When will Ventana reopen?

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Re: When will Ventana reopen?

Post by mikesplain »

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Re: When will Ventana reopen?

Post by bigsurkate »

First, I know VWA doesn't advocate breaking the law, which you encourage here Josh. Second, the "feddies" are not the enemy, the clueless touristas are.

Our local "feddies," particularly down at PV Station, were raised here, went to school here, and come from some of the original settlers. This long-line local family has been taking care of the land since the 1800's. Are they "feddies" because they wear the uniform? Or are they locals who add sensitivity and understanding to an otherwise beauracratic institution?

Frankly, I'd rather have him making the decisions than a few of the VWA members I see posting here.

Re: When will Ventana reopen?

Post by Josh »

Sheesh. The probability of being hit by a dead tree falling on your head is zero if you don't go standing under dead trees.
The local Freddies here routinely say April when asked about trail "reopenings". The programmatic response—next April—after each and every big fire is your clue that it is not any kind of analytical outcome. They are just trying to come up with a time generally past the general bulk of the rains and thus generally when the denuded slopes are less likely to be damaged by your big feet.
There are plenty of people in the backcountry right now. If you want to go for a hike, be sensitive about bare slopes (try not to drag exotic grass seeds and whatnot onto them—you'll interfere with the FS efforts at doing the same thing en masse), don't stand under dead trees, and don't antagonize the Freddies by teasing them about it afterwards.

Re: When will Ventana reopen?

Post by Guest »

Nice Math.

However, just because you may be right on regarding the "real" risk of being nailed by a half burned tree doesn't mean they won't stay closed til 2010...and use that as the excuse.

I doubt John Bradford has "done the math."
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Re: When will Ventana reopen?

Post by Jeff2012 »

Hello Darryl
Hope you are fine and having a peaceful holiday. Do you happen to know the website of the Ventana rain totals? My laptop is down, so I can't look it up. You can contact me at or here, whichever.
J Myers
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Re: When will Ventana reopen?

Post by darryl »

OOps... At one point I changed the "model" I was working on to fix the odds, and didn't re-calculate those two afterwords. My bad. IN any case - it's HIGHLY unlikely a tree is going to fall on you. The simplest way to make the odds better is not put your tent under a dead tree (which is a good/prudent) thing to do anyway - fire or no fire...

Plus, I don't think anyone is going to stay in ventana 24 hrs a day, every day for 5 years.

If you want to get closer to the "real odds" between the conservative one - you would need to know the real # of trees that died, and the real coverage of trees. Ventana has a lot (or at least did) of areas that are just brush. Nobody will die from brush falling on them ;-) Maybe 1/3 of the area was brush/clearings/grassland??? (just my guess) - so you can reduce the odds by that amount as well.

Anyway, there is ALWAYS a danger being in nature - Falling, Lions, Snakes, Heart Attacks, Exposure, etc... I honestly think it's more dangerous to drive to ventana on the roads/freeways than hike in it :-) Most of the dead trees will fall this winter if we get any significant rain/snow/winds - it should be fine by spring.

- Darryl
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Re: When will Ventana reopen?

Post by c2ski »


12,584,000 trees / 5 years = 503,360 per year

900 sq ft * 1,379 trees = 503,360

Yikes, I wouldn't want to trust my life to that math! Regardless of the assumptions, let's at least get the math right here. Actually:

12,584,000 trees / 5 years = 2,516,800

and 900 sq ft * 1,379 trees = 1,241,100

So the correct answer (again, given the assumptions) is more than 10 times more dangerous, at 1/1825 or 0.055% chance of death on any given day.
D Dawson

Re: When will Ventana reopen?

Post by D Dawson »

One thing no one has mentioned is the budget deficit.
How much money has the Los Padres National Forest lost because of its closure?
Most National Forests probably wouldn't lose that much cash by being closed.
But since Big Sur is the NUMBER #2 tourist in the United States after Lake Tahoe, wouldn't opening up the wilderness provide a substantial cash flow that could fund the restoration? I know California and the rest of the nation are strapped for cash. So isn't the wilderness suffering without the cash generated from Adventure Passes and Day Use Fees?
Seriously, if the Forest Service can rebuild all these trails without the public paying a fee, why do they charge us anyway??
The forest service just manages it.
I recommend a little civil disobedience on the part of all Ventana offcianados.
This is OUR LAND.
Unless they are going to make the backcountry 100% safe, they need to stop interfering with the public's enjoyment of their last remaining open space.
D. Dawson

Re: When will Ventana reopen?

Post by Greg »

Wow that is some math work there. So I guess the odds of being hit by lightening are higher than a falling tree out in the wild? Whatever happened to population control anyway? Are all these rules made to protect us or just helping to keep the less intelligent people in the gene pool? I mean where do we draw the line? Stupid people often raise stupid children and so it goes on for generation after generation...just look around.

Does it not seem that if we can't let people go off and get crushed by burnt falling trees, climb on unstable rock faces, try and cross swollen rivers, wonder off into the wildlands clueless, etc, then are we not messing with evolution and just procrastinating our true destiny? I mean really, ask yourself the next time you see some guy climbing up on the rocks over the gorge, "Do I really want my daughter to have his children?"

So the fact is all these (stupid people) laws are really making it hard on the rest of us who wish to try and make this a better world.

Think about it, won't you...please.

Re: When will Ventana reopen?

Post by wes »

I agree with Darryl that the risk of being killed by a falling tree is small, but I don't think it's as small as his analysis indicates. In his model, the wilderness is completely covered by trees, each of which will fall within 5 years. That means that if someone stayed at the same spot in the burned area for 5 years, one tree would be certain to fall on him. Of course no one is going to do that, but if he spends 2% of his time in the area, he'd have a 2% chance of a tree falling on him during the 5 years.

The whole area isn't covered by trees and not all trees have been killed or had large branches killed, but more than half a person's time in the area is likely to be spent under trees, considering that most campsites are in the midst of trees. Also, trees aren't equally likely to fall at all times throughout the 5 year period; in particular, the largest number will probably fall during the first year. In addition, brushing against a tree that's just at the verge of falling could cause it to fall, or maybe the vibrations of walking by it would do it.

Still, I'm willing to accept some risk in getting back into the wilderness area, and I'm hoping it will reopen next spring.
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