforts in preserving Vikingsholm Castle:
LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - The Sierra State Parks Foundation invites Californians to recognize and celebrate Dr. Helen Henry Smith for her pioneering efforts that saved and preserve Vikingsholm Castle located at Emerald Bay State Park at Lake Tahoe. Dr. Smith was awarded the Golden Bear Award, an annually presented award by the California State Parks and Recreation Commission, highlighting individuals who demonstrate leadership and make significant contributions to the Parks mission.
Paula, SouthTahoeNow, January 23, 2023

‘Dry’ California got big rains. Was it really an epic weather forecasting fail?:
For decades, two climate patterns in the Pacific Ocean have loomed large in predicting weather in California and other parts of the globe. El Niño — a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific — seemed synonymous with wet winters for Southern California, while La Niña was a heralder of drought.
Rong-Gong Lin II, L.A. Times, January 23, 2023

Planning a family trip to a national park in the West? Start now; here's how.:
Over the holidays my spouse and I had numerous opportunities to see old and new friends as well as family. Frequently the topic arose as to renewing travel plans in the new year, what with the pandemic beginning to recede, travel restrictions being lifted and the sense of optimism that comes with a new year.
Tim Viall,, January 23, 2023

Prescribed burns announced for Montaña de Oro State Park, Jan. 24 through Feb. 2:
LOS OSOS, Calif. – California State Parks will be burning approximately 300 brush piles from Tuesday, Jan. 24 through Thursday, Feb. 2 on the east side of Pecho Valley Road near sandspit access road. Pile ignitions may start as early as 7 a.m. with fire activities ended around 5 p.m.
Andrew Gillies, KEYT, January 23, 2023 

Chino Hills State Park hike remembers P-22, other big cats:
P-22, a mountain lion that had become a symbol of the plight of the region’s big cats before he was euthanized in December after being badly injured and in declining health, was remembered on Sunday with a hike in Chino Hills State Park. The J-22 (Jan. 22) hike celebrating the life of P-22 started out from the park’s Discovery Center on Carbon Canyon Road in Brea and drew several fans and concerned citizens.
Heather Mcrea, Orange County Register, January 23, 2023

Next phase of SDG&E undergrounding project begins in Del Mar:
The second phase of SDG&E’s Del Mar Reconfiguration project kicked off this month, after more than a decade of planning and coordination with various agencies. The goal of the project is to improve the safety and reliability of the electric system with the additional environmental benefit of removing 35 transmission poles from the San Dieguito Lagoon, Los Penasquitos Lagoon and Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.
Karen Billing, Del Mar Times, January 23, 2023

King tides return to local beaches:
Waves crashed against the bluff in Del Mar last Saturday morning and covered nearly the whole beach, part of the king tide along the California coast on Jan. 21-22. This winter’s king tides took place last weekend and about a month ago on Dec. 23-24. According to the California King Tides Project, they are up to 2 feet higher than typical high tides and take place on a regular basis due to the gravitational pull among the earth, sun and moon.
Luke Harold, Del Mar Times, January 24, 2023

Bolsa Chica high ocean tides close portion of PCH in Huntington Beach:
High tides rushing over the Bolsa Chica State Beach parking lot and onto Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach have caused a portion of the highway to close due to flooding. At the time of the flooding, Caltrans reported on Twitter that all lanes between Warner Avenue and Seapoint Street wereclosed until further notice." However, northbound lanes were reopened late Tuesday evening.
CBS L.A., January 24, 2023

High surf, tidal surge closes stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach:
A combination of tidal surge and high surf conditions Tuesday morning caused Caltrans to close a stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach that has already been closed four times so far this month.
Sara Cardine, L.A. Times, January 24, 2023

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management is hosting several public and stakeholder meetings to gather input on the development of off-highway vehicle grant proposals for submission to the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (Division).
Bureau of Land Management, January 24, 2023

SS Palo Alto: History of the Santa Cruz County ‘Cement Ship’:
President Joe Biden visited Santa Cruz County’s storm-damaged areas on Thursday, including Seacliff State Beach near the Cement Ship, which appears to have sunk mostly beneath the tides. Many of us who grew up with the mysterious and wonderful Seacliff Cement Ship, have often puzzled over its existence, fed by rumors and speculation.
Ross Eric Gibson, East Bay Times, January 24, 2023

Road to Humboldt Redwoods State Park closed after landslide, earthquakes:
A popular road that cuts through the heart of Humboldt Redwoods State Park in far Northern California is closed "for weeks or more," following a landslide that buckled pavement and jeopardized several old-growth redwood trees. The landslide is possibly the result of both heavy rain and a series of recent North Coast earthquakes.
Eric Brooks, SF Gate, January 25, 2023

Some of California’s beloved, storm-struck parks and forests remain closed:
One of California’s biggest draws is the exquisite scenery in its state parks, national forests and other related natural sites. But because of the waves of storms that have dumped a year’s worth of water on drought-plagued lands in a matter of weeks in some spots, various outdoor recreational areas remain closed.
Forrest Brown, CNN, January 25, 2023

