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dynoer


Sep 24, 2004, 3:57 PM
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S. California: Angeles National Forest closure.
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The Forest Service has announced that due to fire danger, as of Monday September 27th the Angeles National Forest will be closed to all users. That means this weekend (Sept. 25-26) will be your last chance to climb at Williamson Rock or boulder at Horse flats until it rains.

Fire Restrictions


dynoer


Sep 25, 2004, 2:28 PM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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My feelings on the closure are that it is a cop-out on the part of the Forest Service to simply close the National Forest. The high fire hazard is a legitimate concern but the idea that hikers, climbers, mtn bikers, and other forest visitors cannot be trusted to not start fires is unfounded.

Dry brush and high fire danger is a way of life in Southern California, dealing with the problem by simply closing down the forests is a cop-out.

Many of the devastating brush fires in the last couple years, I believe can be blamed on reasons other than recreational users. Arson, lightning strikes, vehicle fires are a few causes.

There is a way to vent your opposition to the closure on-line, go here... USFS comments

I doubt it will have any affect on the boneheaded USFS but it is worth a try.

Or send letters to...

Angeles National Forest
701 N Santa Anita Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91006

or call...
(626) 574-1613


carbo


Sep 25, 2004, 2:53 PM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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"My feelings on the closure are that it is a cop-out on the part of the Forest Service to simply close the National Forest. The high fire hazard is a legitimate concern but the idea that hikers, climbers, mtn bikers, and other forest visitors cannot be trusted to not start fires is unfounded. "

I guess you either keep all out to also keep some of the arsonist or clueless folks out. Yes I have seen people smoke or have camp fires where and when they shouldn't have.


picaco


Sep 25, 2004, 3:14 PM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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I don't believe it's a cop-out. If they close it due to fire dangers, that seems pretty legit. to me. Yeah, you wouldnt' expect hikers/mtn. bikers/climbers, etc... to start fires where they're not supposed to, but hey shit happens, I've seen some confident backpackers have a fire in the most ridiculous of places, such as at the base of a tree during a drought. I think the closure is a necessary precaution to take.

My 2 bits,

Benjamin


kellymoe


Sep 25, 2004, 7:15 PM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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These forests actualy need a good fire. A century of zero tollerance fire control has caused unnatural out of control growth. The Angeles NF is a time bomb waiting to go off. It not only affects the Angeles but all over the Western US. As to the road closure I selfishly don't want it. I realy don't believe that it will prevent an arsonist who is determined to set a fire from doing so. Another Knee Jerk reaction brought to you from the NFS.


sharpender


Sep 25, 2004, 7:27 PM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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So who's going to Williamson on Sunday. I could use a partner. PM me for a cell phone number. At work till 10 PM Saturday night.

Yeah, it's an easy out for the Forest Service. In the absence of an actual disaster or crises it seems to be a denial of civil rights. It's like closing down a flood plain street when there is no rain storm just cause it's rainy season. Welcome to the new Amerika.


picaco


Sep 25, 2004, 8:00 PM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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In reply to:
These forests actualy need a good fire. A century of zero tollerance fire control has caused unnatural out of control growth. The Angeles NF is a time bomb waiting to go off. It not only affects the Angeles but all over the Western US. As to the road closure I selfishly don't want it. I realy don't believe that it will prevent an arsonist who is determined to set a fire from doing so. Another Knee Jerk reaction brought to you from the NFS.

You're right, the best way to prevent a major forest fire is to do prescribed burning regularly. I know this because I've taught a class on fire management of ecosystems for two years. The thing with the closure is that to much ground material has built up, so any fire, controled or not, would be to large to handle. The best method to remedy this is to send crews in to clear away the duff, but unfortunately, the NFS is not funded well enough for this (thanks GW). I do agree that the closure won't stop an arsonist, but it will stop the accidental fires that can happen from backpackers etc...


blouderk2


Sep 25, 2004, 8:55 PM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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Is this really true? That really sucks if they do really close down the whole angeles crest.


