Ski resorts set opening dates

Seven weeks and one day — that’s when Heavenly anticipates riders will be schussing through the white stuff to begin the 2009-10 ski season.

Snow fell on Mount Rose, the top of Kingsbury Grade and at Kirkwood Tuesday night. More is forecast for this weekend.

Resorts willing to predict opening dates this far out are:

Heavenly Mountain Resort: Nov. 20

Northstar-at-Tahoe: Nov. 21

Squaw Valley: Nov. 21

Alpine Meadows: Dec. 5

Diamond Peak: Dec. 10




Boys & Girls Club Golf Tournament

The Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe Golf Tournament is Oct. 12 at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, Stateline.

Every dime of every $195 entry fee goes directly to the Boys & Girls Club to continue its work with local kids since Edgewood Tahoe has donated the course. The player fee has also been reduced by $55 from 2008.

Lots of prizes are part of the draw, including a one-week trip to Hawaii, $10,000 for a hole-in-one, and a 42-inch Sony flat screen TV. There’s more:

* Rounds of golf at Tahoe/Reno area’s top courses

* A ski trip to Steamboat Springs

* Sports memorabilia

* Golf equipment

* Wines and spirits

* Stays at top area hotels

* Divine 9 Ticket To Paradise (one round of golf at each of the 9 Carson City/Valley courses)

* Certificates for area restaurants, attractions, activities and merchandise

Along with all the great prizes, raffles and auction items is a round of golf at Edgewood Tahoe, the site of the annual American Century Championship, the celebrity event on NBC Sports. And players have their choice of format, either Best Ball or Scramble, with prizes awarded in both categories. In addition to $10,000 for an ace on all par 3s, there’s also closest-to-the-pin prizes on each par 3.

All golfers have a shot at the Grand Prize Raffle, a one week stay at a Marriott Vacation Club of their choice, including Maui, Kauai, St. Thomas, valued at $3,500-$4,000; courtesy of Christopher Klesh, a vacation lifestyle consultant who helps travelers’ dreams come true for 10 cents on the dollar. Destination possibilities can be viewed at www.LifetimeLeisure.net.

Golfers also receive a gourmet breakfast buffet and a half dozen Titleist ProV1 balls as tee prizes, a box lunch, beverages on the course and an awards reception with hors d’oeuvres.

Playing spots, hole sponsorships, and hole-in-one promotions are all available by contacting the Boys & Girls Club at (530) 542-0838 or email: khouser@bgclt.org. For a registration form: www.bgclt.org.




Meeting next month about prescribed burn in Round Hill

The U.S. Forest Service  will host a public meeting Oct. 6 to describe upcoming prescribed fire operations in the Round Hill area. The meeting will be at Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District Station 3, 193 Elks Point Drive, Zephyr Cove from 6-7pm.

The Forest Service plans to conduct prescribed fire operations on 79 acres bounded by Highway 50 to the east, Round Hill Pines resort to the north and Elks Point Road to the west and south, including Round Mound. The areas has recently been treated to remove excess fuels and restore forest health. The prescribed fire operation will include pile burning to remove excess woody materials, as well as understory burning — low intensity fire on the forest floor.

The Round Hill prescribed fire operation is expected to last a few days. Because Forest Service crews will not begin prescribed fire operations until conditions are right, it is difficult to provide much advance notice. The Forest Service does maintain a notification list. To be added to this list or hear updates on prescribed fire plans, call (530) 543.2600.




Veterans of race course win Lake Tahoe Marathon

Meissner_BrugmanTahoeMarathonWinnersSean Meissner of Sisters, Ore., is familiar with the Lake Tahoe Marathon race course, having won the event’s Tahoe Triple (three marathons in three days) four times in the last few years. Meissner proved he could also win gold in the marathon division, taking first this year with a time of 2:58:02.

It was hometown favorite Gretchen Brugman of Truckee winning the women’s marathon division with a time of 3:34:24, setting a personal record on the Lake Tahoe route. Like Meissner, Brugman isn’t new to the race course and finished first in the Tahoe Triple’s women division in 2003.

Lynyrd Skynrod of Reno also proved that past Tahoe Triple experience is a plus having one that race in 2007, celebrating at the finish with a cigarette. This year, he again was first in the Tahoe Triple with a three-day time of 2:43, 2:54 and 3:02.

Coming in first for the Tahoe Triple women’s division was a new face, Leslie Stallings, of Tampa Bay, Fla., with a three-day time of 3:53, 3:47 and 3:54.

