Category Archives: Uncategorized

Campfire restrictions for state’s national forests

At the peak of the summer-vacation camping season, restrictions on campfires go into effect Monday across Tahoe National Forest and much of California’s 20 million acres of national forests. Campfires will be restricted to existing campfire rings at approved campgrounds, with a campfire permit from a U.S. Forest Service district office also needed.

The new era of camping stoves takes much of the bite out of the issue for campers, as campfires are being used more for their ambience and to roast marshmallows or heat up s’mores than for cooking meals.

This year’s wildfires in California have been mostly in Southern California.

In central and northern California, the Trailhead Fire in Eldorado National Forest burned 5,646 acres near Volcanoville, which shut down a rafting put-in for the week at the Middle Fork of the American River. Firefighters held the fire to a staked-out perimeter, and as of Sunday, had it 90 percent contained.

The cause of that fire is under investigation.

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California Nerodia Watch

Nerodia Sipedon
Let’s hope we don’t get more Nerodia in the American River watersheds! Please report any sightings.

Nerodia Watch enlists citizen scientists to report sightings of Nerodia watersnakes in California. Nerodia threaten California’s native fish and wildlife species through predation and competition for resources. Their fast rate of population growth, ability to disperse overland to new habitat, and close proximity to special status species causes great concern for California’s native fish and wildlife species. This campaign is intended to monitor for the spread of existing populations, prevent the establishment of new populations, and facilitate rapid response management efforts to control or eradicate Nerodia watersnakes in California.

Currently, N. sipedon is established in Roseville (Placer County) and N. fasciata pictiventris is established in Folsom (Sacramento County) and Machado Lake (Los Angeles County). Areas that should be targeted for surveying include most types of permanent freshwater habitats, such as ponds, wetlands, canals, and slow-moving streams and rivers. Specific locations of interest include in and around Roseville, Folsom, the lower American River, the Sacramento River watershed west/southwest of Sacramento, Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Little Potato Slough, French Camp, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and Los Angeles County.

For more information on Nerodia watersnakes in California, visit CDFW Invasive Species Program – Species profiles, The California Nerodia website, the Stop the Spread of Non-Native Water Snakes in California Facebook group, and

In 2008, all Nerodia watersnake species were added to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s list of restricted live animals, making it illegal to possess, transport, or import them into the state without a restricted species permit from the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Foothills Man Released From Prison After Judge Overturns Eco-Terrorism Conviction

A Placer County man was released from prison Thursday afternoon after a federal judge overturned his conviction on eco-terrorism charges following the discovery of new evidence.

Eric McDavid, of Foresthill, walked out of the federal courthouse in Sacramento and into the arms of friends, family members and attorneys.

“It was wonderful,” said his mother, Eileen McDavid.

When asked if she felt her son had been vindicated, Eileen McDavid said, “I don’t want to talk about that. I just know that he’s home.”

Eric McDavid, 37, was arrested in 2006 and convicted the following year.

Prosecutors said he planned to blow up various government targets, including the U.S. Forest Service’s genetics laboratory in Placerville and the Nimbus Dam on the American River.

“It came out in the last couple of months that they didn’t give us some very important documents for discovery, for evidence during the trial phase of the case,” said Jenny Esquivel, McDavid’s girlfriend.

Those documents, including several emails, back up the defense’s argument at trial that McDavid was entrapped by an FBI informant, known as Anna, with whom he fell in love.

“He was entrapped by love,” attorney Ben Rosenfeld said. “And he was entrapped by the persistent and unrelenting efforts of the FBI.”

McDavid’s trial attorney, Mark Reichel, said he had asked for those documents and been told by prosecutors that they did not exist.

The documents only surfaced after McDavid’s family members obtained his FBI case file through a government-records request.

“He went to federal prison for nine years,” Reichel said. “And somebody in the federal law enforcement system knew that he was innocent but didn’t care.”

U.S. District Judge Morrison England did not completely exonerate McDavid, but rather allowed him to plead guilty to another charge for which he received a sentence of time served.

As part of a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, McDavid agreed not to file a lawsuit against the federal government.

McDavid declined to comment as he left the courthouse.

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Sacramento Police Arrest Man Suspected Of Assault On Bike Trail Rider

A man has been arrested for pushing a rider off her bicycle Sunday morning on the American River bike trail and threatening her with rocks.

Sacramento police booked James Edward Dexter, 18, into jail on warrants out of Reno and on suspicion of attempted robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, resisting an officer and vandalism in connection with the Sunday attack.

Police said they were called to the bike trail between Highway 160 and the Capital City Freeway near Lathrop Way about 7:30 a.m. Sunday on a report of a woman being pushed off her bicycle.

After knocking the woman off her bike and physically assaulting her, Dexter is alleged to have picked up rocks and threatened the bicyclist. Luckily, the assault was interrupted by passing citizens, according to police.

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Grass Fire Chars 36 Acres Along American River Parkway

Firefighters were able to contain a grass fire along the American River Parkway — the third large grass fire since July 4 — to 36 acres.

Sacramento City Fire Department spokesperson Roberto Padilla said the blaze broke out about 1:30 p.m. Saturday behind a Costco store near Tribute and Canterbury roads.

The fire sent a large plume of smoke in the sky that was visible from Downtown Sacramento.

More than 20 engines and at least 80 firefighters from the Sacramento City Fire Department, West Sacramento Fire Department, Sacramento Metro Fire Department and Cosumnes Fire Department worked to put out the flames.

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Body of Teenager Pulled from American River

The body of a teenager has been pulled from the American River northeast of Auburn.

The 15-year-old disappeared while swimming in the Middle Fork of the American River in the Sliger Mine Road area.

El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputies, along with officers from Cal Fire and CHP searched the river for the teen Friday afternoon.

The teen, identified as Ronald Stewart from Garden Valley, was pulled from the water in the same area he was last seen.

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Take a Historical and Geological Side Trip from Interstate 80: Placerville

Here’s a way to turn the routine roar up I-80 into a jaunt through part of the Mother Lode in Placerville. The route starts with US Route 50, which splits off I-80 just west of Sacramento.

On this trip you stay on 50 to Placerville, then strike north across the watershed of the American River to Auburn, where I-80 is the ridge route to the crest of the Sierra Nevada. With minimal stops it takes a couple hours, but there are lots of places to linger.

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