Daily Updates - How We're Helping Fire-Stricken Communities In Person
by ASSERT Earth
9/15/2020 Station Check And New Herbivore Station Added
After the feed station checks and helping with the new herbivore station, we connected with some state park rangers to determine our next step.
Also, our 501c3 non-profit has finished processing for filing with the state. We will continue to aid first responders with the aftermath (where together we'll save as many animal lives and restore as much hope as possible in fire-stricken communities).
We'll soon be launching a new volunteer training and certification program for anyone who wants to get involved. Contact us to learn more today!
Posted by Ryan Okrant on Tuesday, September 15, 2020
9/14/2020 New Volunteer Trained And Feeding Stations Checked
We also spotted a cat and have tons of evidence of animal life returning to our fire-stricken forests.
Only 51 hours until I leave for Florida, but there's still so much work to do!
Posted by Ryan Okrant on Monday, September 14, 2020
9/13/2020 Station Checking And New Site Requested
Today we went through and checked nearly every station throughout the area. We also received a request for a new feeding site in Old Big Basin for two pet cats.
For some even happier news, we got word from a China Grade resident that even though we'd only been feeding one of her kitties, she found all three when she returned home!
We also saw that many of the eggs we left at carnivore sites were gone, meaning they're happily in the bellies of some local meat-eating wildlife (and maybe even some pets)!
When checking sites, we found new growth and fresh green vegetation all over the ridge and below. We also set up another trail cam and met with Tobias' family.
Today was a good day.
Posted by Ryan Okrant on Sunday, September 13, 2020
9/12/2020 Added New Stations, Decided To Stop Checking Some, And Stopped By The Rest
Today was pretty busy. We added a new domestic feeding station for six cats in the woods of Old Big Basin. We also added several carnivore feeding sites up China Grade.
Our carnivore stations got an egg upgrade! We're now using organic eggs, and we stopped checking some stations where repopulation has started and the evacuations lift.
After upgrading the carnivore stations, we went around and checked to ensure the rest of the sites had adequate food and water.
In other news, we also connected with some professional trappers who helped us learn how to trap domestic animals in open areas better.
Posted by Ryan Okrant on Saturday, September 12, 2020
9/11/2020 Checked All Sites And Added Two New Ones
Today, we checked and refreshed all the food and water stations throughout the different closed areas. We also added a station for the cat named Tobias and a wildlife feeding station near the summit.
A homeowner we've been feeding for in a newly repopulated area has caught two of his cats! Only one more for him to find!
We also saw tons of wildlife today all over Little Basin. Mostly deer and turkey, but we also spotted a few skunks and foxes.
After finding an active hotspot, we requested the CHP to call it in.
Posted by Ryan Okrant on Friday, September 11, 2020
9/10/2020 Checked Domestic Sites And Dropped In On The Peacocks And Hens
Today was Ryan's day off, but he helped check on everything anyways. We checked and refreshed the food and water at most of the domestic animal feeding sites. We also checked and restored the food and water for the peacocks and peahens at their station.
We helped a local resident verify her hotspots were completely out after BCFD applied fire-retardant foam in other news.
Posted by Ryan Okrant on Thursday, September 10, 2020
9/9/2020 Went Out Early, Checked All Sites, Helped Locals, Saw Some Wildlife Returning
Today was a big day. Due to the smokey conditions, we decided to go out early. This had the added benefit of allowing us to finish at a decent hour of the night!
We checked all the food and water sites, and today was the first day we didn't get requests for new ones! It's a relief that the list of spots to check and refresh has finally stopped growing.
We also helped a local technician named Nathan put out a hotspot behind a neighborhood spared from the blaze. We broke out the chain saw to eliminate all the dry brush directly on top of the hotspot. It was challenging yet gratifying work!
We established a new wildlife watering station up Kings Highway. What's awesome about this site is that a local resident agreed to monitor it and refill it for us!
Around noon, we found a new highly-credentialed volunteer who can start helping as early as Monday!
We set up a search and rescue team to assist the cause, and we're working hard to get that team their necessary credentials.
Posted by Ryan Okrant on Wednesday, September 9, 2020
9/8/2020 Added New Pet Stations ANd Upgraded Many Wildlife Stations
Today, we added two new pet food and water stations and upgraded as many wildlife stations as we could get to during the day. We also left slop and food for a missing pig up on Empire Grade. Hopefully, we'll find the beloved oinker soon!
There were arborists everywhere today, and we witnessed a helicopter bringing a backhoe bucked from the road all the way to a spot with no access (which was super cool to see)!
Unfortunately, we found many new hot spots all over the Big Basin area. We also keep having more and more qualified individuals reach out to Cal Fire for closed evacuation access credentials, but to no avail. Supposedly, Cal Fire is shutting down their basecamp in Skypark and turning it over to the SCSO. Hopefully, that'll make it easier for qualified people to get the access they need to help.
Posted by Ryan Okrant on Tuesday, September 8, 2020
9/7/2020 Added Several New Stations And Reunited Percy The Bengal With His Family!
Today was an awesome day! First of all, we were stoked to reunite Percy, the Bengal-tabby mix, with his family! He's so happy to be home! We also added five new pet feeding stations and upgraded a few stations with lower-height water bowls to help those more vertically-challenged animals. We added small stick ramps to the water bowls just in case a small animal gets stuck in one. We don't want anyone drowning while trying to get a drink!
Additionally, we moved a fallen tree on China Grade. We discovered a massive hole in the road (that the fallen tree caused).
We saw a bunch of wildlife and made new feeding stations whenever we crossed paths with any animals. Then, we spread produce, grain, and carnivore food all over the Big Basin area for the local wildlife to eat.
So far, we've put around 120 hours into this mission, and there is so much more work to do still!
Posted by Ryan Okrant on Monday, September 7, 2020
9/6/2020 Closed Area Site Checks And Used An Axe TO Gain Access To A Home
Today we checked all the sites in closed areas throughout the area. Then, we were finally able to get slop to a pig that needed it. The pig's owner was on-site, and we used an ax to break a padlock (in front of the police, no less) to access the pig's home (which was about one mile past the locked gate).
Our truck also got stuck deep in the mountains today! Fortunately, our new hero Kevin Foster dropped everything to come to help us out. He's one awesome dude!
We saw a lot of wildlife today, including a young fox (who we decided to leave some food and water for). Then, we checked on multiple hens in the area and gathered their eggs to bring to the carnivore feeding stations. We also distributed food all across the park, making sure we didn't put food in the same spot twice (to help keep the animals from becoming human-dependant for food).
Next, we added several more pet feeding sites and set a trap (hopefully, we catch the missing cat and not a skunk this time)!
Today was a huge day. We're exhausted, and there's even more work to do tomorrow!
9/5/2020 Checked Sites And Found We Trapped A Skunk!
Today was interesting, to say the least. It started out as an ordinary day, checking feeding sites, refreshing water, and checking the small animal traps for missing pets. However, while checking the traps, we found that we had incidentally captured a skunk (hereby dubbed, Mr. Skunk) with a plastic lid on his neck (read the story about it here)! Then, we reset the trap late at night (hoping to get the missing cat this time).
Throughout the earlier part of the day, we got visuals on some missing cats (and communicate with their owners). We left food for a pig and cat out on Empire Grade. We saw tons of wildlife, including deer, squirrels, and two raccoons.
9/4/2020 Added Water Stations And Checked All Food And Water Sites
Today, we added water up to the 9 marker, 235 marker, and 19.98 marker. We also checked all food and water sites throughout the area.
Additionally, we distributed apples where deer are known to gather and set three sand traps. We set the sand traps to look for cat prints at burned homes (as requested by owners for life verification).
Our team also fed the peacocks, counting 25 plus two new peachicks! They're doing great!
On the unfortunate end of the spectrum, we saw several new hotspots today. We reported them to the local ranger on duty.
Posted by Ryan Okrant on Friday, September 4, 2020
9/3/2020 Big Day Checking Food And Water Sites And Adding New Ones
Today, we spent time checking all the current food and water feeding stations. We also added nearly a dozen more water stations around Big Basin, Highway 9, and North of Boulder Creek.
Next, out of respect for those affected by the fire, we set the flag in Little Basin to half-mast.
We saw about a dozen dear, a couple skunks, one bat, and an unknown kitty (all of which we stopped to feed and left some water for).
Today was a long day, and we still have so much more work to do!