Mariposa, CA -- Calaveras and Tuolumne counties will recieve $182,866 for three projects from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. Approved by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy's (SNC) Governing Board the over $2.1 million in "Healthy Forest" grants is for 24 projects in 14 Sierra counties. The projects (listed below) are designed to reduce the risk of forest fires and protect California's watersheds.
The grants are funded by Proposition 84, the Safe Drinking Water Act passed by voters in 2006.
"Returning our forests to ecological health reduces the threat of fire, protecting our wildlife, our water and our lives," said SNC Executive Officer Jim Branham. "These projects will help us achieve these goals, while providing jobs and helping to sustain local Sierra economies."
The types of projects typically funded under the SNC's grant program include fuels reduction (removal of underbrush and thinning of some smaller diameter trees), forest and meadow restoration, and invasive plant species removal. Many of the projects will be operational in the fall.
Under Prop 84 guidelines, funds may be awarded to government agencies, non-profit organizations, or federally recognized tribes. Projects may be on public or private land, but the outcome must serve to protect the watershed and provide public benefit.
"Because of decades of fire suppression and conflict over forest management, today's major forest fires can have a devastating impact on the landscape and on the watershed," Branham said. "The resulting erosion and siltation pollute our rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. By spending our precious dollars up in the Sierra proactively, we can reduce the risk and consequence of these fires, protecting the source of two-thirds of California's drinking water."
The Sierra Nevada Conservancy, Governing Board was created in 2004 with the mission to improve the environmental, economic, and social well-being of the Sierra Nevada Region. The SNC receives no general fund tax dollars.
The local Sierra Nevada Conservancy, Proposition 84 "Healthy Forest" Grants are:
- $74,975 to the USDA/USFS Stanislaus National Forest, for the Calaveras Ranger District ACCG Collaborative Project: West Calaveras Plantation Thinning NEPA more here.
- $74,800 to the Calaveras Healthy Impact Products Solutions in Wilseyville for the Woody Biomass Utilization Product Yard Development Engineering Plans more here.
- $33,091 Calaveras and Tuolumne California Department of Parks and Recreation for the Calaveras Big Trees State Park Fuels Treatments more here.
Several events will be happening the weekend including the celebration of the State of California entering the Union in 1850.
At 11:00 AM Columbia Foot Dragoons will fire the cannon and flag raising salute opening of Columbia State Park Celebrations of California's Admission as a state. More information on the parade at 1:30PM on Saturday is in our events calendar here.
An all day Rummage Sale Fundraiser at Mounted Dream Center Ranch with proceeds supporting their Vocational Training Program for special ed teens is also listed here.
Tuolumne County Master Gardeners will host an Open Garden Day on Saturday at the demonstration garden in Sonora. The Master Gardeners will have their harvest and presentations about preserving the produce and some food to sample. For more details see the event listing.
Ebbetts Pass will host a "Scenic Celebration" with free live music in Hermit Valley which is also known as Hermitfest.
Also on Saturday the Mother Lode Gun Club in Jamestown is hosting a family fundraiser for more view the listing here.
Habitat for Humanity Calaveras is having a Hoedown at Murphys Park from 5 - 9pm. Details about the event and the food they are serving are posted here.
Check out the events on Sunday as well, they include the Great Mother Lode Brass and Reed Band Fall Concert, the Mother Lode Food Project Information and Recruitment Meeting and the Party at Pam's Place. The party will be in Twain Harte and is a fundraiser for Sonora Cat Rescue's "Fix'em Now Fund".
Sonora, CA--There is a two car accident on highway 108 and Stockton Street. A pickup truck and small black car have collided. CHP is on the scene and emergency crews are in route. No word on whether the roadway is blocked off, but motorists may want to avoid the area anyway. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
Click here for a map of the accident site.
Update 10:20am: CHP reports a pickup truck hauling a small camper and small black car have crashed. An ambulance is on the scene, there is no word on injuries. Traffic is backed up as one lane is closed to traffic, so motorists may want to avoid the area.
Update 10:40am: CHP reports the roadway is open and traffic is moving once again.
Sacramento, CA - The Associated Press reports Governor Jerry Brown's office says his travel ban is working and the numbers show a big savings for the state.
The Governor's Office says Brown's ban on travel has saved California taxpayers at least $85 million since he took office. They say in Brown's first fiscal year in office, the state spent $144 million on his travel. Brown's Office says that's a decrease from the $229 million spent on travel by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger during his final year in office. They say that's a 37 percent reduction in travel costs for the state.
Valley Springs, CA - The Calaveras County Sheriff's Office reports a man fired at a swat team when they served a narcotics search warrant. It happened at a home in the 2300 block of Barbour Street in Valley Springs.
Sheriff's Officials say as the Narcotics Enforcement Unit and members of the Department's SWAT team tried to serve the warrant, 74 year old Donald Madrid of Valley Springs fired one round from a handgun at them. Sheriff's Officials report Madrid fired the weapon from a bedroom as the SWAT team approached the closed door. They say none of the deputies were hit by the bullet and Madrid was immediately arrested by the SWAT team without further incident.
Sheriff Detectives say they then got a second search warrant for the shot Madrid fired and recovered the shell casing and fired bullet. They say narcotics investigators also found methamphetamine and packaging in a quantity indicative of drug sales.
Madrid was booked into the Calaveras County Jail on the following charges:
Attempted Murder of a Peace Officer
Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sale
Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance
Under the Influence while in the Possession of a Loaded Firearm
Enhancement for being armed with a firearm during the commission of a felony
Click here for a map of the arrest area.
Thunderstorms will be possible over the Sierra Nevada through Monday.
Monsoonal moisture will return to central California beginning on Saturday. There will only be a slight chance of thunderstorms over the Sierra Nevada.
There will be much more of a widespread and better chance of showers and thunderstorms on Sunday and Sunday night. Moonsonal moisture will slowly leave the area on Monday.
Residents, hikers, boaters and campers should monitor the latest forecasts. If threatening weather approaches your location, seek shelter at once.
The number of international tourists visiting the Tuolumne County Visitors Centers in both Chinese Camp and Sonora were down this Summer compared to numerous past years.
Nancy Sikes, Executive Director for the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau, was Friday's KVML "Newsmaker of the Day".
According to Sikes, 1,315 people identified themselves as either in-state or domestic travelers during the months of June and July. Only 765 people were visiting from outside of the country.
Typically, the number of international tourists is on par with (and often exceeds) the number of domestic travelers.
Sikes believes that we are now seeing the effects of the euro-crisis.
For Sikes this will mean a future re-doubling of efforts focusing on Tuolumne County's "bread-n-butter" markets of Germany and the United Kingdom.
Tourism numbers from August and through the end of Summer are not out yet.
Once received, Sikes will compile and present a complete report for the fiscal year, before the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors in October.
The complete report will include the number of individuals who called and/or e-mailed the Visitors Bureau requesting more information about the services and attractions within the County.
During Spring and Summer, trends continue to indicate that visitors are still vacationing regionally (or within driving distance) and making fairly quick trips up to Tuolumne County.
The "Newsmaker of the Day" is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am
Valley Springs, CA - A search warrant nets Calaveras County Sheriff's Detectives a Valley Springs man in possession of child pornography.
It happened this week when Sheriff's Detectives along with the Sacramento Valley High Tech Crimes Task Force served a search warrant at a home on Snag Court in Valley Springs.
During the search officials found child pornography and arrested 77 year old William Wray Chain of Valley Springs.
Chain was booked into the Calaveras County Jail on charges of Possession of Child Pornography.
Sheriff's Officials say the investigation is ongoing.
Click here for a map of the arrest site.