Wildlife officials say adult bears without cubs usually begin coming out of their dens in mid-March. Mothers with cubs come out later, usually from mid-April to early May.
Biologists say the bears will eat emergent grasses as well as dead and decaying animals.
But they'll also key in on easy pickings from trash. Biologists are warning people to secure their garbage, to keep garage doors shut, car doors locked and all sources of food away from bears.
Officials remind people that it's illegal to feed any big game mammal.
A movement around the U.S. encourages people to skip the shopping malls Friday and spend time in nature. Some national parks and state parks in California are waiving entry fees.
The 19th annual Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival this weekend is expected to bring thousands of visitors to see the stately birds.
The Pacific Storm system brought some slight improvement to drought conditions in California and Nevada last week.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing more than $30 million to California and Nevada native tribes for water quality and environmental restoration projects.
A program will begin soon in the Eldorado National Forest to remove live or dead vegetation to prevent the spread of wildfires.