Storms, bright sun, lower temperatures, brings early wildflower bloom to Anza Borrego:
Anza Borrego Desert State Park consists of hundreds of thousands of acres of open desert, scraggly mountains and cool oases, many of which are only accessible by dirt roads where you might be more likely to see one of the park’s Desert Bighorn sheep than to see another person, in a huge swath of the Colorado Desert encompassing parts of eastern San Diego County, and parts of Imperial and Riverside counties.
Sam Ribakoff, Courthouse News, January 25, 2023

Letter | Recognizing local parks official in Biden visit:
The Sentinel’s Jan. 20 photo on Page 3 of our president’s visit to the storm-impacted areas of our county, including Capitola and Seacliff, is the kind of journalism that is expected and appreciated in our local newspaper. Noted is photo attribution but not the name of the woman who toured and informed President Biden of the devastation he was witnessing at Seacliff State Beach.
Santa Cruz Sentinel, January 25, 2023

Pacific Coast Highway reopens after extensive clean up:
Pacific Coast Highway was open to traffic in both directions Wednesday, Jan. 25, afternoon, following extensive cleanup after sea water flooded onto the highway during high tides the previous morning. While Caltrans was able to get the northbound lanes open late Tuesday evening, crews continued to scoop soggy sand and debris from the southbound lanes through the first part of Wednesday before being able to open the remaining just after 3 p.m. – just in time for afternoon rush-hour traffic.
Laylan Connelly, Orange County Register, January 25, 2023

Out of state, out of mind:
In September 2020, workers in Brawley near the Mexico border began loading dump trucks with soil from the site of an old pesticide company. As an excavator carefully placed the Imperial County waste into the vehicles, a worker sprayed the pile with a hose, state records show. Another was on hand to watch for any sign of dust. The trucks then drove through a wash station that showered dirt off the wheels and collected the runoff water.
Robert Lewis, CalMatters, January 25, 2023

Southbound PCH remains closed following flooding at Bolsa Chica State Beach:
Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach was open on Wednesday, Jan. 25, after having closed in both directions the day before because of flooding. Flooding had shut down traffic near Warner Avenue as the high tide on Tuesday, Jan. 24, sent sea water across the sand of Bolsa Chica State Beach and onto the busy roadway.
Laylan Connelly, Orange County Register, January 25, 2023

California boosts water deliveries to highest level in years, thanks to storms:
With near-record wet weather this month, California officials said Thursday they plan to significantly increase water deliveries from state-managed reservoirs, including giant Lake Oroville, a move likely to help ease water shortages in many communities after three years of severe drought.
Kurtis Alexander, SF Chronicle, January 26, 2023

SMUD headquarters receives Historic Preservation Award:
(KTXL) — The California Department of Parks and Recreation announced their 2022 Governor’s Historic Preservation Award Recipients on Thursday and one of the five buildings being recognized is in Sacramento. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Headquarters Building at 6201 S Street was one of two Northern California buildings to receive the award.
Matthew Nobert, Fox 40 News, January 26, 2023

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur sees 'major damage' after storms:
One of California’s most popular roadside attractions, and the state park that houses it, remains closed more than a week after powerful storms hammered the region. Park officials believe the Instagram-famous Overlook Trail, found off Highway 1 at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, will be open "within a week or two" following a landslide caused by heavy rains. The short loop leads to a spectacular view of McWay Falls, an 80-foot waterfall that plunges into the Pacific Ocean.
Eric Brooks, SF Gate, January 26, 2023

Spanish Boating Safety Course Now Available from California State Parks:
SACRAMENTO Calif. January 27, 2023 — California State Parks’ Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) announced today the availability of a boating safety course in Spanish. Like its English counterpart, the Curso de California para Navegación home study eBook is free and helps Californians be compliant with the mandatory boating education law that requires power boat operators to carry a California Boating Card to legally operate a motorized vessel on California or California-shared waterways.
YubaNet, January 27, 2023

Earthquakes, storms force closure of one of California's most popular roads:
The earthquakes that have rocked California in recent weeks have resulted in the closure of one of the state's most often-used roads. Mattole Road, which cuts through the heart of the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, has been shut down "for weeks or more" after an earthquake-caused landslide caused the pavement to buckle, authorities say.
Stephanie Raymond, Audacy, January 27, 2023

On The Water: Long Beach’s Todd Leutheuser, finishes term as president of RBOC:
Todd Leutheuser should be getting four million thank you notes from California boaters. But the low-key advocate for water lovers has been working quietly behind the scenes, so many boaters don’t know him or the volunteer work that he has been doing on their behalf. Long Beach’s own Leutheuser has just completed his term as president of the Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC). That is the nonprofit advocacy organization that works to protect and enhance the interests of the state’s recreational boaters.
Jo Murray, Press-Telegram, January 27, 2023

California State Parks to sign agreement with Washoe Tribe:
TRUCKEE, Calif.— California State Parks officials are planning to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the department’s Sierra District and the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California tomorrow at Donner Memorial State Park. According to officials, the purpose of the five-year MOU is to formalize a government-to-government relationship between the Washoe Tribe and California State Parks.
The Union, January 27, 2023