Is it true? :(


indigo_nite


Sep 25, 2004, 9:19 PM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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bummer. pray for more rain this winter/spring...

can this be cross-posted under the access issues/closures area?


Partner f_thomas


Sep 25, 2004, 11:32 PM
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Williamson Rock not included in Closure per Forest Service [In reply to]
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We were to have had a Clean A Crag Day today at Williamson, but I called it off after a couple of people contacted me late yesterday to let me know of the existing and pending closures they had heard on newscasts in the LA area. I searched the web sites, but could find nothing definitive.

I contacted the Rangers Office and was told that Williamson will remail open due to the 1/8 mile hike and easy evacuation for a fire if required. The Ranger (forget his name) was polite, informative and hoped that we would reschdule the Clean A Crag Day! So, that will be done within the first two weeks of October!

Leave No Trace and let's continue the good working relationship with the Angeles National Forest!!!! Go Climbing at Williamson!!

Regards
Fred Thomas


benpullin


Sep 26, 2004, 1:18 AM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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In reply to:
My feelings on the closure are that it is a cop-out on the part of the Forest Service to simply close the National Forest. The high fire hazard is a legitimate concern but the idea that hikers, climbers, mtn bikers, and other forest visitors cannot be trusted to not start fires is unfounded.

Agreed, it's a shame that the area will be temporarily closed.

My question to you is: what is their alternative? What is your solution to this problem?

Anyone can complain about a situation. It's a different story to present a solution or alternative.


benpullin


Sep 26, 2004, 1:21 AM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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Many of the devastating brush fires in the last couple years, I believe can be blamed on reasons other than recreational users. Arson, lightning strikes, vehicle fires are a few causes.

Two of the three causes you have listed are a result of PEOPLE.

A temporary closure restricts the access of PEOPLE to the area.


kellymoe


Sep 26, 2004, 9:31 AM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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It is interesting that the one of the areas that WILL remain open is San Gabriel Canyon, one of the most heavily used (and polluted) areas of Angeles NF. It is also an area that has seen the largest fire activity in the last 5 years. The areas that see the lightest traffic are closed. I don't see the logic in this. The NFS keeps an area open with the highest fire risk while closing an area with the lowest fire risk. While fires are certainly possible along the crest of the the Angeles, the undergrowth and brush is much thinner and spread out than at lower altitudes such as San G Canyon where fuels are thick and dense and just waiting to burn. I have seen fires in the high country around Throop Peak and Mt Islip, these fires burn very slow and have minimal spread rates. On the other hand the Curve Fire in San G Canyon a few years ago spread to 1000 acres in a matter of minutes and to 5000 acres in a few hours. If I had my way, which I don't, I would keep the High Country open and close the low altitude front country such as San G Canyon, Switzers, Big Tujunga etc.


picaco


Sep 26, 2004, 9:59 AM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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One of the deciding factors in determining which area's they close is the ability for personal and equipment to be able to reach the area in a short amount of time. If the area is hard to get to, or more remote it is more likely to be closed than an area that is along a road.


kellymoe


Sep 26, 2004, 10:32 AM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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It is important to get there ASAP but the topography of the fuel load of the San Gabriel Mountains are such that you can have a crew and helicoptors on scene in a matter of minutes and if the the temp, humididty and wind are all in alignment it won't matter how fast you got there it is going to blow up and won't go out until it rains or snow. On the other hand in the high country where Williamson Rock is located humidity is low but temps are lower also and fuels are much more spread out. You can get helos dropping water onthe fire in a matter of minutes and air tankers in an hour. Hand crew from the area can be on scene in a matter of 30 minutes or less. I have seen fires in the high country burn for weeks and only spread a few hundred acres as opposed to the lower elevations wher it will spread a few hundred acres in 30 minutes. If the NFS was realy concerned about optimal use of manpower they would close the lower elevations as well as the high country. I think the real reason for keeping the San G Canyon open is that it sees thousands of visitors a day on the weekends from low income areas of So. Cal. If they were to close it, the outcry from the public would be huge as opposed to the comparitive handful of backpackers, climbers and mountain bikers who use the high country. The squeeky wheel gets the greese.


