I recently drove over California’s Carson Pass and spent a day in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The weather was good, so I decided to save some money and camp out (!) for two nights (and spending $42 for a night in Reno).
My day at Tahoe began encased in ice, as moist and cold air flowed down the canyon I was camping in. I quickly gathered my frozen gear and stuffed it into the car, making my way to Truckee, and precious morning coffee. From there, I drove down Highway 89, which was very familiar to me, as I used to bicycle, hitch hike and drive it, many times a week, when I lived there, in the 80’s. I continued along the west shore of Lake Tahoe, to reach my first planned stop at Eagle Rock. I had last climbed it in the mid 80’s, and I didn’t know there were now two trails to the top. It was still a bit icy on top but the amazing views sure hadn’t changed. Eagle Rock is a post-glacial volcanic plug, where Blackwood Canyon meets Lake Tahoe.
It appears that the bark beetles haven’t yet arrived in Tahoe yet but, they sure are knocking on the door. I did see bug patches in the southern part of the Eldorado. I heard about one landowner who had 42 bug trees on their property.
I later visited the famous Emerald Bay, and you will see pictures of that in another post.
Along Highway 88, on the Eldorado National Forest, they have this interesting project being worked on, during the winter. I’m guessing that units have to find other ways to spend their timber bucks since litigation has returned diameter limits to the old unreasonable sizes imposed in 2000. It looks like this project is a highway strip, intended to be a quasi-fuelbreak. It does appear that some trees up to 9″ dbh were taken out, for spacing. There are going to be a ton of tiny piles to burn, and the California Air Resources Board has not been kind to the Forest Service in granting waivers on No-Burn days. And, yes, the piles are covered with burnable material that will keep the pile dry, so ignition will be easy.
Can we start calling these things “Big Thin Lies”? It is what people see, and they think all forests look like these cleanly thinned and piled forests.