default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Big day as Woodbridge Wilderness Area reopens

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 7:33 am, Tue Jun 21, 2011.

Visitors and volunteers experienced banner days during the weekend as the Woodbridge Wilderness Area opened to the public for the first time in nearly two years.

At least 121 people from Woodbridge, Lodi, Acampo, Stockton, Sacramento, Chico, Riverside, Colorado and France — yes, France — stopped by to check out the shaded, tree-lined area between homes in the River Meadows neighborhood of Woodbridge and the Mokelumne River, said Mary Fuhs, an Acampo resident who led the volunteer effort.

The 17-acre wilderness area was closed when a devastating fire in September 2008 scorched the area and threatened homes. And for the next two years, the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors kept the wilderness area closed because of county budget cuts.

But Woodbridge Wilderness Area lovers talked the Board of Supervisors into opening the wilderness area on the third weekend of each month, which happens to be the time volunteers trim brush and clean up the area. County Supervisors agreed to allow the wilderness area to be open on a trial basis the third weekend of each month through December.

“We heard more stories about that area, dating back to 1966,” Fuhs said enthusiastically. “It was fun.”

Adult visitors told Fuhs and other volunteers about the days they spent along the banks of the Mokelumne during their childhood, she said.

Visitors also saw four deer and one beaver in the wilderness area. One of the deer was rather recalcitrant, trying several times to run through the River Meadows neighborhood, Fuhs said.

One of the more interesting birds the Audubon Society found was a black-headed grosbeak, said Liz West, secretary of the Stockton-based organization. They also saw a northern rough-winged swallow.

Fifteen volunteers worked from two to 15 hours during the weekend. That represented 75 man-hours.

A 4-foot-wide trail was cut through five acres of riparian area providing two circular trails to explore, Fuhs said. A truckload of flammable grapevines was pulled down from treetops and hauled away. Eight of the visitors became potential volunteers.

Here are some statistics from the weekend:

  • 121 visitors, though there may have been more because some parents didn’t write down their children’s names.
  • 15 from the Audubon Society counted birds, and 12 others counted butterflies. Audubon Society volunteers saw 186 birds, representing 38 species. Four species of butterflies were spotted.
  • 15 visitors fished in the river, with one catching an 18-inch bass caught and another a 20-inch bass. Both were released into the river.
  • 12 bicyclists were stopped at the entry gate. They were required to lock their bikes to go into the park.
  • Four dog walkers were turned away, so they took their dogs home and returned.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


Popular Stories


Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 63


Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists