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May 4, 2011     Indian Valley Record
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Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter Wednesday, May 4, 2011 1B with # )q ,# ,# Spring seems finally to have sprung in Plumas County. While most of us are more than ready to get outdoors, doing so comes with the risk of unwanted encounters with wildlife. Those interactions can result in the merely annoying (think itching and scratching) to the life-threatening (think Lyme disease and snake bites). Here's your guide to avoiding the pests of summer and treating the results of any encounters. GET TICKED OFF The problem: Ticks can carry Lyme disease. Lyme disease may cause flu-like symptoms, fever, fatigue, rash and joint and body aches. Ticks get the Lyme bacteria by biting wildlife, such as deer, and the bacteria spread when the ticks bite human skin. This treatable disease can have serious long-term effects if it's not detected early in its course. Untreated, Lyme can cause chronic joint pain and complications to the heart and central nervous system. However, if caught early, the disease can be eradicated with the use of antibiotics. How to avoid: - Tuck your pants inside your socks. " - Wear clothing that is not loose fitting. - Use repellents such as DEET, which is found in a number of over-the.counter insect repel- lents. Picaridin and perme- thrin can also keep ticks away. Both are practically odorless, and will last on clothing for a number of weeks. - Parents should look kids over from head to toe after an outing. ' How to treat: Ifa tick is found in the skin, it should be removed immediately, preferably with a pair of tweezers. It generally takes 24 to 48 hours for a tick to spread Lyme disease. Washing the skin or using other remedies such as gasoline, alcohol and petroleum jelly will not work. You should use tweezers to grab the tick by the head and not leave any part of it in the skin. Forcible removal is the key. The expert says: Dr. Greg DeMuri, an infectious disease specialist at American Family Children's Hospital and an as- sociate professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, says, "There is this public misconception that DEET is dangerous. I can tell you in my 15 years in Wisconsin that i have seen well over 100 cases of Lyme disease and serious complications from them, and I have not seen a single case of toxicity caused by DEET, The benefits clearly outweigh the risks." DON'T BE A FAWN-NAPPER The problem: People frequently encounter young wild animals they think need assistance or have been orphaned. In most cases neither assumption is true and the animals should be left alone. In 2009, well- meaning members of the public turned 537 fawns into California rehabilitation facilities. Once a fawn is removed from its mother, it can lose its ability to survive in the wild. The same danger applies to most animals, including bears, coyotes, raccoons and most birds. Disease is another reason that wild animals should not be handled. Wild animals can See Visitors, page 9B i~:~ # 'labor ACCIDENTAL GARDENER MONA HILL Staff Writer mhill@plumasnews.com The other day I was chat- ting with "the face" of Feather Publishing, Mary Newhouse, about how anx- ious we are to dig in the dirt. I'd had an inspiring weekend with Darla DeRuiter's Current Envi- ronmental Issues class. Mary had hoped to get some weeding done and I'd planned to plant the lettuce ' and peas. Ir/stead she worked on next year's woodpile and I got the broc- coli, cabbage and Brussels i sprouts started inside. We i were both frustrated by the rain over the following weekend. (Tip for all you gardeners i too cheap -- especially me -- to buy the fancy plant warming pads: Diane got an old electric blanket, covered i it to protect it from damp i and set her seedlings on i that. It works and they love I it.) ! Anyway, we got to talking about the high price of heat- ing oil and propane com- pared to woodstoves. For the price of a couple of months of propane we both can heat our house well with our wood.burning stoves. That started me thinking about the amount of petrole- um in our food supply. In- tion, storage and prepara- tion, that's 20 barrels of oil --- 110 gallons -- for Steve and me each year. With gas at $4-ylus a gallon and climbing, growing our own food, however little, saves a bit of oil and money. Besides, I know where my food has been if I grow it. I know what's in it and it just plain tastes better. In addition to saving on the food bill and reducing our oil usage, it saves mon. ey on the psychiatry bills. There's nothing more stress reducing than pottering in the garden and watching grass grow. I have to admit, I knew all this before I followed Dar- la's class around for a week- end. Two community gar- dens and a playground ben- efited from the students' la- bor and I got a good look at how time banking works. It's brilliant. I'm definitely a Tom Sawyer kind of gardener: if I can get someone to do the heavy lifting (my belea- guered husband), I can tend the plants without breaking a sweat. Enter Darla's class. In a brilliant bit of horse- trading during one of the class activities, I parlayed some of my endless supply of fresh eggs, future pro- duce and lessons in crochet- ing and jelly-making into some manual labor. Steve is thrilled because I have big plans this year, all involv. # Q: What is biodiversity? this living planet, other fruit-producing shrubs; many unique plants. Dr. Darla DeRuiter: Simply abundant aquatic macro- put, biodiversity (or bio- Q: Can you point to a place invertebrates, fish and Q: If people want to know logical diversity) is the full in Plumas County