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Public Lands Volunteers Make Visible Difference

I extend my personal thanks to everyone – volunteer and paid worker – who participated in the recent Public Lands Day events at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, Lake Shasta, the Clear Creek Greenway and elsewhere. I’ve noticed significantly cleaner parking areas and trailheads, a few new signs and touched-up trails and facilities in a number of locations.

I wasn’t able to participate in the recent organized work days, as all of my recent efforts involving a chainsaw, string trimmer, lopping shears, shovel and soil rake have been close to home. Ah, the joys of owning property in the country. I’ve almost got everything cleaned up from the big snowstorm we had … in 2003.

Speaking of Clear Creek, chinook salmon are spawning in the waterway right now. On Monday afternoon, I watched from both the Clear Creek Gorge Overlook and the nearby Rim Trail as females dug their redds in the gravel, where they will eventually lay eggs. The salmon were also chasing each other around quite a bit as they selected their mates. It’s a great nature show.

While you’re peering down into the creek, don’t forget to look up once in a while. Raptors – including osprey and bald eagles – also know the fish are spawning.

The Clear Creek Gorge Overlook is just off Clear Creek Road, approximately five miles west of Highway 273. The Rim Trail stars about 100 yards downstream from the overlook.

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• The National Park Service has closed the Lassen Peak Trail for the season because of recent wind and snowfall. The closure means the “reach the peak” trail rehabilitation project has halted for the year, as well. Roads through the park remain snow-free and open. Better get there while you are able.

• A workshop for small farmers, organic farmers and farmers considering transitioning to organic methods is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Western Shasta Resource Conservation District office, 6270 Parallel Road, in Anderson. Organizers will talk about programs and fiscal resources available to anyone who earns at least $1,000 a year from agricultural practices. Reserve a space at the conference by calling the district office at (530) 226-2577.

• I’ve heard of a ski swap and trading paperbacks, but I have to admit a plant exchange is a new one on me. Pilgrim Congregational Church has scheduled its third annual plant exchange from 8 a.m. to noon this Saturday, October 16, at the church, 2850 Foothill Boulevard, in Redding. The church will also have its annual used book sale to raise money for social causes. Hey, anyone want to trade for some poison oak starts?

• Here’s one for would-be small business owners: The Shasta College Small Business Development Center is hosting a four-hour course on setting up a QuickBooks accounting system. The class costs $35 and is set for 1 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 14, at the center’s training room, 1420 Butte Street, in downtown Redding. You need to register in advance by calling (530) 225-2770.

Paul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and says his next house will have a postage-stamp yard. Paul Shigley may be reached at pauls.anewscafe@gmail.com.

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