BILL WOULD TIGHTEN CONTROLS IN ANGELES, LOS PADRES FORESTS LARGE TRACTS WOULD BE CLOSED TO MINING, DRILLING, BIKING.Byline: Charles F. Bostwick Staff Writer
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST The Angeles National Forest (ANF) was established by executive order on December 20, 1892 as the San Gabriel Timberland Reserve. It covers over 2,600 km² (650,000 acres) and is located in the San Gabriel Mountains of Los Angeles County, just north of the metropolitan area of Los - Wilderness activists are pushing to declare nearly 200 square miles of Angeles National Forest off-limits to gravel quarries, logging, oil drilling, off-roaders and mountain bikers.
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer Barbara Levy Boxer (born November 11, 1940) is an American politician and the current junior U.S. Senator from the State of California.
A member of the Democratic Party, Boxer was first elected to the U.S. has introduced legislation that would give wilderness status to 2.5 million acres from San Diego San Diego (săn dēā`gō), city (1990 pop. 1,110,549), seat of San Diego co., S Calif., on San Diego Bay; inc. 1850. San Diego includes the unincorporated communities of La Jolla and Spring Valley. Coronado is across the bay. County to the Oregon border, including about 125,000 acres in the Angeles forest and 300,000 acres in Los Padres national forests.
``The reality is that areas that are left unprotected are degraded and in some instances completely destroyed,'' said Tim Allyn of the Sierra Club Sierra Club, national organization in the United States dedicated to the preservation and expansion of the world's parks, wildlife, and wilderness areas. Founded (1892) in California by a group led by the Scottish-American conservationist John Muir, the Sierra Club . ``We see the funding of the Forest Service continues to shrink. They are understaffed, underfunded un·der·fund
tr.v. un·der·fund·ed, un·der·fund·ing, un·der·funds
To provide insufficient funding for.
underfunded adj → infradotado (económicamente) , which will inevitably lead to further degradation.''
Statewide, the bill takes in 77 areas and 22 rivers and streams, including redwood forests in Trinity and Humboldt counties, pine-clad mountains between the Mammoth Mountain Mammoth Mountain is a large lava dome complex that lies to the west of the town of Mammoth Lakes, California in the Inyo National Forest.
Mammoth Mountain is home to the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area which is notable in that it gets an unusually large amount of and June Lake June Lake is a subalpine lake in Mono County, California, located at at an elevation of 7,612 ft (2320 m). The lake is popular for fishing. ski areas and desert land bordering the Army's Fort Irwin training center.
It would more than double the amount of Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. County's designated wilderness, which now covers more than 125 square miles deep inside the forest: the San Gabriel Wilderness The San Gabriel Wilderness is comprised of over 36,000 acres (150 km²) within the Angeles National Forest and can be entered via the following trails:
Notable hiking in the area includes Heaton Flats along the East Fork of the San Gabriel River to Bridge to Nowhere. between the Mountain High and Mount Baldy ski areas.
In some cases, the proposed new wilderness edges right up to the forest boundary. It includes pine forests atop Pleasant View Ridge overlooking the Antelope Valley, oak woodlands in canyons outside Santa Clarita and chaparral-covered slopes above Tujunga.
In Ventura County, the legislation would designate about 61,000 acres of wilderness, mostly along Highway 33 above Ojai, and give status as wild and scenic rivers to parts of two streams: more than 50 miles of Piru Creek, above and below Pyramid Lake, and 16 miles of Matilija Creek and its north fork above Ojai.
Among Ventura County land proposed as wilderness are areas under consideration by the Forest Service for opening to oil exploration. The Forest Service estimates 84 million barrels of oil lie under the Los Padres, from which wells north of Fillmore already pull 700,000 barrels a year.
In the Angeles forest, the proposed wilderness areas include land along the southern side of Soledad Canyon, where Santa Clarita is fighting a gravel quarry proposed on private land, and Elsmere Canyon property that was once proposed for a landfill.
Being inside national forest boundaries doesn't mean an area is protected from logging, oil drilling or sand and gravel mining, bill supporters said.
But critics - especially off-road vehicle enthusiasts, equestrian groups and mountain bikers - view the legislation as another attempt by those they call environmental elitists to keep most people out of the nation's public park lands.
``All public lands are ... so protected environmentally already. Putting them into wilderness means they're off limits to more of the public to enter,'' said Ruth Gerson, president of the Agoura Hills-based Recreation and Equestrian Coalition. ``Only somebody who can carry a 40-pound pack can go in.''
Wilderness designation doesn't bar horses, but equestrian enthusiasts fear it will result in less maintenance of dirt roads leading to trail heads until they become unsafe and are shut down.
``They don't keep up the trails. Then they close them. That's happened in other places,'' Gerson said.
The bill's supporters say they have gone to great lengths to avoid off- highway vehicle routes. In the Angeles, the proposed boundaries skirt dirt roads leading to backcountry back·coun·try
A sparsely inhabited rural region. campgrounds and snake around microwave towers and high-power lines.
In several instances, wilderness boundaries fall on both sides of a dirt road, but leave the road open.
Not surprisingly, the legislation, which was introduced in May, appears to be stalled in Congress for this year, but Boxer's staff say she will try again next year.
``This is going to be a long-term process,'' Boxer spokesman David Sandretti said. ``We will move forward in the next Congress if need be.''
While off-roaders and equestrian groups have declared their opposition to the bill, officers of a leading mountain bike organization are still talking with Boxer's staff about modifications. Organization members hope the proposed wilderness boundaries will be changed or some areas will get other designations to avoid closing popular bike routes.
``Wilderness proposals tend to create a lot of controversy and a lot of emotion. People tend to be totally against one or totally for it. We're kind of in the middle,'' said Tim Blumenthal, executive director for the International Mountain Bicycling Association The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is a non-profit educational association whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve trail opportunities for mountain bikers worldwide. . ``In principle, as an organization, we support new wilderness. But we do have an obligation to protect significant mountain-biking opportunities.'''
Before the legislation was introduced, the organization successfully negotiated to keep mountain biking mountain biking Sports medicine A sport in which participants use specialized bicycles to navigate rough, steep trails covered with unforgiving rocks Injury risk Concussions, fractures, death. See Extreme sport, Novelty seeking behavior. in an area where it is popular around Strawberry Peak, north of Altadena, and on a popular trail running out of Devils Punchbowl Punchbowl, hill, 500 ft (152 m) high, in the city of Honolulu, SE Oahu island, Hawaii. In the bowllike extinct volcanic crater at the summit (reached by a scenic drive) is the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, for those killed in World War II. County Park south of Pearblossom.
``We're committed to staying at the table and staying in the process,'' said organization board member Jim Hasenauer, a California State University, Northridge CSUN offers a variety of programs leading to bachelor's degrees in 61 fields and master's degrees in 42 fields. The university has over 150,000 alumni. It's also home to a summer musical theater/theater program known as TADW (TeenAge Drama Workshop) that leads teenagers through an , professor.
In the eastern Sierras, the mountain biking group opposes the Owens River Headwaters wilderness designation that would stop a proposed biking trail between Mammoth and June Lake.
Locally, the group wants to save prime mountain bike trails near Placerita Canyon State Park outside Santa Clarita, around Stone Cabin Flat above Duarte and in the Condor Peak area above Tujunga.
``There's no mining. There's no roads. There's no development. There's no forest,'' Hasenauer said of the Condor Peak area. ``The only difference between prewilderness and post-wilderness designation would be bicycles are banned. ... It could stay the way it is - a designated roadless area - and be protected forever.''
Proposed new wilderness areas