New Year, New Communications

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you made the best of 2020 as much as you possibly could. The 2021 “hiking season” will soon be upon us. As such with a new year comes many new things in various parts of our lives. In respect to the website, there is a new way to communicate using Tapatalk’s forums. I have created a group there called Southern Sierra Wilderness.

The forums will be a new way for the community here to engage. By default the forums are closed to public viewing, meaning you need to join. Membership is completely free and there are several options for you to choose from in order to gain access. I believe it will also be a way for users to better share their adventures and photos of their trips, ask for advice, and general communications about the wilderness. I hope you find it helpful and I look forward to interacting with everyone.

Ready to get started? Simply click the link below to join in! Hope to chat with you soon.

Forums -> Southern Sierra Wilderness via Tapatalk.

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Trail Report: Weaver Lake

A user did a hike up to Weaver Lake during the first week of August. Sounds like some rerouting is taking place along the trail. Here is what he has to say.

Weaver Lake, last week. Weather great at Weaver. Trail past the turn off to get to Weaver had a few logs across it, causing many to stray slightly past the lake.

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Road to Big Meadows is Open

Road to Big Meadows is now open! Users are reporting able to drive to Marvin Pass TH as well. Enjoy everyone!

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Latest Road Access Update

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As of June 3, 2020, at 3PM the gate to Big Meadows is still closed. They are hoping to open it this weekend, but need to get the area prepared first. As soon as official word is given that the road is open, you can expect a post coming out shortly about it.

A gate locked isn’t stopping folks from walking the extra miles to get into the Jennie Lakes Wilderness though. Several cars are parked in the parking area before the Big Meadows road gate and hiking in. I would imagine the wilderness is rather quiet right now so if you are willing to walk the extra miles, you may have one of those “rare moments” in the wilderness of feeling like you have it all to yourself! You can walk the road or take the snow mobile route.

The road construction on the General’s Highway can delay you up to an hour! I was out yesterday and waited 30 minutes (first one in line too). It then took 10 minutes to drive through all the construction work creating a 40 minute delay. Something to consider to avoid this construction is to follow signs to Cedar Grove/Hume Lake. Once pass Princess Campground, stay right towards Hume Lake. Stay on the pavement passed Hume Lake and rejoin up with the General’s Highway. Make a left at the stop sign and drive towards Big Meadows. I originally went this way to check on the Big Meadow gate and it was smooth driving. I should have went back the same way. However, you could take the risk and time it just right. If not, don’t be surprised to be sitting in your car for awhile.

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Sequoia National Forest Enters Fire Restrictions

The Sequoia National Forest just released information restriction fire use. Here is what the restrictions entail.

PORTERVILLE, Calif, May 8, 2020 – The Sequoia National Forest will enact fire restrictions prohibiting campfires, stove fires, welding, or smoking on all public lands managed by the Forest below 5,000 ft. The restrictions starting Saturday, May 9, are due to a heavy grass fuel load, drying conditions, and established high wildland fire danger.

The Forest is continuing to experience tree mortality, affecting approximately 600,000 acres of forest land. “These conditions coupled with late winter precipitation have resulted in a heavy grass fuel load,” said Forest Supervisor, Teresa Benson. “The restrictions are deemed necessary to protect public safety and prevent human-caused wildfires.”

Effective May 9, and until further notice, the following restrictions are in effect below 5,000 ft:

  • No Campfires or Stove Fires. As a reminder, all developed campgrounds are closed under the Regional Order.
  • Persons with a valid California Campfire Permit are not exempt from the prohibitions but are allowed to use portable stoves and lanterns with shut-off valves using pressurized gas, liquid fuel, or propane.
  • No Smoking is permitted, except within an enclosed vehicle.
  • Operating an internal combustion engine off of properly designated roads or trails and welding are all strictly prohibited during the fire restriction period.
  • Fireworks, exploding targets, tracer rounds, and other incendiary ammunition or devices are not allowed in the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument at any time. This includes sparklers or safe and sane fireworks.

