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Lassen County 5th Graders Enjoy a Day on the Bizz

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

Melany Johnson (SIR) discusses the historic and modern uses of Coyote Willow by Native Americans.

Story and photos by Jessie Diermier

The sunshine prevailed April 18th-20th, while students and teachers enjoyed 5th Grade Day on the Bizz at the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office’s Hobo Camp.

The event location, usually based at the Antelope-Shaffer-Bald Mountain Management Area near Willow Creek, was changed due to weather and road access.

The Lassen County Environmental Education Collaborative was able to fund each school’s transportation costs to and from the event through a generous grant awarded to the Bureau of Land Management from the National Park Foundation. The grants were part of the Foundation’s Open OutDoors for Kids program, which supported the White House youth initiative Every Kid in a Park.

Hobo Camp played host to over 300 participants from 11 local schools. The program is focused on the unique aspects of our high-desert region, specifically, the Native American perspective, invasive plants, native wildlife and plants, as well as the “Tread Lightly” outdoor principles.

This year, BLM’s archaeology team also staffed a station titled the “Hobo Camp Hunger Games”. Participants learned about petroglyphs and aimed for mastodon targets using atlatls (throwing spears).

“The dedication exhibited by all our partners to this outdoor educational event was apparent as each relocated and refocused their lessons for the temporary location,” said Lassen County Office of Education’s event coordinator James Hall.

The students and teachers, along with parent volunteers, trekked to the site over a three-day period to visit the five stations staffed with educators and field professionals from the Lassen County Office of Education, Lassen National Forest, Susanville Indian Rancheria and the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office: Jennifer Rovanpera (BLM), Devin Snyder (BLM), Missi Nelson (BLM), Valda Lockie (BLM), Josh Huffman (BLM), Marisa Williams (BLM), Amanda Gearheart (BLM), Jessie Diermier (BLM), Melany Johnson (SIR), Dr. Roselynn Lwenya (SIR), Sarah Hubert (SIR), James Hall (LCOE), Linn Gassaway (LNF), Jennifer McCrary (LNF), Robert Guidino (LNF), Adam Gutierrez (LNF), and volunteer Sharynn-Marie Blood.

These events are programs of the Lassen County Environmental Education Collaborative, a partnership between the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office, Lassen National Forest, the Lassen County Office of Education and Lassen Land and Trails Trust.

For more information about the Collaborative, the Trust and their work, or about trails to enjoy, please visit

Students scan the willows lining the Susan River for wild birds


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