California’s Best Outdoor Internet Site

OWAC 2020 EIC 1st Place, Best Outdoor Feature Photo, Red Lake Creek Cabin (10/8/19) John Poimiroo has been named California’s Best Outdoor Internet Site for 2020.

The honor (presented by the Outdoor Writers Association of California resulting from its annual Excellence in Craft Media Communications Competition) was given to this site by a panel of nationally recognized, award-winning, outdoor media professionals who selected entries on the basis of “the highest level of professionalism and talented execution.”

OWAC 2020 EIC Best Outdoor Video

In addition to being named Best Outdoor Internet Site, Editor John Poimiroo was selected as OWAC Outdoor Writer of the Year, and received first place honors for Best Outdoor Feature Photograph (Red Lake Creek Cabin), Best Outdoor Video and Best Photographic Series (CFC photojournalist Philip Reedy placed second in this category with photos published on CFC); placed second in the John Reginato Conservation Award for his San Francisco Chronicle article, “Why Wildfires Pose an Existential Threat to California Tourism;” and received two third place awards for Best Outdoor Action Photograph (Snow Geese) and Best OWAC Conference-related Entry (Siskiyou Sonata, shared with Philip Reedy).

OWAC 2020 EIC 3rd Place, Best Action Photo, Snow Geese, Colusa NWR (11/23/19) John Poimiroo


The San Francisco Chronicle’s website, SFGate, reviewed where and how to see California’s fall color during the pandemic and following forest closures. To read what they had to say, CLICK HERE.

U.S. Forests Reopen

Nine National Forests (Eldorado NF, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Lassen NF, Mendocino NF, Modoc NF, Plumas NF, Shasta-Trinity NF, Stanislaus NF and the Tahoe NF) were given the green light to reopen today by the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region.

“These forests will implement their own forest orders,” a USFS Forest Service press release stated, “that will either limit dispersed use or provide for area closures around fires.”

Remaining closed are: Angeles NF, Cleveland NF, Los Padres NF, Inyo NF, Klamath NF, San Bernardino NF, Sequoia NF, Sierra NF and Six Rivers NF, subject to daily review dependent upon evolving fire and weather conditions.

For fall color spotters this means that the prime early viewing areas of Bishop Creek Canyon (Inyo County) and Rock Creek Canyon (Mono County) as well as other Eastern Sierra viewing spots remain closed or with limited access. Heavy smoke (as reported yesterday) obstructs or reduces the beauty of color to be seen in those areas, for the moment.

To see a map of current forest closures, CLICK HERE.

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You Gotta Love It.

Spectrum News 1 joined up with color spotters Nick and Alena Barnhart to report about fall color in the Oak Glen area of Southern California.

Nick’s comment? “Fall color in California? You gotta like it.”

San Jose Mercury Urges “GO NOW!”

Reviewing the state of fall color in the San Francisco Bay Area, the San Jose Mercury urges readers to “GO NOW!”

CLICK HERE to read the Merc’s report, and Go Now!

Paradise Lost

Wildfire haze, Humbug-Willow Creek Trail, Folsom (11/20/18) John Poimiroo

Today, the San Francisco Chronicle looks back at the Camp Fire (a year ago) and its legacy, republishing an article I wrote early this year.

Paradise has still not fully recovered; it will never truly be the same as it was, though its heart beats strong.

Wildfire has and is changing tourism in our state, as predicted in my story. This year’s Kincade Fire (Sonoma) has made more wine-country tourism businesses realize they can no longer depend on their prime season (autumn) due to the persistent impacts of wildfire.

Autumn is a season of beauty, but has also become a season of Paradise Lost for many areas of California


Best Rural County Photo

North Lake Rd., N Fork Bishop Creek (Date Unknown) Fares Alti

A photograph of fall color along North Lake Road in Bishop Creek Canyon (Inyo County) was selected by the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) for its 2019 Rural Photo Contest.

Congratulations to Fares Alti.

ABC10 Visits Alpine County

Backroads reporter John Bartell of ABC10 in Sacramento joined me in the Hope Valley on 10/7 to talk about Fall Color.

The color has changed greatly since Bartell and I photographed the Hope Valley. It’s now nearly Past Peak. Also, the aspen in the video appear greener than they were when we visited. They were deep orange in most locations with separate stands of dark green to lime-colored Patchy groves.

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How Sweet It is

Sweetwater Mountains (10/1/19) Bob Simms

Jackie Gleason, an early television sitcom comedian’s famous exultation was, “how sweet it is!” When it comes to fall color in Mono County’s Sweetwater Mountains, it surely is.

Outdoor broadcaster Bob Simms (KFBK1530 Sacramento) passed through Mono County last week to find little happening, then returned today to share these photos taken in the Sweetwaters.

Bob scores a First Report for the area (the first time anyone has reported fall color for a location), and that’s surprising, considering how widely Jeff Simpson, Alicia Vennos and other Mono County color spotters venture. Perhaps that’s because the Sweetwaters are only accessible by 4WD vehicle or pack animal.

The Sweetwater Mountains straddle the California/Nevada border, within Toiyabe National Forest and separate the West Walker River from the East Walker River.

I’m sure the rivers are what attracted Bob, as he’s a formidable angler and the consummate outdoorsman.

CLICK HERE to listen to last Saturday’s “Outdoor Show with Bob Simms in which we spoke about California Fall Color. Start the podcast at 21:00 to hear the report.

Better yet, tune in to KFBK 1530AM Saturday mornings from 5 to 8 a.m. or listen to his podcasts to hear his thorough reports on California’s outdoors and fishing.

  • Dunderberg Meadows -Patchy (10-50%)
  • Sweetwater Mountains – Near Peak (50-75%) GO NOW!

Autumn Begins With Reports

Several major California media noted the change of seasons, yesterday, with descriptions of where to see color change and when. Among those noted by Google Alerts were the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Sunset, SFGate and CurbedSF.

Imagine that. More California media were reporting “fall color’s” appearance than in any other state, according to the Google Alerts summary.