Volunteers are needed to help count bald eagles for the 35th season in the annual winter bald eagle counts in and near the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains on Saturday December 21st, January 11th, February 8th, and March 8th.
Concurrent Bald Eagle counts are held at Big Bear Lake, Lake Arrowhead, Lake Silverwood, Lake Perris, and Lake Hemet. Volunteers are stationed at vantage points around the lakes, where they watch for bald eagles during a 1-hour period on the count mornings. Volunteers record their observations on maps and data sheets. This is a wonderful opportunity to catch a glimpse of our breath-taking national symbol. Brief orientations are conducted prior to the count so volunteers know where to go and what to do.
“Through this method, the agencies and land managers have learned a lot about which areas are important to eagles and how the populations are doing. But we can’t do it without a lot of volunteers – we need their eyes to help us look,” said Forest Service biologist Robin Eliason.
The bald eagle counts for this winter are scheduled for the following Saturday mornings: December 21st, January 11th, February 8th, and March 8th. No experience needed. Signing up ahead of time is unnecessary – just show up at the designated time and location, dress warmly, bring binoculars and a watch.
- Big Bear Lake — Area volunteers will meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Forest Service’s Big Bear Discovery Center on North Shore Drive for orientation. Contact Drew Farr (firstname.lastname@example.org or 909-382-2816) for more information. Please call 909-382-2832 for cancellation due to winter weather conditions – an outgoing message will be left by 6:30 am on the morning of the count if it has to be cancelled. Contact the Discovery Center (909-382-2790) for information about Eagle Celebrations. There will also be a free slideshow about bald eagles at 11:00.
- Lake Arrowhead/Lake Gregory — Volunteers will meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Skyforest Ranger Station for orientation. Contact Drew Farr (email@example.com or 909-382-2816) for more information. Please call 909-382-2832 for cancellation due to winter weather conditions – an outgoing message will be left by 6:30 am on the morning of the count if it has to be cancelled.
- Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area — Volunteers should plan to meet at the Visitor Center at 8:00 a.m. for orientation. Contact Kathy Williams or Mark Wright for more information about volunteering or taking an eagle tour (760-389-2303 between 8:00 and 4:00; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Lake Hemet — Volunteers should plan on meeting at the Lake Hemet Grocery Store at 8:30 a.m. for orientation. Contact Anne Poopatanapong (email@example.com 909-382-2935) for more information.
- Lake Perris State Recreation Area — Volunteers should plan to meet at the Lake Perris Regional Indian Museum at 8:00 for orientation. Contact the office for more information at 951-940-5600.
- See websites for additional information about the San Bernardino National Forest (http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sanbernardino/) and the California State Recreation Areas (www.parks.ca.gov).
About the U.S. Forest Service: The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. Learn more at http://www.fs.usda.gov/sbnf