January. Chantry Flat Road is closed through at least the last week of January due to the fires of December.
A total of six USGS 7.5' topo maps were supposedly updated in 1999, according to the USGS website, but the information on their page does not seem to be correct. (TC)
February 3. Over 150 people attended the first meeting of the Altadena Foothills Conservancy. The AFC's goal is to protect the remaining wildlands in Altadena by purchasing them, restore damaged land and historic structures and trails, and encourage conservation easements for existing private properties. (JS)
7. The Forest Service is apparently about to open a new OHV trail, from the gate at the beginning of the Barley Flats Road, crossing the Upper Big Tujunga Road 3.1 miles from Shortcut Saddle, and probably continuing along the path of the powerlines north to Alder Creek. This will add at least 10 miles to the current 261 miles of designated OHV routes. (JS, TC, ANF map)
A newly bulldozed wide route has also been built along the west side of Alder Creek. (JS, TC)
March 7. The Forest Service settled a 1998 endangered species-related lawsuit filed by the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity against the four Southern California Forests. The Forest Service agreed to a number of actions to "maintain, recover and restore threatened and endangered species habitat":
- Revise the Land and Resource Management Plans for each forest to incorporate additional biological information to protect and conserve species (Notice of Intent expected Summer 2001);
- Prohibit grazing on that portion of the Wellman grazing allotment that overlaps the Bighorn Sheep range on the San Bernardino National Forest;
- Suspend construction and use of the Alder Saddle Off Highway Vehicle trail in the vicinity of the Alder Creek crossing;
- Continue the Little Rock/Santiago Canyon Special Closure Area (~five square miles of forest, including a "poorly planned campground" and 17 miles of off-road vehicle trails upstream of Littlerock Reservoir) until the Land and Resource Management Plan is revised;
- Establish schedules for surveying potential habitat for the Arroyo Toad on the Angeles and Cleveland National Forests and the Red-legged Frog;
- Prepare a survey and monitoring schedule for other high priority species on the four forests for fiscal year 2000 (Oct 1, 1999 through September 30, 2000)
14. Chantry Flat Road is still closed through at least the last week of March due to the fires of December, and probably will be closed beyond that date.
27. The Los Angeles River Ranger District (Oak Grove) Office confirmed that the section of newly-constructed trail connecting Shortcut Saddle (near Barley Flats Road) to Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road west of Shortcut Station is part of a planned Rincon to Little Rock Dam OHV route. Construction on the project is halted for now because of the Southwestern Arroyo Toad, an endangered species. (JS)
May 15. Sometime before this date, the owners of the private property at Cow Canyon Saddle posted a "Private Property - No Trespassing" sign at the gate for the Sunset Peak trailhead. Although I don't believe that they can legally restrict access to a route used regularly by the public, the Forest Service recommends that hikers use a new unsigned trailhead near mile marker 7.78 that is 3.3 miles farther west on Glendora Ridge Road. See Updates to Trails of The Angeles 1998 edition, trip 90. (TC, JS)
26. The Chantry Flat road continues to be closed indefinitely as the city of Sierra Madre refuses to pay to fix the damaged part of the road within their city boundaries. A 100 yard section was undermined by water, leaving air pockets under the asphalt. The road continues to be used by residents and the Forest Service, but "should not bear heavy traffic". However, even bikers and hikers are being turned away by police from Sierra Madre and Arcadia.
The repairs will cost ~$250,000, but Sierra Madre is only possibly willing to spend $100,000 on it. The $250,000 would be a significant portion of their general funds (the city size is only 10,767). L.A. County has already spent $48,000 on parts of the road in Sierra Madre and $284,000 on the county portion.
It is perhaps understandable that Sierra Madre is unwilling to repair a road that is used mostly by nonresidents. The road was originally built in 1935 by the County of Los Angeles. The Forest Service says that they are prohibited from spending their funds to fix the part of the road in Sierra Madre. (JS; The San Gabriels; L.A. Times 5/26/00, B1, B7; see also Road to Chantry Flat closed Indefinitely)
June 9. Andres Ruetman writes that Forest Service Road 3N06 was closed on 6/9/00 just beyond the Guffy Campground turnoff, eliminating vehicle access to the northern Devils Backbone route to Mt. Baldy as well as to Lupine and Cabin Flat campgrounds.
July 7. John Chandler reports that all tables are removed and the pit toilet is gone from Switzer Trail Camp, leaving just three old forest service stoves as the only evidence of the Camp. John camped there anyway and reports that the falls were still beautiful, despite the lack of rain in the last two years. The ANF Supervisor's office simply said that this Trail Camp "was not ours", and hence they have "no responsibility" for it.
9. The ANF Supervisor's office said that San Gabriel Canyon Road, SR39, will reopen for public use in ~2004. The road has been closed since 1978 from just north of the Crystal Lake turnoff to Islip Saddle as a result of a major rock slide. As of August 1999, the road was cleared enough so that it could be used for emergencies such as the evacuation of people from the Bridge Fire in that month.
On 10/20/99, Dave Anderberg observed many trucks and equipment working on the road. The security guard at the gate at Islip Saddle told him that the road would reopen in 6 months to a year from then, but that was not confirmed by any other report I have found.
