Category Archives: Pit River Area History

Bill Baldwin named 2018 Burney Basin Days Parade Grand Marshall

Bill Baldwin will be Grand Marshall for the 2018 Burney Basin Days Parade on Saturday, July 7.

2018 Grand Marshall Bill Baldwin and his wife Tina

Mr. Baldwin was born in Omaha, Nebraska and lived in Utah and Idaho before moving to California around the end of World War II. After graduating from high school, he married his first love Sue. Together they had four wonderful children: Nanette Marie, Janine Rose, Daniel Joe, and Dean Carrol. He earned a Bachelor’s degree and is a member of the St. Francis Catholic Church in Burney.

“Burney has been my home for 46 years and has been the most tragic and the most wonderful experience of my life. On New Year’s Day 1985, God called my wife Sue to be with Him – the most tragic day of my life. I met the second love of my life, Tina, and on March 20, 1987 we were married. We have been constant partners in everything we do up to and including now. I loved two girls and I married them both.”

Mr. Baldwin served in the military for 5 and 1/2 years with 31 months combat duty in Vietnam. He was a U.S. Army Airborne Ranger with the 5th Special Forces Group. During that time he received numerous decorations including two purple hearts, two bronze stars, and a Presidential Unit Citation. He was honorably discharged in 1968.

He has worked for Publishers, worked in the woods, worked as a handyman and roofer, and as a substitute teacher. He retired from Shasta County Public Works after 17 years of service.

Mr. Baldwin has helped with many community improvements and served many organizations. He was involved in the restoration of the Little League Park. He coached both Little League and Youth Basketball League. He served on the Fire Board, as PTA president, and as a Burney High School Project Mentor.

He is a life member of American Legion Post #441 where he has served as Youth Commissioner for more than 20 years. This year his family created the Bill Baldwin Community Service Scholarship Fund that is administered by the American Legion. Mr. Baldwin was able to present the first scholarship at this year’s Senior Awards Assembly.

As an original member of the Burney Veterans Honor Guard he served in positions from Rifleman to Commander.

Although he is not a member, he proudly supports Burney VFW Post 5689 and all other Veterans organizations.

Baldwin says that hunting, fishing, camping, and wood gathering are high on his list of activities that he enjoys, but “spending time with my wife Tina and our families is right up at the top.”

Grateful to be named this year’s Grand Marshall, Baldwin humbly said, “I am very fortunate to have been recognized by Burney and my friends and members in times past, but nothing so much as this honor.”


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Filed under Burney, Burney Basin Days, Pit River Area History, Veterans

Donna Scheckla will be Honored Guest at Burney Basin Days Parade

Donna Scheckla will be an Honored Guest at 2017 Burney Basin Days Parade. She first came to Burney in 1971 when her husband, Al, moved his trucking business here. She moved here permanently in 1976. Since then Mrs. Scheckla has been a strong supporter of Burney Basin Days and a dedicated volunteer in the community.

Since the 1970’s she has volunteered at the Burney Basin Days Parade helping to decorate the judges booth and assisting at the top of the hill. She also has helped serve at the VFW barbecue and worked at the gate collecting donations at the Rotary Fireworks Program.

She has been a member of the Soroptomist Club and the VFW Auxiliary Post 5289 since 1974. She has enjoyed helping with the VFW raffle and the ham dinner.

For eight years she has served as a member of the Burney Citizens Patrol helping to keep our neighborhoods safe.

In addition, she helped Rick Morris to start the Burney Beautification Program and has also sponsored a bowling team for 25 years.

Mr. and Mrs. Scheckla had been married for 53 years when her husband died in 2004. They  raised four sons. She is blessed with 17 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

In spite of some recent difficulties with her hip and knee, her desire to serve the community remains undiminished.

“I am 85 years old and just like to stay as active as possible and help wherever I can,” Mrs. Scheckla said cheerfully.

