Los Padres Forest Closed Jan. 13, 2023.

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crockettonearth
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:24 am

Re: Los Padres Forest Closed Jan. 13, 2023.

Post by crockettonearth »

Post 1 of 2 due to the 5 URL max rule


###### Post 1 ##########
The situation continues to get worse.


Los Padres NF posts on Twitter images of "Un Safe conditions."

Like the one where they park the government truck on the road next to where a portion of it has washed out.
https://twitter.com/LosPadresNF

Folks can walk on these trails safely IMO.
Image
Perhaps things are so bad that they need more labor to work on trails. Say you want to help work for free to make things better?
Sign up for a trail work weekend at the meetup: https://www.meetup.com/ventana-wilderne ... 290344320/

People who have not volunteered with the org in the past are not allowed to volunteer during the closer!

"IMPORTANT: As you may know the Forest Service has closed Los Padres National Forest due to water damage to the roads and trails. We are still authorized to do work trips, with approval for each trip. WE CAN ONLY INCLUDE VOLUNTEERS WHO HAVE WORKED WITH US PREVIOUSLY."

This does not make sense from a support standpoint.

Furthermore, these meetups are going reasonably deep into the backcountry to work on the trails near rainbow camp.

Why not allow for public access in this region of the forest? https://www.gaiagps.com/map/?loc=12.2/- ... yer=natgeo

If the trail is safe enough to allow walking access to Rainbow camp for trail workers then it should be safe enough for the public to back in IMO.

We can also look at death data from other public lands that has higher death rates than this area and no blanket closers such as the one we are currently facing.

For example, White Mountain National Forest had three deaths last year: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_p ... tial_Range

They never close this forest. At the trailhead, they have a sign that reads, "STOP The area ahead has the worst weather in America. Many Have Died There From Exposure. Even In the Summer. Turn Back IF the Weather Is Bad. " This forest is 750,882 acres so about 1/3 the size of Los Padres.
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crockettonearth
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:24 am

Re: Los Padres Forest Closed Jan. 13, 2023.

Post by crockettonearth »

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We can also look at NPS land. https://wms.org/magazine/1343/risk-of-d ... all%20NPs. There are about 8 deaths per 10 billion visits.

Let's compare that to another dangerous activity such as driving. In California, there were 3,847 deaths in 2020 ratio to a population of 39,499,739.

The statistics are clear it is more dangerous to drive to a public land trailhead than it is to walk on public land.

To better understand the difference between 39 million and 8 billion consider the following;
a. A million seconds is 12 days. A billion seconds is 31 years

In short, there is no data that supports a blank closer of a land mass as large as Los Padres National Forest for safety reasons when we compare the risk of walking in a park to driving to a trailhead.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Padre ... nal_Forest

I understand if some roads need to be closed to vehicles.

Closing off hiking access in this manner to all 1,762,400 acres of public land is tyrannical.

The leaders making this policy do not deserve this power. https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/lpnf/abo ... st/offices

I see this as a violation of the Memorandum of January 21, 2009
Transparency and Open Government explicitly states:
https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR- ... 9-1777.pdf
Government should be participatory. Public engagement enhances the Government’s effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions. Knowledge
is widely dispersed in society, and public officials benefit from having
access to that dispersed knowledge. Executive departments and agencies
should offer Americans increased opportunities to participate in policymaking and to provide their Government with the benefits of their collective
expertise and information. Executive departments and agencies should also
solicit public input on how we can increase and improve opportunities
for public participation in Government.

Government should be collaborative. Collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their Government. Executive departments and agencies
should use innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperate among themselves, across all levels of Government, and with nonprofit organizations,
businesses, and individuals in the private sector. Executive departments
and agencies should solicit public feedback to assess and improve their
level of collaboration and to identify new opportunities for cooperation.

There was no calibration with the Venta Wild community on this board prior to the closing access. And since the closer, the land manager has only justified the action.

By law, they need to make the process both participatory and collaborative. They have failed.

Currently, I am stuck at my keyboard writing about their failure instead of working with the land manager and the Venta Wilderness alliance on organizing more trail meetups that allow the new volunteers to participate in post-Strome restoration. This is because I have not formally volunteered with the org in the past.

I have donated to VWA, brushed trails in Los Padres on my own backpack trips, picked up trash and toilet paper, and participated in trail building on other public lands with other organizations.

And yet I and many others remain excluded from volunteering for trail work meetups on this land.

If you reading this and agree this is a bad policy, advocate to change it.

The worst thing we can do is let this land manager take our rights to access.

For folks with more experience in policy, what do you think the best pathway forward is restoring legal access to our land in the next 60 days?
Rob
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:21 pm
Location: SJC

Re: Los Padres Forest Closed Jan. 13, 2023.

Post by Rob »

Regarding Sequoia: sure, the high country is snow-covered. No problem there, except that the road up from the entrance is closed above Hospital Rock because of damage from the storms. Yer gonna be carrying those skis a long way ... The road to South Fork was damaged from the storms, and there was a post from the NPS saying that the campground is closed. I have to imagine the North Fork road is pretty bad off, too.

Here is what the NPS site is saying :

"Extreme flooding damaged key drainage fixtures between Hospital Rock Picnic Area and the Giant Forest. The highway will need major repairs before it will be safe to reopen. Road crews are working to prevent further damage to the road. The park is also working with Federal Highways to assess damage and begin repairs. Storms over past weeks have brought the most extreme weather conditions in the park that long-term staff have seen in over 30 years. In addition to heavy precipitation, storms brought rain on top of the snowpack, melting existing snow and adding that moisture to the rain. All of this flowed over areas burned in 2021’s KNP Complex Fire, causing erosion, mudflows, and rockslides. Roads are heavily impacted by mud and rock slides not only in the parks, but along routes leading to the area."