11. Monrovia voters overwhelming approved two ballot measures to protect hillside wilderness and open space in the City of Monrovia. Ballot Measure A received 85% of the votes cast and Ballot Measure B was approved by 77% of the voters.
Ballot Measure A amends the city's General Plan by significantly reducing the density of residential development permitted in hillside zones; it also establishes designations called "Hillside Wilderness Preserve" and "Hillside Recreation" in the General Plan and Zoning Map, and requires prior voter approval of any development in these areas. Ballot Measure B establishes a small tax on parcels of real property in the city to fund the acquisition and maintenance of open space land; it is expected to raise $10 million over the next 30 years, which can be matched by private, state, and federal funds to enable the city to purchase substantial portions of presently undeveloped hillside wilderness and wildlife habitat. (Sierra Club Pasadena Group Conservation Page; The Foothills Wildlife Conservancy)
12. Jody Cook, Forest Supervisor and Deputy Forest Supervisor for the Plumas National Forest, was named as the next Angeles Forest Supervisor, taking over in August. (LA River District Office)
August 17. The Chantry Flat road finally reopened, after being closed since 12/26/99. Sierra Madre spent $5,000 to repair the damaged section of road at the entrance. However, the road will be closed again at the first sign of rain, since $250,000 of major repairs to the road, its culverts and its debris basins are still needed. (PSN 8/18/00)
September 1. The USFS Road 3N06 continues to be closed just beyond Guffy Campground, eliminating vehicle access to the northern Devils Backbone route to Mt. Baldy as well as to Lupine and Cabin Flat campgrounds. The closure is due to the need to conduct surveys for the mountain yellow-legged frog. See also December 22, 1999 News and 93: Blue Ridge to Pine and Dawson Mtns. And Mount San Antonio. (Santa Clara/Mojave Rivers Ranger District office)
Jerry Schad publishes second edition of Afoot and Afield in Los Angeles County.
October 14. The FY01 federal budget includes:
The ANF appropriations were due to Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, R-Santa Clarita. (PSN 10/14/00)
- $3.4 million to buy private land in the Agua Dulce area to relocate a dangerous stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail from Agua Dulce Canyon to a safer and more scenic route;
- $2 million for other land acquisition for the ANF;
- $900,000 to improve water and sewage systems in the ANF;
- $2 million for land acquisition for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area;
- $2.5 million for land acquisition for the San Bernardino National Forest; and
- $1 million for land acquisition for the new Santa Rosa National Monument.
22. Ranger Terry Ellis moves from District Ranger for the Los Angeles River District to working on the lawsuit filed against the 4 National Forests in Southern California, in advance of his retirement on 1/13/01. Steve Bear assumed the duties of the Acting District Ranger. (ANF Supervisor's office)
24. The federal government comes to the rescue of the Chantry Flat road, ponying up $600,000 to fix the road for good, including replacing damaged metal culverts beneath the road with much larger concrete ones. Work will begin after permits are obtained from the Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Fish and Game. Sierra Madre City Councilman Bart Doyle predicts that the road work will be completed by summer 2001. (LAT 10/24/00)
24. Charles Wain reports that the Wildwood Picnic area along Big Tujunga Canyon Rd. has been closed to protect endangered species, possibly closing the Stone Canyon Trail. See Links for hike #11 in the San Gabriel Mountains: Big Tujunga to Mt. Lukens via Stone Canyon Trail.
November 1. The ANF receives $360,000 in the FY01 budget to "to determine the best means to protect the area's history and environment, and assess what its state is now" and to "initiate a local environmental study to determine cleanup alternatives for the damaged Rubio Canyon". (Congressman Rogan Press Release of 2/14/00; ANF Supervisor's office; PSN 10/11/00)
5. A preliminary settlement was reached for the 5-year-old class action lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service. 5,800 former and current female employees will be allowed to file separate sexual harassment lawsuits in federal court for alleged offenses dating back to 1994. Women employes were allegedly "raped, assaulted, threatened, called names and thrown down stairs while on the job, as well as experiencing discrimination in promotions and raises". (PSN 11/5/00)
10. The first priority for Forest Service managers is now ecosystem health, which used to have equal weight with other forest priorities such as logging and public access. This new rule may limit logging, skiing or hiking in national forests if managers believe these activities "might permanently harm the ecosystem". (LAT 11/10/00, A40)
13. Fred Krueger, the Recreation, Lands, Special Uses and Engineering Staff Officer from the Plumas National Forest in Northern California, replaces Steve Bear as the Acting District Ranger for the Los Angeles River District through March 2001. The permanent replacement job will be advertised. (ANF Supervisor's office)
?. Big Santa Anita Canyon's packing company was recently bought out by We Um Altaxxum Pack Station at Xoxamongna (renamed after its Tonguan owners). (PSN 11/29/00)
Sometime in 2000. Updated planning regulations for Forests were issued, updating the 1982 original regulations. Individual Forests have the option of following the 1982 or the 2000 regulations until the Forest Update Plan is complete for that Forest. (ANF website)
Copyright © 1998-2001 by Tom Chester and Jane Strong.
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Updated 4 November 2001.