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lassen national forest

Wood Waste Helps Keep the Lights on in Rural Communities

Perched at the edge of the Great Basin, the city of Susanville, California, has experienced high winds, heavy snowfalls, and wildfires that disrupt power supplied on the regular grid. Fortunately, the city’s 20,000 residents, as well as those in surrounding rural communities, aren’t left in the dark for long.

Rescued Bobcat Chips Returns to Natural Habitat

Chips the bobcat, who was only four weeks old when she was rescued last August by U.S. Forest Service firefighter Tad Hair and his Mad River Hand hotshot crew, is now 8 months old and back in bobcat territory in Lassen County, Calif.

Because of early human handling to treat her second-degree burns, rescuers initially thought Chips acted a little too friendly towards humans raising concerns that she could not survive in the wild.

Baby Bobcat “Chips” Rescued From Chips Fire

While conducting patrol and mop-up operations on the north end of the Chips Fire burning on the Plumas and Lassen National Forests in Northern California on Aug. 25, the Mad River Hand Crew encountered a remarkable sight; a baby bobcat!  It was found wandering along the side of the road, alone and dazed.  “It seemed to be confused,” said Tad Hair, the Mad River Hand Crew superintendent who spotted the kit.

According to Hair, it was the size of a domestic kitten and seemed to have impaired vision, perhaps from the smoke and ash in its eyes.  “It was walking in circles near a stump” said Hair.  Once they verified that there were no obvious physical injuries on the kit the crew attempted to walk away, but she swiftly followed the sounds of their movements. Each time the crew would stop, she would curl up on Hair’s boots, snuggling into his chaps.

California Welcomes Wild Wolf for First time in 87 Years

For the first time in almost 90 years, the state of California has become home to a wolf.

A few days shy of the new  year, OR7 meandered alone into the Golden State after crossing the state border shared by Oregon. The 2-year-old gray wolf is the first and only documented wolf in California since 1924, and is protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act.