Nice little generalization about the state parks, ha. You've probably never been to Henry Coe ... there are steep canyons and creek crossings that became swollen and impassable during the storms. I have to imagine there were lots of slides and downed trees, too. And not just inside the park, but on the twisty little roads that lead to the trailheads.

But sure, the land managers are worried about people who don't have good judgment or experience with rough trails getting into trouble and a surge of SAR activity and/or lawsuits. That's just how it is in this day and age. Based on some of the stupid stuff I've seen people do over the years, I'm not really sure I blame them.

Post mortum wrote: Thu Jan 19, 2023 7:55 am Rob, I am “dealing with it” by venting here. The state parks cater to people who may want to push a stroller along the trail, wilderness areas an specifically the Ventana Wilderness have never claimed to be that accommodating.
If I think about the trails and the access to those trails closed now on the coast and what they were before the rain
Turner creek trail - no change
Skinner ridge trail - no change
Mt Manuel- no change, the north End of the trail was lost years ago, washouts and obstructions on the remainder of the trail have not closed it in the past
Pine ridge- no known change except high water in the river makes it impossible to traverse just as it does for some time every year
Boronda trail- no change known
De angulo trail - no changes
Vincent’s trail
Mill creek trail

You get the idea. Sure there may be a trail obstruction but that is always the case. Note that sequoia national park is open, put on your skis and head over whitney crest

The closing of the forest is crap, not justified by any specific conditions, it is garbage
Post mortum

Re: Los Padres Forest Closed Jan. 13, 2023.

Post by Post mortum »

Rob, I am “dealing with it” by venting here. The state parks cater to people who may want to push a stroller along the trail, wilderness areas an specifically the Ventana Wilderness have never claimed to be that accommodating.
If I think about the trails and the access to those trails closed now on the coast and what they were before the rain
Turner creek trail - no change
Skinner ridge trail - no change
Mt Manuel- no change, the north End of the trail was lost years ago, washouts and obstructions on the remainder of the trail have not closed it in the past
Pine ridge- no known change except high water in the river makes it impossible to traverse just as it does for some time every year
Boronda trail- no change known
De angulo trail - no changes
Vincent’s trail
Mill creek trail

You get the idea. Sure there may be a trail obstruction but that is always the case. Note that sequoia national park is open, put on your skis and head over whitney crest

The closing of the forest is crap, not justified by any specific conditions, it is garbage
Rob
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:21 pm
Location: SJC

Re: Los Padres Forest Closed Jan. 13, 2023.

Post by Rob »

At least they're giving a timeline. A lot of CA state park units have closed indefinitely, "until further notice", and it isn't hard to understand why: flooding, damage to roads, trails, campgrounds, etc.

Same with some of areas of the national parks, if you've been following those feeds. Sequoia NP has been pretty hard hit.

You might want things to be a certain way, but it just ain't going to happen. Deal with it.

On the plus side, some of the local reservoirs around here are full, and that hasn't happened in some cases since 2019. The Sierra snowpack seems to be doing a lot better than last year (abysmal). On the minus side, folks won't be able to get in until later in the year without snowshoes or skis, and the mosquitoes are going to have a very nice year :)

"During the dry years, the people forgot about the rich years, and when the wet years returned, they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.”
-- John Steinbeck
ventana_phile

Re: Los Padres Forest Closed Jan. 13, 2023.

Post by ventana_phile »

When you cede your liberties to the criminal tyrants in Washington don't ever expect to get them back.
Why wouldn't the Forest Service do this?
They and other Federal alphabet-soup agencies have continually taken our freedoms for the sake of safety-ism.
You and I as taxpaying citizens be damned.
And the disenfranchisement of our access to public lands will go on.
iainmacdonald
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:56 am

Re: Los Padres Forest Closed Jan. 13, 2023.

Post by iainmacdonald »

crockettonearth wrote: Fri Jan 13, 2023 4:52 pm It's a sad day when the public loses access to 1.75 million acres of our own public land.
Again. For the third(?) time in as many years?
Jack rabbit

Re: Los Padres Forest Closed Jan. 13, 2023.

Post by Jack rabbit »

What would Thereau say about this?

What would he do?

“Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary.”
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CJDiM
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon May 11, 2009 3:56 pm

Re: Los Padres Forest Closed Jan. 13, 2023

Post by CJDiM »

Stewardship, access, good fire, and justice -- for all these reasons, at this point the Ventana would be far better off in the hands of native tribes than in those of the US Forest Service.

I didn't always feel that way, but I sure do now.
crockettonearth
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:24 am

Re: Los Padres Forest Closed Jan. 13, 2023.

Post by crockettonearth »

It's a sad day when the public loses access to 1.75 million acres of our own public land.

In this case, the land manager feels like the best way to keep the public safe is to keep them out by blocking all access until they feel like visitors can travel safely.

"“We’re taking this precautionary step to ensure visitor safety as we determine the extent of the damage and develop
a strategy to prioritize and address the extensive impacts to infrastructure and natural resources,” said Los Padres
Forest Supervisor Chris Stubbs. “I’m asking the public to heed the closure order while these recovery efforts are
underway. My intention is to re-open closed areas as soon as it’s safe to do so.


IMO, this type of blanket closer should never happen.

And the park should not be liable or responsible for public safety and rescues on the wilderness roads, trails, and land.

Imagine if public forests in snow areas were closed due to avalanche danger.
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