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Filed under Burney, Burney Basin Days, Pit River Area History, Pit River Country Events, VFW

In Memorium – Two videos of Dave Wicks playing at the Blackberry Patch in 2012

Dave Wicks passed away on the night of December 21, 2016. During his life he had brought much joy to his family, his community of faith, and the community.

In February of 2012, Dave came with some of his friends to an open mic to the Blackberry diner and sang two songs.

Dave was one of the most talented musicians in the Intermountain area, but what he valued most was his faith and his family.


Filed under Burney, Pit River Area History

Pit River Tribe to host reader’s theatre and pot luck January 13

Click on flyer to enlarge

Click on flyer to enlarge

On January Friday 13, 2017, there will be a reading of a play entitled “Undamming History.” The event will held from 6-8 p.m. at the Pit River Tribal Community Room in the Pit River Health Services Building located on Park Ave. Burney, CA.

There will also be a pot luck dinner.

The community is invited to “Bring a dish and join an informal script read of the play about local tribal history that debuted Oct. 22 at the Cascade Theater. Have fun while learning about indigenous history!”

The Shasta Historical Society and four tribes in the area collaborated to create the work.

Marc Dadigan, Jack Potter, Louise Davis, Jessica Jim and others who were part of the committee that produced the play will be in attendance. Some of the actors who played roles at the debut in Redding are also planning to come. In addition, Patricia Lord from the Shasta Historical Society will be present and perhaps speak about the resources the society can provide.

If you would like more information on the program, please email A copy of the script is available on the Shasta Historical Society’s website.

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Filed under Burney, Pit River Area History, Pit River Tribe

Kevin Fletcher shares about 42 years of logging

The meeting room at Gepetto’s was full as Kevin Fletcher shared stories and insights from his 42 years of experience in the logging business at the Rotary Club of Burney-Fall River on Thursday, November 17.

Kevin Fletcher talks about logging to Rotary Club

Kevin Fletcher talks about logging to Rotary Club

Fletcher’s father was a logger and he began working with him as a teenager. One of his first jobs was planting trees. When he finished high school he began work as a logger and worked in that capacity supplying a number of mills in Northern California.

Over the years the process of logging has changed. In the early 1980’s most trees were hand-cut. More men were required for skidding, loading and transporting. In the 1990’s mechanization began to replace conventional logging. Large “doodle headed” processers, chokers and grapplers are used to harvest and process the trees.

Also the size of the trees has decreased and percentage of utilization of each tree has increased. In the past sometimes large trees were left lying on the forest floor if knots made cutting difficult. In the 1980’s they didn’t take trees smaller than 12 inches. Branches and tree tops were not necessarily processed. Now with mechanization, trees as small as 6″ are harvested and the entire tree is processed. Parts of the tree that can not be used for lumber are chipped and used for fuel.

Fletcher brought pictures of trees and equipment to illustrate his talk and peppered his remarks with a number of amusing personal anecdotes.

There were a lot of questions from the audience regarding restoration of mixed forests, clear-cutting verses selective cutting, beetle infestation, the effects of the drought, and various other aspects of forest management.

Fletcher explained that companies such as Sierra Pacific uses a 100 harvesting year plan that includes reforestation, maintaining the watershed, wildlife diversity, and fire prevention . In the state of California, clear cutting is limited, but sometimes useful to provide breaks that will help prevent the spread of wildfires.

Likewise in selective cutting the age and density of the forest managed may vary depending on the needs of local wildlife. Some animals, birds, and insects like younger forests, some like older, Some like denser woods, some like thinner.

In areas burned by wildfires, the rate of decay varies but all usable wood should be harvested within one year. Also when an area is replanted, the trees are planted relatively close together for survivability, but as they grow, the forest will be thinned to maintain the health of the forest.

He also discussed the varied use different species. Ponderosa pine is good for building as well as trim. White pine is softer so more suitable for trim although there are new treatment techniques that can harden the wood for other uses. He also discussed the uses of various species of  fir.

