The Board of Supervisors voted on 1/5 to increase fees at some county parks, including the premier camping spots Jalama Beach and Lake Cachuma, which will now cost $30 instead of $20 for overnighting. The campgrounds are joined by reservations of park picnic tables and sports fields, which will also see fee increases. The supervisors elected not to raise senior rates at its parks, however. The moves will keep the county in the same ranges of other area jurisdictions, and will help offset increased service costs in a declining economy.


Recent testing added Nipomo to the list of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County locales – including Santa Maria, Oceano, and Arroyo Grande – which may be experiencing saltwater intrusion into their groundwater basins. Officials say that water shortages and low levels in the Five Cities aquifer could lead to saltwater levels that are difficult to reverse. Regulators are beginning to implement water conservation measures in response to the problem.


A man hiking the Fremont Trail this week felt a tugging at his backpack, turned around, and found a juvenile mountain lion going after the food in the backpack. According to authorities, the man fought off the lion, garnering some scratches in the process, but was otherwise uninjured. The man’s housecat, who was along for the hike, disappeared, and the man thought the mountain lion had found its lunch. The cat, however, reappeared at the man’s residence a mile-and-a-half away more than 20 hours later, disheveled but okay.


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