The Lake Tahoe Marathon 72-Mile Bike Race record was shattered Saturday for the second year in a row, when Curtis Doman of South Jordan, Utah, won the race by a mere half-a-bike length with an official time of 2:55:21.77. First place female went to Katrin Tobin of Santa Cruz with a time of 2:57:57.58. In the master’s division (over 40 years), Tahoe City’s Todd Weitzenberg won with a time of 2:55:22.04, along with Nancy Harrison of South Lake Tahoe with 3:14:10.19.

According to Race Director Les Wright, Sunday’s events along with the entire Lake Tahoe Marathon Race Week, Sept. 23-27, ran like clockwork, with more than 9,000 participants and spectators enjoying Lake Tahoe’s balmy fall weather.

For a complete list of results for races conducted throughout Marathon Race Week, go to www.laketahoemarathon.com.




Newest Jeep Wrangler ready for Rubicon

By Alan McPhee, Daily News

And now for something entirely different. The “Trail Rated” badge on the side of every Jeep Wrangler 4×4 is a guarantee that it already meets the challenge of the Rubicon Trail, the legendary stagecoach route that climbs up over the Sierras from Georgetown, California to Lake Tahoe. It’s the Holy Grail for off-roaders and every year hundreds of them gather to take part in one of several Jeep Jamborees over the grueling 60 kilometre climb that takes two days to complete. It’s a test every Wrangler 4×4 must pass.

But, human nature being what it is, off-roaders are never entirely satisfied. For the past 60 years, ever since World War II veterans started using surplus army Jeeps for work and play, they have been tinkering with lift kits, power boosts, suspensions and locking axles. Despite the sophistication of today’s Jeeps, the “itch” to go a step further is never completely satisfied.

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North Shore deer concern residents

SOS Glenshire is trying to raise $65,000 so the California Department of Fish & Game will study the Verdi subunit of the Loyalton-Truckee deer herd.

The group advocates responsible development that doesn’t hinder the migration corridor of wildlife in the area.

The deer tend to summer in the Martis Valley and winter near Verdi.

The last time the deer herd was studied was in 1982.

For more information, go to www.sosglenshire.org.




Feds approve money for USFS projects

By Ann Westling, US Forest Service

NEVADA CITY – Several projects in the Tahoe National Forest will receive funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Funded projects include road maintenance and watershed restoration; fuel reduction and forest health; reclamation of abandoned mine features; and recreation facility and trail maintenance stated Forest Supervisor Tom Quinn.

More than $6 million has been received for these Tahoe National Forest projects in the last several months.

“This funding will accomplish important work on the ground for the National Forest resources and provide greater safety for the public. The projects will also put people to work as the majority will be contracted out to private businesses,” stated Quinn.

Contractors interested in bidding on ARRA projects can check www.FedBizOps.gov for more information.

Watershed Restoration/Road Maintenance

The watershed/roads projects are located in Sierra County at Perazzo Meadows, midway between Sierraville and Truckee (west of Highway 89) and in Davies/Merrill watersheds, north of Stampede Reservoir, northeast of Truckee. These projects will include road maintenance or road relocation to improve hydrologic interaction between the roads and the watershed as well as other watershed restoration work.

“Both of these projects will extend work already in progress to restore these beautiful and important meadow ecosystems in Sierra County,” stated Quinn.

For Perazzo Meadows, a multi-phase project was designed to restore the meadow ecosystem, relocate the stream channel to its original location and enhance aquatic habitat. Previous funding was used to plan, design, and assess the project. Work is occurring at the site now. This is a joint project between the Tahoe National Forest and the Truckee River Watershed Council.

For the Davies/Merril Watershed project, 13 sites were identified as needing work to restore the hydrologic function of the watershed which was heavily impacted by early day road construction, railroad logging and grazing. Economic Recovery funding will be used to finish the work on the last three sites. This will include improving the drainages along the roads adjacent to the meadows by installing culverts, water crossings, and water bars. It will also remove old railroad grades which have acted like dams constricting the water flow. Economic recovery funding will also be used to gravel road surfaces, reducing sedimentation and to revegetate several sites.

Hazardous Fuel Reduction

Four projects were funded in Sierra County and will be completed through contracts to private companies. The ARRA funding for these four projects will increase the capacity to treat hazardous fuels in Sierra County which could reduce the intensity of a wildfire moving toward the communities of Loyalton Pines, Alleghany and Forest. Work on these projects could begin this fall.

On the Sierraville Ranger District, a 370-acre project will include hand thinning and piling of hazardous fuels adjacent to the small, rural community of Loyalton Pines at the base of a steep, thickly vegetated hillside. The Scraps Defensible Fuel Profile Zone and Mastication projects will thin and remove hazardous fuels on 700 acres along key forest roads on the eastern side of the Ranger District. Defensible Fuel Profile Zones are designed to extend the fuel break benefits of the roads into the forest, to slow a fast moving wildfire and to provide safer places to fight the fires.