kellymoe


Sep 26, 2004, 10:41 AM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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For those interested in what a fire looks like in the San Gabriel Canyon, do a Google on "best f mt. wilson tower cam" and click on the picks of the curve fire on page 2, then click on "more pics of the Curve Fire".


picaco


Sep 26, 2004, 10:51 AM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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Like I said in my first post on this thread, I haven't been to this particular area, but I'm basing my posts on the article from the NFS as well as my dealings with other fires in National Forests. To me it still sounds like the lower area is extremely more acessible not only for fighting a possible fire, but for evacuation if needed. Sure a helicopter can reach the higher area's for fire suppresant drops, but what about evacs? You may be partially right though about keeping the more heavily used areas open to prevent a tremendous public outcry, but I still believe that the main reason for the decisions as to which areas to close lies with the accesibility.


kellymoe


Sep 26, 2004, 11:23 AM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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I am not replying to argue I like the dialog we have here. I think it is hard for a person who is unfamiliar with the area to understand when dealing with topography that ranges from 500ft. above sea level to over 10000ft. As far as acessibilty both areas have very few roads, actualy each area is remote and hard to get to with fire equipment. as far a evacuation? Well in the San Gabriel canyon area you are dealing with several thousand people on a crowded weekend with one road in and one road out. This is and has created huge problems for firefighting equipment trying to get into the area. There are very few safety areas for forest visitors in the canyon. In the Hight country there may be a few hundred on a weekend with more escape routes.


picaco


Sep 26, 2004, 11:59 AM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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You're right, not having ever been there makes it hard to understand the specific problems. I do have a couple of questions about the area, specifically the cayon area. You say there's only one road in/out, how many lanes is this road? If it only has one lane in either direction, it sounds like the NFS would have some serious problems. If it's larger, well then who knows. Also, do you know of a website that'd have the layout of the forest, ie the kinds of activities that are undertaken in the cayon area? If there's just picnicing going on, not many open flames, then that may also have an effect on the decision by the NFS to leave it open. But like we've agreed, by not having ever ventured to this particular forest, makes it harder for me to understand the specifics concerning the decisions the NFS has made.


dynoer


Sep 26, 2004, 2:49 PM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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In reply to:
In reply to:
My feelings on the closure are that it is a cop-out on the part of the Forest Service to simply close the National Forest. The high fire hazard is a legitimate concern but the idea that hikers, climbers, mtn bikers, and other forest visitors cannot be trusted to not start fires is unfounded.

Agreed, it's a shame that the area will be temporarily closed.

My question to you is: what is their alternative? What is your solution to this problem?

Anyone can complain about a situation. It's a different story to present a solution or alternative.

Actually, what I contend is that closing the forest to recreational use is not going to stop the threat of fires being started. The fact that the roads will remain open assures that an arsonist will not be stopped or fires started by vehilce fires, or careless drivers tossing cigarettes out the window. It will be ok for me to drive along the Angeles Crest hwy., and stop by the side of the road and hang out there, but if I want to take a quick run up Baden Powell, that would be illegal. It just don't seem right IMO.

Oh, as far as solutions.. as stated by Kellymoe, prescribed burns would be a good start. Last winter would have been an optimal time to do it, but as far as I know they had none. Also, the dialog between Kellymoe and Picac covers some good points.


dynoer


Sep 26, 2004, 3:00 PM
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Re: Williamson Rock not included in Closure per Forest Servi [In reply to]
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In reply to:
We were to have had a Clean A Crag Day today at Williamson, but I called it off after a couple of people contacted me late yesterday to let me know of the existing and pending closures they had heard on newscasts in the LA area. I searched the web sites, but could find nothing definitive.

