Disc Golf Course & Fire Clearing Bring Dramatic Changes (and Opportunities) to Portola Riverwalk Park

Portola Riverwalk Disc Golf Course takes shape.

If you haven’t been down to the Portola Riverwalk park recently, there have been some big changes. Regulars we spoke to on the Riverwalk were surprised at the scale of the clearing —  done during fire season as the Dixie fire threatened.  However, in general people seem excited to see a disc golf course at the Riverwalk and there is new interest in an organized ecological restoration effort in the park.

Heavy Equipment use has led to erosion issues at Portola Riverwalk Park next to the Feather River –  much of this has since been covered with mulch but there is a lot more work to do to replant, stabilize the soil, and mark out areas to be protected .

Have you been down to the Riverwalk recently? What are your thoughts? How do you see the future of this large public park and open space in the middle of Portola? Trails? Garden allotments? Butterfly gardens? New bike/ ped bridge across the Feather River? There is a lot of potential.

Re-planting efforts near the start of the course

We are hopeful the city of Portola will schedule a public meeting to discuss restoration efforts, a shared vision for the future of the park and accommodate multiple uses of the land. To volunteer with habitat restoration and trail building in the park, contact Tim Rhode.

Where a natural stream crosses the first hole of the new disc golf course at Riverwalk Park, during the heaviest deluge of the recent Oct. 24th storm. We hope the city will restore this area during the upcoming trail resurfacing by putting in a bridge or boardwalk in this area. As you can see it is needed.

Smokescreen: Debunking Wildfire Myths to Save Our Forests and Climate

In this recent (9/22/21) talk, research ecologist Chad Hanson challenges many mainstream assumptions, such as that “overgrown” and “unmanaged” forests lead to more damaging wildfires. In fact, Hanson claims that logged (ie thinned) areas lead to more dangerous intense wildfires, and were partly responsible for the losses of Paradise as well as Greenville.

He asserts that denser forests are not more fire prone, due in part to their ability to store moisture and tamp down winds. Downed logs actually store water even in drought and clearing them reduces habitat and water storage. Hanson argues that forests should generally be left alone but natural fires should be allowed to burn, away from communities in moderate fire weather. He also recommends aggressive fire clearing, hardening and defensible space around homes and communities. Hanson’s clear-headed reference to facts and studies lends credibility to his claims, which, if true, would raise serious questions about our current fire management approach.

We are considering this (and other) information and fine-tuning our forest policy, so we welcome all to join the discussion. Hanson’s book is called “Smokescreen” if you want to check it out. Let us know what you think in the comments below, or contact us to join our discussion list.

Plumas & Sierra Counties Kill Hundreds of Wild Animals Every Year With Your Money: Our Best Chance to Stop it is Now

Your Voice is Needed Now to Speak Up for Plumas and Sierra County Wildlife- Mark Your Calendar for Tuesday September 21st 10am at the Plumas County Board of Supervisors. (see details below)

Plumas and Sierra Counties together spent approximately $750,000 of your tax money over the last decade to kill more than 4250 animals, through a contract with USDA Wildlife Services. It’s time to put this antiquated and cruel program out of its misery.

Non-lethal predation prevention programs like funding for fencing and guard dogs— which ranchers want and need— can reduce conflicts and make livestock less appealing to predators than wild prey. Predators will always find a way, and when targeted (as in war) by men with guns, traps and poisons, their behavior becomes unpredictable, which leads to more conflict, then more killing, and the cycle continues.

Stop the cycle! Speak out for Plumas/ Sierra Wildlife!

“Can’t we all just coexist?”

A presentation by Feather River Action! was made at the Aug. 10th Plumas board meeting and also at the Aug. 17th Sierra County Board meeting outlining the problems with Wildlife Services, describing a proposed non-lethal predator control program and how renewing a Wildlife Services killing contract in Plumas and Sierra Counties would be a violation of the CA Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Our attorney Jessica Blome from GreenFire Law spoke on the topic at the Sierra County meeting along with Michelle Lute, National Carnivore Conservation Manager for Project Coyote.

Plumas County supervisors will decide whether to continue the killing this Tuesday September 21st 10am.   It is item 8) E) 4) on the agenda (Wildlife Services, budget and proposed amendment to contract; discussion and possible direction and/or action)

Plumas County Board Listening/ Speaking Instructions: Speak out in support during public comment, in person, by internet or by phone at: 1-669-900-9128; Meeting ID: 948 7586 7850. Passcode: 261352 (Press *6 to mute and unmute your phone and *9 to raise your hand!)

Learn more about just how cruel Wildlife Services’ use of guns, snares, traps and poisons can be and why we need them out of Feather River Country.

Read the new article on the new Beckwourth Wolfpack in the Sierra Nevada Ally. Protecting this new pack means kicking USDA Wildlife Services out of Plumas and Sierra Counties!

Great Pyrenees dogs guard sheep and lambs in Marin County, who eliminated their Wildlife Services contract and replaced it with a non-lethal predator defense program 20 years ago leading to a significant reduction in predation.

Please plan to speak out at the meeting, and make sure to send a brief e-mail to both Plumas and Sierra Counties asking for an end to USDA Wildlife Services in our counties and supporting a new, locally based non-lethal predator control program: public@countyofplumas.com and hfoster@sierracounty.ca.gov. Do it now.