On the Yuba River Ranger District, a project, along the Pliocene Ridge Road between Alleghany and Forest, will reduce the fuels through a variety of treatments on 500 acres. Thinning of small trees, mastication of brush, and chipping and mulching will be used along with hand cutting and piling near the historic Town of Forest.

Abandoned Mine Projects

Fourteen abandoned mine feature reclamation projects have been funded: three in Placer County; four in Nevada County; and seven in Sierra County – in remote areas of the TNF. These projects will address hazardous mine openings by closing adits or shafts or installing bat friendly grates if bats could use them as habitat. Abandoned and unusable equipment will be removed along with any hazardous materials if found.

Crews will also be removing any physical safety hazards such as dangerous structures and restoring steep erosive slopes. For one project, hazardous mine tailings containing lead, arsenic, and mercury will be dug up and removed to a hazardous materials repository. It is expected that these projects will be initiated next field season.

Recreation and Trails Facilities

Funding has also been approved for a variety of recreation maintenance projects including: campground water systems in Yuba and Sierra counties; improving picnic and campground sites in Yuba and Sierra counties; maintaining trails in the Granite Chief Wilderness in Placer County; and removal of a minimally used picnic area in Nevada County. An additional project will repair the septic system at the Emergency Command Center in Nevada County.

Additional Projects to Improve Forest Health

Several projects have been very recently approved for funding to improve forest health through thinning, mastication of brush and small trees, hand cutting and piling, and mistletoe pruning in Sierra and Placer counties. On the American River Ranger District, near the Placer Big Trees Grove east of Foresthill, over 600 acres will be thinned of brush and small trees. Near the Sugar Pine area north of Foresthill, 1,400 acres of brush and small trees will be removed via mastication. On the Sierraville Ranger District, a 21-acre project will remove trees infected with dwarf mistletoe in the old Cottonwood burn. On the Yuba River Ranger District, north of Downieville, 120 acres of thinning and biomass removal will occur in the old Cap Fire area plus 150 acres of precommercial thinning will occur along Morristown Ridge.

In addition, along the 25 Road, north of Highway 49, 158 acres will be masticated to reduce the fuels. Hazardous vegetation will be hand piled for future burning on an additional 25 acres along the 25 road. Work on the ground is expected to begin next field season.




Kayak donation helps at-risk youths

Outdoor Intervention Program in Douglas County has five new tandem kayaks thanks to Rick and Brenda Rogers, who own Sierra Sports Rental in Zephyr Cove.

The program, now in its 29th year, is run by the county’s juvenile probation department.

The wilderness program works with at-risk youths, students in the Gang Resistance Education and Training program and Safe Schools ambassadors.

For information or to make a donation, call (775) 782.9814 or (775) 782.9811.




Aspen restoration near Tallac Site

aspensBy USFS staff

The U.S. Forest Service is restoring aspens at Kiva Point in South Lake Tahoe through the fall.

The project area is near the lakefront behind the Taylor Creek Visitor Center and Tallac Historic Site.

The Forest Service asks the public to stay on the trails or beach while this project is under way. Forest Service personnel may temporarily restrict trail access for public safety, because the project involves felling trees. Forest Service crews will remove conifers that are encroaching on aspen stands and limiting their growth. Downed conifers will be chipped and removed or piled and burned after the piles dry in one or two years. Large, old conifers will not be cut, and conifers may also be retained if they are helping to stabilize the shoreline.

Aspen are ecologically important to many species of plants and wildlife, but they are relatively scarce on the landscape. The health and survival of many local aspen stands are threatened by encroaching, shade tolerant conifers. Aspen need abundant sunshine to thrive. Removing conifers from aspen stands will improve their health and provide important habitat for plants and wildlife. The treated forest may appear disturbed and thinned until understory vegetation and aspen trees respond, reproduce and grow, but the eventually the aspen and associated plants and wildlife will grow and prosper.

The work at Kiva Point is part of the Aspen Community Restoration Project, approved in July. For a complete description of the project, go to http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/ltbmu/projects/local/aspen-rest.shtml.




Chukar season about to begin in Nevada

Associated Press

RENO — Thousands of Nevada hunters are getting excited as the hunting season looms for the state’s most popular game bird: the chukar (chuck-ur).

Nevada Department of Wildlife officials said the 2009-10 chukar season should be good for most of the state partly because of a wet spring that led to higher chick production.

About 12,000 hunters are expected to take part in the hunt for the bird from Oct. 10 through Feb. 7.

“It’s a huge deal. When I go out in public, I’m constantly getting queried, ‘How’s chukar going to be?” said NDOW spokesman Chris Healy.

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