© a Quinn Martin production
Lots of you have been asking what you can do to help. This year's resolution is to affect change on The Angeles and take back OUR forest. I will have an online petition circulating soon. Thanks everybody.

I originally wanted to blog about my adventures in the San Gabriel Mountains. I have some good stories, like the time I took a donkey to Ralph's Supermarket. But then the Station Fire started. I realized that there is much that needs to be brought to the attention of the mountain going public. Most folks are kept in the dark about how the Angeles National Forest operates. I will raise issues that are important to me, which are hopefully important to all citizens, but if you have any suggestions for discussion here, I am willing.

Here's the big agenda: Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron. I've made a few smart remarks and cryptic comments about her. But now, with the backing of some knowledgeable and trusted friends, it is time for a concerted effort to have her removed from her post. Stay tuned for details. And if you have any information you would like to contribute, anonymously or not, email me at gregsweet4@yahoo.com

I will get to some of the stories, sooner or later. Also, I want to make it clear that I no longer work at Adams' Pack Station, that these words are my own, and that the pack station is not the source of my information - they don't want trouble.

What About The Cabins That Burned?

There was an article in the LA Times yesterday that mentioned the plight of cabin owners in Big Tujunga Canyon, and how the same could happen to cabin owners in Big Santa Anita Canyon. When a cabin burns down, whether insured or not, it is "The Forest Service" that decides whether it can be rebuilt.

First I want to talk about cabin tracts like those in 'Big T' and Bouquet Canyon. Their problems are partially their own making. The Times article tells us that, in spite of the fact that the permits are for recreational residences, many live in the cabins full time. It says "They build porches, add above-ground pools and deck roofs with satellite dishes."

Residents in Tujunga scare off legitimate hikers and allow unfriendly dogs to run free. Cabins in Bouquet have carports filled with upholstered furniture and broken appliances. Both are infected with methamphetamine. They are like little pieces of Fontana that broke-off and wandered into the San Gabriels.

Naturally, I am not referring to ALL residents in the tracts. There are folks that use their cabins as intended: for weekends and holidays, but many in these types of cabin tract resist the Forest Service regulations, at least. It is up to the "good ones" to work with the Forest Service to exact control over the degenerates. Of course, as my rants suggest, this may not be as easy for them as it sounds.

This brings me to the point of this post. The Forest Service is also, if not mostly, to blame for the condition of these cabin tracts. The current management of the Angeles National Forest does have a flimsy excuse in that they have inherited many of these problems. But no effort has been made to correct them. There are no patrols to monitor persistent residency, and the additions of "porches, above-ground pools and deck roofs with satellite dishes" abound with impunity.

So what is the most advantageous solution to all of this? Fire! I am not suggesting, not in this post, that anyone would turn a blind eye to a home in peril. But when a problem cabin tract burns, some authorities may think that they could save themselves a lot of headaches by simply saying "NO" to rebuilding. The subtitle of the article gives a hint as to their future reasoning: "Residents of lodges on federal land need fire risk assessments before they can return to their secluded sanctuaries after the Station fire." The 'fire risk assessment' will surely state that the area is too dangerous to build within and that they only want to save lives from future disaster.

I am not offering here an opinion on the rebuilding of Big T, just a little insight and a prognostication as to how it's gonna go down.


Cafe Pasadena said...

I think some of the cabins will eventually be rebuilt. However, the govment won't be any help in that adventure.

Jimmy said...

Fire risk assessment is usually done according to some well defined principles and is a step wise procedure. This assessment is quite easy and in small areas can be done by the owner itself after some basic knowledge and obviously a clean and not so complicated area.

Anonymous said...

I've always thought cabins were highly coveted..meth labs etc. How would such fu**-ups get in?

Anonymous said...

You should know that the cabins on USFS land in Tujunga are intermingled with cabins on private land completely surrounded by USFS land. How this came to be is not known to me, but most of the overbuilding and poor brush trimming has occurred on these privately owned lots. These owners will often say to the cabin owners with a little haughty pride, 'big brother doesn't make us do brush clearance' or something to that effect. I have to say that meth addiction is a small problem in both the private land area and USFS land area, it is not a result of inadequate policing of cabins. In fact the only time I know of a meth addict being evicted is from a forest service cabin, not from known meth houses in the private area, so perhaps the opposite is the case. While the cabin management is rife with bad faith negotiation on the part of the USFS and many believe inconsistent rules, it is the often the full time cabin residences which deter crime. I assure you that these residences do not deter legal hikers, swimmers and fishers. These all abound, and this section of the forest is loved and used on a daily basis.

Wayne said...

Well acording to me if somebody wants to the cabins that burned then he/she should have fire assessment to prevent the fire .