I contacted the Rangers Office and was told that Williamson will remail open due to the 1/8 mile hike and easy evacuation for a fire if required. The Ranger (forget his name) was polite, informative and hoped that we would reschdule the Clean A Crag Day! So, that will be done within the first two weeks of October!

Leave No Trace and let's continue the good working relationship with the Angeles National Forest!!!! Go Climbing at Williamson!!

Regards
Fred Thomas

Very interesting!! Thanks Fred! Willy will remain open!!! Yea!
So there is some intelligence in the USFS!! Heck I'm gonna have to stop talking so much smack about them! :wink:

This is good news about Williamson rock remaining open, but I think it underscores the fact that closing most of the forest is overkill. As Kellymoe said it would make more sense to keep the high country open and close the lower elevation areas since that is where the fire hazard is more extreme and where the fires are usually started.

Maybe other areas will remain open or the closure will be changed, so as stated on the F.S. webpage...

"Visitors are encouraged to check the status of their destination before making final plans."

Los Angeles River Ranger Station (818) 899-1900
San Gabriel River Ranger Station (626) 335-1251
Santa Clara-Mojave Rivers Ranger Station (661) 296-9710

That link again...USFS fire restrictions


kellymoe


Sep 26, 2004, 3:42 PM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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The San Gabriel Canyon is a multi use area. It has a OHV for 4x4 to use. This group stays within a pretty confined are and generaly causes little trouble. There are two rivers that come together that are a trickle to non existant this time of year. The canyon attracts a huge hispanic population which use the area for picnicing. The later group I have seen several times with open fires, BBQs and hibachis in high fire danger areas. I have while kayaking the same rivers in the spring witnessed people throwing diapers in the river, filling a trash bag with trash then walk to the edge of the river and empty the trash bag into the river, aside from being illegal and stupid I just couldnt figure out why they would even go to the hassle of filling the bag in the first place if they were just going to walk ten feet and dump it in the river. I have had guns pointed at me by gang members picnicing by the river, I have seen people dump there charcoal in the dirt next to the bushes. I have been shot at with BB guns while kayaking on the river also. It attracts a very urban crowd with little respect for the environment. As to the road, it is one lane in and one lane out for 8 miles or more and bumper to bumper traffic on the weekends. I am not knocking hispanics it is just that they dont know any better and if they do? Well it doesnt matter what color there skin is they are just plain old idiots. So keeping an area open like this make no sense to me. I think the political backlash would be too great and the NFS just caved in and made the easier choice. A few angry climbers are easy to ignore.


picaco


Sep 26, 2004, 4:37 PM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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From your description of the area, I'm really curious as to the reason the canyon area is not closed. It would be interesting to see the NFS's reasons for closing other area's, but leaving the canyon are open. I think if they're going to close anything, you may as well just close it all.


On a side note, man I really hate it when people abuse nature.


bishopclimber


Sep 26, 2004, 9:12 PM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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In reply to:
I think the real reason for keeping the San G Canyon open is that it sees thousands of visitors a day on the weekends from low income areas of So. Cal. If they were to close it, the outcry from the public would be huge as opposed to the comparitive handful of backpackers, climbers and mountain bikers who use the high country. The squeeky wheel gets the greese.

you hit the nail on the head


dood


Sep 26, 2004, 9:23 PM
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Re: S. California: Angeles National Forest closure. [In reply to]
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In reply to:

Many of the devastating brush fires in the last couple years, I believe can be blamed on reasons other than recreational users. Arson, lightning strikes, vehicle fires are a few causes.

There is a way to vent your opposition to the closure on-line, go here... USFS comments

I doubt it will have any affect on the boneheaded USFS but it is worth a try.

Actually, you're the bonehead. Several of the recent fires can be blamed on recreational users who didn't have a clue. Burning toilet paper, animal sacrifices, etc. It is a shame you are inconvenienced, but that's tough! We all need to help preserve this area. There are plenty of spots to climb in SoCal, so deal with it.

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