Tag: Big Bear Discovery Center

The Drought’s Effect on Big Bear Lake

Fawnskin, CA, March 9, 2014 – Some of the most visible effects of the current drought are the beaches springing up around Big Bear Lake’s 22 miles of shoreline–new patches of sand that fishermen and picnicking families are making the most of. Even after picking up over ten inches of precipitation in the recent storm system, the water level was still 7’ 10” below full, compared with being just 4 1/2 feet down at this time last year. In fact, the last time the lake was full was the spring of 2011. The mission of the Municipal Water District (MWD) is to stabilize lake levels for recreation and wildlife. Part of that means setting limits on the amount of water that can be used as snowmaking. Big Bear Mountain Resorts is allowed to withdraw 11,000 acre feet of water in any 10-year period, not to exceed 1,300 acre feet in any single year. As a point of reference, the lake’s total storage capacity is 73,370 acre feet. About half of the water borrowed to make snow returns to the lake, so the biggest net reduction in the lake’s surface area would be roughly 1%. That’s assuming conditions are even cold enough to make snow, though. Thanks to this winter’s warm temperatures, Big Bear Mountain Resorts has only been able to use half its maximum yearly allotment.  If you’d like...

Read More

Bald Eagles Return to Big Bear Year After Year

Big Bear Lake, CA, March 8, 2014 – Migrating bald eagles love to winter in the San Bernardino Mountains with most of them choosing Big Bear Lake as their winter home. They’re usually found near water because their diet is primarily made up of fish and ducks. Sometimes during particularly cold nights, Coots, a breed of bird on our lake, will get stuck in the ice which make them easy prey for the eagles, earning them the nickname, Cootsicles. Once on the brink of extinction, breeding populations of bald eagles in Southern California had been completely wiped out by the late 1950s and the southern-most nest site known in California was north of San Francisco in Lake County. Reintroduction efforts began in the 1980s on Catalina Island. In fact, a female hatched at the San Francisco Zoo in 2000 was released on Catalina and in 2004 made her way to Lake Hemet and decided to take up year round residence with the male eagle already there. However, the first successful bald eagle nesting ever recorded in the San Bernardino Mountains happened right here in Big Bear Lake. Through radio tracking, biologists have learned that many of the same individual eagles return year after year. Some of our eagles were tracked all the way to the Northwest Territories in Canada which is a 2000 mile trip one-way, while others only...

Read More

“Celebrate Your Love” of Nature at the Discovery Center

Fawnskin, CA, February 4, 2014 – The Southern California Mountains Foundation is presenting a “Celebrate Your Love” Benefit for the Discovery Center this Saturday, February 8th, at the Discovery Center, as a culmination of their holiday fund raising campaign to raise the $25,000 needed to continue the high level of service, programming and education provided by the Center. The Discovery Center welcomes 190,000 visitors annually and benefits youth education through a variety of programs at the elementary, middle, and high school levels here in the Big Bear Valley. Tickets for the fund raising event to “Benefit the Discovery Center” are $50 per person and available online at www.MountainsFoundation.org. The evening includes a no-host cocktail reception; a silent auction with fantastic items including 4 Dodgers season passes with parking, 2 season passes to the Music in the Mountains summer concert series, and great local business gift certificates; dinner, generously donated by Northwoods Resort; and a short program. There will also be live music provided by local artist, Randy Boswell. The Discovery Center is a program of the Southern California Mountains Foundation and is co-managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Donations can be made online if you cannot attend the event but still wish to...

Read More

Solar Eclipse Scientist Makes Rare Appearance

Fawnskin, CA January 14, 2014 – On Thursday January 16th at 4:00pm, join guest speaker Jay Pasachoff, a Harvard educated Astronomer and leading scientist on solar eclipses, at the Big Bear Discovery Center for a stunning presentation of  “The Sun and Solar Eclipses”. “The Big Bear Observatory’s telescopes can observe the everyday surface of the Sun every time the sky is clear, but the solar corona, the faint outer atmosphere of the Sun, is visible from the Earth’s surface only during total solar eclipses,” explained Professor Pasachoff. He has observed 58 solar eclipses, 31 of them total, and will describe the recent experiences and how the eclipse observations are linked with ground-based and space-based observations to give the most complete information about our Sun. Join the Southern California Mountains Foundation and the Big Bear Solar Observatory in welcoming Professor Pasachoff, making this rare appearance at the Big Bear Discovery Center. This spectacular presentation will be open to the public. Admission is free but seating is...

Read More

Strapped for Cash? Strap on the Snowshoes!

Fawnskin, CA, January 6, 2014 – For the third year, the Southern California Mountains Foundation will team up with REI, Rancho Cucamonga to host Winter Trails Day at the Big Bear Discovery Center. Winter Trails Day is a national event that offers those new to snow sports an opportunity to try snowshoeing and other winter activities for free. On Saturday, January 11 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., a variety of nature activities will be offered. Between 8 and 8:30 a.m., volunteers with binoculars are welcome to show up to help count the bald eagles wintering on the San Bernardino National Forest. The actual count takes place from 9-10am after a brief orientation. This will be the second of four censuses the U.S. Forest Service will conduct this winter. Starting at 10:30, a 30-minute introduction to snowshoeing–one of the fastest-growing winter sports–will be hosted every hour. Once participants register and get their maps at the Discovery Center, they’ll need to get themselves to the demonstration location; snowshoes will be provided. Stacy Gorin, Mountains Foundation Director of Operations, points out the sport is “an excellent form of low-risk, low impact aerobic exercise.” Every 30 minutes between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., you can learn how to track animals and make your very own track. This workshop has a fee of $3. At 11:00, you and the family can...

Read More

The Local Buzz

KBHR 93.3 and 102.5 for current road and weather conditions