fhat amphibians for food. more, are there field guides variety of life. You can de- scribe the biodiversity of an area by listing all the species of plants, animals, fungus and microorganisms there. You can describe the bio- diversity of a particular group of organisms in an area, like conifer trees (which are cone-bearing and have needle.like leaves; e.g., pines, firs, spruces, etc.). California has particularly high conifer biodiversity -- the highest in the world with 52 species (Oregon is second with 32 species) -- because of the wide range of tempera- ture and moisture regimes, huge elevational gradient, the influence from both marine and continental air masses, and the span of latitude the state covers since it is so long. Q: Why is it important? A: We celebrate and protect biodiversity for many reasons: --Because it provides "ecosystem services" for people free of charge, such as provision of raw materials for food, fuel, fiber, shelter and building materials; purification of air and water; stabilization and moderation of Earth's cl imate; and polli- nation of plants, including many crops. --Because it provides drugs and medicines. --Because it generates economic benefits through tourism and recreation. ---Because it provides aesthetic values and ways to connect with nature. These are all human- ing heavy lifting. If No one who knows me will be surprised to learn centered reasons. I would that the new garden beds :li argue that organisms have aren't in place yet. I empha- intrinsic value as well -- in size yet. It just wouldn't ! and of themselves, aside from stop snowing and ralning. I human interests. Also the Ever the Pollyanna, that's a ! "web of life" value could be eluding fd prductin I !i packaging and transporta. See Gardener, page 9B considered -- that everything plays a part in the health of illustrates blodiversity?Plant diversity also tends A: We call places that support to be high around "ecotones," an especially great diversity boundaries between two of species biodiversity ecosystems where members hotspots. Plumas County of both communities overlap hotspots are abundant; and can be found. Riparian really, anywhere there is habitat (communities along water is a good place to start, water margins) is a great Water provides all kinds of example of an ecotone. For important benefits for plants example, the riparian zone and animals: visual cover; along Spanish Creek is an protection from predators; ecotone between the creek thermal relief (cooler in community and the mixed summer, warmer in winter); conifer community or dry drinking water; protected meadow community. Butter- sites for burrows and nests; fly Valley Botanical Area is a sunny spots for berries and biodiversity hotspot for you would recommend?: A: My favorite introduc or field guide is John Muir Laws' "The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada." Epilog Books sells it. It's got great illustrations and is a compre. hensive field guide, including fungi, plants, animals and other cool stuff found in the Sierra Nevada. DeRuiter is an associate professor in Environmental Science and Outdoor Recre- ation Leadership at Feather River College. Plumas Biodiversity Days art show May 1 - 31 Local artists will show their works depicting biodiversity in Plumas County and the Feather River country at Morning Thunder in Quincy. Spanish Creek bird watching Saturday, May 7, 7:30 a.m. Meet at Gansner Park in Quincy to explore Spanish Creek from the park to the wastewater ponds. Nest box building workshop Sunday, May 8, 10 a.m. Meet next to the old dairy barn at 574 Quincy Junction Road in Quincy, just beyond the high school athletic fields. Tools, hardware and untreated 1-inch lumber are helpful, but not required. Contact David at david@plumasaudubon.org or 283-0455 for more information. Bring lunch and water. RSVP to Ryan Burnett at rburnett@prbo.org or 258-2869. Sierra Valley burrowing owl nest burrow project Friday, May 20 Join Larry Jordan and Plumas Audubon to install artificial nest burrows in Sierra Valley. Call David Arsenault at 283-0455 or david@plumasaudubon.org for details. A23/Highway 70 junction,at 8:15 a.m. Bring lunch and water. RSVP to leader Colin Dillingham at 283-1133. Meadow Valley/Spanish Ranch bird watching Saturday, June 4, 7:30 a.m. Darla DeRuiter and Darrel Jury will lead. Meet at 6669 Bucks Lake Road in Meadow Valley. (Coming from Quincy the house is on the right two houses past the Pine Leaf intersection.) Chester Meadows . bird watching Saturday, May 14, 6:45 a.m. Carpool from Quincy post office. In Chester meet at the high school parking lot at the end of First Street at 8 a.m. Plumas Audubn'Feather River Land Trust Maddalena Ranch barbecue Saturday, May 21, 8 a.m. Enjoy a day of canoeing, bird and botany walks, and food. Meet wildlife artist Harry Reeves and celebrate the com- pletion of a wildlife viewing platform and interpretive bird display. The ranch corral is 1-1/2 miles south of Highway 70 on A24. Sierra Valley bird watching Saturday, May 28 To carpool, meet in front of the Work Connection, next to Sav-Mor in Quincy at 7:30 a.m. In Sierra Valley meet at the parking area across from the Butterfly Valley botany excursion Saturday, June 11, 9:30 a.m. Jim Battagin will share his wealth of knowledge of the plants of this unique valley. Meet at the Forest Service Mr. Hough Ranger District office. Bucks Lake (Mill Creek trail) bird and botany walk 'Saturday, July 9, 8 a.m. Scott and Amber Edwards will lead. Meet at the Mill Creek trailhead. From Quincy it is on the right side of Bucks Lake Road 0.3 mile past the Whitehorse campground. Length of walk is optional. Bring water and lunch if you want to continue past noon.