Category: Current News

Record Snowfall for 2008, Plus Highs and Lows for 2009–So Far

Given extreme cold temperatures in other parts of the country this week, we thought we’d put some Big Bear extremes in perspective. So far, this year, we hit a low of 5° on January 5 and, two days later, hit our high for 2009 when the temperature reached 59° on January 7. Snowfall for the Big Bear Valley this season, per our weatherman Ben Brissey, has amounted to roughly 50” in less than a month of winter; whereas, in the 2007/2008 winter season, overall snow totals reached 68”, which is about average. However, last year’s snow season extended into May, as we received some snowfall on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend in...

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Locals Devito and Williams to Defend “Fastest Bear” Titles in February’s Snowshoe the Bear

Local athletes Ted Devito and Kim Williams were named the “Fastest Bears in the Bear” last February in Big Bear Lake’s first-ever Snowshoe the Bear event, and come Saturday, February 7 they will be defending their titles. The second annual snowshoe competition launches from the Village before heading into mountain trails on the San Bernardino National Forest in both a 5K and 10K race, which are open to all levels of snowshoers. Event organizer Karen Lundgren says, “Beginners are absolutely welcome.” And, adds co-organizer Paul Romero, “If you can walk, then you can snowshoe.” In addition to the two races, the Snowshoe the Bear event will also include a kids race, dog sled demos, live music, and pre- and post-race parties at Northwoods Resort. The Big Bear snowshoe is part of the nationwide series sponsored by Kahtoola, and Snowshoe the Bear is the tour’s ony California stop. First-timers are welcome to participate in the event and, says Peter Fulkerson of Equada Outfitters, “Kahtoola will provide a number of free demo snowshoes for people to try, and we’ve got maps of the course for anyone who wants a little practice before the...

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City of Big Bear Lake Earns Firewise Community Distinction

Have you created defensible space around your home? If yes, you are among the residents who have contributed to the City of Big Bear Lake’s distinction as a Firewise Community. For the second consecutive year, Big Bear Lake has been honored by the national Firewise/USA Communities (a nation-wide program formed in 2002); Big Bear Lake is only the second incorporated city in California to receive this distinction. The city’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan, formed with state, federal and local agencies, is just one of the factors that contributed to the Firewise honor; other efforts include the 2008 passage of the Native Brush and Shrub Ordinance and the Wood Shake Shingle Roof Ordinance, the offering of free Home Ignition Zone training workshops (attended by local businesses involved in creating defensible space), the Neighborhood Curbside Chipping Program (which brought in roughly 400 tons of vegetation), and the availability of the Firewise Planting Guide, which the Big Bear Lake Fire Department created with the Sierra Club Big Bear...

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SBNFA Tree Project on National Day of Service

The incoming Obama administration has dubbed this coming Monday, Martin Luther King Day, as a National Day of Service—and, for those who have the holiday off, there is a local opportunity to both be of service and do something to better our environment. The San Bernardino National Forest Association has partnered with L.A.-based TreePeople to plant 40,000 seedlings in areas that burned in the 2003 Old Fire. In preparation for this Forest Aid project, SBNFA will host a forest restoration workshop on Monday, January 19. At 10am, community members are welcome to join staff of the Big Bear Discovery Center for an overview of the project, before caravaning half a mile to the Big Bear Greenhouse to help germinate native seeds and transplant seedlings. These seedlings will ultimately be planted in the forest, both in spring 2009 and 2010. Per Sarah Miggins of the SBNFA, “It is up to us, those living in and around the San Bernardino National Forest, to help nurture and heal the areas that have been devastated by years of drought, bark beetle infestation and fire.” Those who would like to contribute on the National Day of Service are asked to meet at the Discovery Center, on Big Bear Lake’s North Shore, at 10am; RSVPs are not necessary for the two-hour project, though participants should wear warm clothes and bring lunch and...

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Local Cycling Enthusiasts Establish 30+ Miles of Big Bear Bike Routes

Though only formed in June of 2006, the Big Bear Valley Trails Coalition has already made their mark, as evidenced by 37 “share the road” signs installed around the perimeter of Big Bear Lake. The group’s steering committee of 13, originally formed as a coalition of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, has garnered the support of the City of Big Bear Lake, CalTrans and San Bernardino County in an effort to establish bike routes accompanied by signage throughout the Valley. The bike coalition’s Phil Hamilton and Randall Putz outlined their progress before City Council this week, and pointed out that there are now 15 miles of Class 3 bike routes in Big Bear Lake and, in the East Valley, now 17 miles of Class 3 routes. Hamilton told Council that his dream is being realized as, he noted, “We have completed a very thorough map of those city routes.” The new color maps have been distributed in 75 locations throughout the Valley, including the Visitor Center and the Big Bear Discovery Center. Putz points out that on the front of the 5,000 maps they’ve printed is a color-coded map and, he added, “On the back side we have what I call idiot-proof instructions.” The next effort by the Big Bear Valley Trails Coalition will be to compile a Valley-wide trail guide; to that end, “trailstorming” sessions...

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The Local Buzz

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