Drought has weakens the strength of the immunity of forest areas and contributes to beetle infestation. In managing a forest the companies try to remove infested trees as quickly as possible so that infestation will not spread. A forest that has been weakened by several years of drought will take several years to recover.

It is more profitable to harvest younger trees than giant old trees because a higher percentage of the wood can be used. Therefore, old growth trees may not be harvested which also helps to maintain a degree of  bio-diversity. There are also variations in the philosophies of forest management amongst private companies, the US Forest Service, and the National Park Service.

These are some of the topics covered during the presentation and discussion. When asked if he had any advice for young people who might want to pursue a career in logging, Fletcher said that, because the income loggers make has declined over the years, he recommended that people only pursue a career in logging if they really love the work.

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Filed under Burney, Pit River Area History, Scott Lumber Company

Lieutenant Mark Lillibridge shares some parting thoughts with the Intermountain community

Mark Lillibridge has been serving in the Shasta County Sherriff’s Department for 25 years. For the past three years he has been working at the Sherriff’s station in Burney working with community relations, and training and supervising officers in the field. At the end of November he will be retiring. In this video he shares some of his thoughts and perspective as he prepares for his retirement.



Filed under Pit River Area History

Four Local Volunteers Honored at Heritage Day

Saturday October 9 was the 27th annual celebration of Heritage Day at McArthur-Burney Falls Park. As part of the celebration, Catherine Campbell, Chairperson of the McArthur-Burney Falls Interpretive Society, and Brett Mizeur, Supervising Ranger, honored four local volunteers for their valuable assistance to the park and the event.

Catherine Camp and Ranger Mizeur recognize awardees

Catherine Camp and Ranger Mizeur recognize awardees

Melissa Madden teaches English and leadership and serves as the youth activities director for Burney High School. She helps to organize and co-ordinate student service organizations, such as the Leos, to assist at Heritage Day and other local events. The teaching and assistance by Leos and Scouts under the supervision of Ms. Madden and the Scout leaders at the activity and craft stations has been essential to the success of these events. Because Melissa Madden is a good leader, she can help her students to become good leaders.

Supervising Ranger Brett Mizeur presents Melissa Madden with a certificate of appreciaton

Supervising Ranger Brett Mizeur presents Melissa Madden with a certificate of appreciation

The second awardee Stan Vigolo is a member of the Pit River Pioneers. He came to the first Heritage Day 27 years ago and has come every year since helping to set up a display showing how the pioneers to this area lived, hunted, camped, fished, etc. A picture of him at the first Heritage Day in full Buckskins appeared on a flier for the Park for several years.

Stan Vigolo receiving his award

Stan Vigolo receiving his award

At 6′ 5″ Stan is a mountain of a mountain man. He is an avid enthusiast of pioneer sports and has participated in many competitions such as tomahawk throwing and sawbucking. Here’s a tip from past champion Stan on sawbucking. If you want to get a good, clean, quick cut, have a left-hand and a right hand man as a team. That will equalize the pressure on the saw to keep it from bowing.

The third recipient was Chuck Evans. 89 year-old Chuck has also participated in every Heritage Day. One of the things he has done is to help organize and direct the parking. Lion Chuck was in the hamburger line when his name was called but Ranger Brett caught up with him afterwards to present his certificate.

Chuck Evans receiving and award from Rangers Brett Miseur and Dan Toth

Chuck Evans receiving and award from Rangers Brett Mizeur and Dan Toth

The final awardee was Craig Harrington, publisher of the Intermountain News. Every year Craig donates his time and labor for the layout and graphic design for the Burney Falls Park publication that is given to thousands of visitors. This provides a lot of interesting information and a great souvenir. He also assists the park and the interpretive association with other work on publications and publicity.

As Catherine Camp said, Heritage Day would not be a success each year without the help of scores of volunteers. Thanks to these four noble souls and to all the others who have donated their time, talents, and resources.


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Filed under Burney, Burney Falls, Burney Lions Club, Fall River Mills, MacArthur, Pit River Area History, Pit River Country Events