Human-caused fires can be prevented.  One less spark can mean one less wildfire.  Do your part to prevent wildfires. To learn more, visit www.preventwildfireca.org/one-less-spark-one-less-wildfire.

Know Before You Go!  For additional information regarding fire restrictions, please contact your local Ranger Station Monday – Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm or email SM.FS.SequoiaNF@usda.gov for current information.

  • Kern River Ranger District             760-549-9533
  • Western Divide Ranger District      559-920-0460
  • Hume Lake Ranger District            559-791-5758
  • Supervisor’s Office                         559-920-1588

Stay informed, follow our webpage at www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia, Facebook at #SequoiaNF, Twitter at @sequoiaforest or SequoiaNF OnCell app.

 

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May 1 Snow Survey Results

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The snow survey results for the Kings River Basin are in for 2020. The snow pack is not great for the area either, which is unfortunate. The May 1 average is 47% of normal for the area. Prepare for water sources to dwindle earlier than normal, especially when comparing it to last years numbers. Plan accordingly this season!

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Sequoia National Forest Announcement

Forest Service extends closure of most developed recreation sites in California through May 15

 

PORTERVILLE, Calif., – The USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region, announced that most developed recreation sites will remain closed through May 15. Regional Order No. 20-03 is available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd731223.pdf

The order does not close trails, trailheads, and general forest areas; these areas remain accessible for public use.  Information on individual recreation sites and opportunities are available from local National Forests.

Outdoor recreation can be beneficial to mental and physical health but must be practiced safely. In light of the statewide shelter-in-place order issued by the Governor of California, we continue to ask visitors to recreate locally.

If you do plan on visiting the National Forest please be aware that:

  • No trash removal is currently offered – please pack out all trash and waste
  • All toilet facilities are currently closed – please plan accordingly
  • Avoid high-risk activities – law enforcement and search and rescue operations may be limited
  • If an area is crowded, please search for a less occupied location

If an area is crowded, please search for a less occupied location. Closing any site for any reason is not an action we take lightly, but protecting our visitors and employees remains our highest priority. We are working with our state and local partners to determine the best path forward to safely reopen closed sites.

Please call your local Ranger Station Monday – Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm or email SM.FS.SequoiaNF@usda.gov for current SQNF information.

Kern River Ranger District             760-549-9533

Western Divide Ranger District      559-920-0460

Hume Lake Ranger District            559-791-5758
Supervisor’s Office                        559-920-1588

Stay informed, follow our webpage at www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia, Facebook at #SequoiaNF, Twitter at @sequoiaforest or SequoiaNF OnCell app.

We appreciate your cooperation in keeping our national forests safe and healthy for everyone’s use.

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April Snow Surveys are Still Coming

The COVID-19 issue has sure disrupted a lot of things locally. One of those areas are the snow surveys. The State of California uses their own employees as well as federal and private to complete the surveys up and down the Sierra Nevada. Early reports show the snow pack for the Kings River is around 46% of normal for this time of year. However, like many parts of the Sierra Nevada, the snow surveys not fully complete. The 3rd of each month is the last day for the survey. This then means the results could be posted that same day, but by the 4th at the latest.

If some of the early snow surveys are any indication, we will be around 46% of normal for the month of April. March’s storms were a nice boost as many areas were projecting almost 10% less if March remained a “dry” month. If additional reports to trickle in, there will be another update to follow. Stay tuned!

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March Snow Survey Results

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For those living in the area, you know it has not been a good month for rain and snow. In fact, I think there was only one day which rain hit the hood of my car. Anyway, the snow results are in for the March 1 survey. We are sitting at 41% of normal for the Kings River Basin. Last year around this time we were approximately 168% of normal. Maybe a “Miracle March” will happen? Time will tell.

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February Snow Survey Results

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Snow survey results are nearing completion for the Kings River Basin. Tomorrow is the last reporting day and likely not to vary too much from what is currently being reported now. The snow pack is currently setting at 72% of normal for this time of year. We shall see what the two wettest months (February and March) bring to the Sierra Nevada.

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