header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
69°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
May 17
1993 - Dale Poe, 61, developer of Stevenson Ranch, killed in car crash [story]
Stevenson Ranch fountain


Commentary by Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel
| Sunday, Jan 12, 2014

Forest closure area - still in effect - Click map to enlarge

DianneErskineHellrigelLast year’s Powerhouse Fire burned 30,274 acres. Much of that acreage was in the Tule and Red Mountain areas of the Angeles National Forest. A smaller portion of Fish Canyon was also burned.

Tule, Red Mountain, Fish Canyon and Salt Creek are all Inventoried Roadless Areas that have been recently considered for a possible wilderness designation. They comprise a portion of the non-contiguous Angeles National Forest near Castaic.

Fish Canyon and Salt Creek are exquisite examples of indigenous chaparral with intermittent streams, multitudes of endangered species and healthy ecosystems. Fish Canyon has the largest endangered black oak forest in the state.

Tule, before the fire, was a veritable haven for endangered red-legged and yellow-legged frogs. Streams that meandered through Tule by the dozens were filled with the southernmost spade-footed toad.

deh010814a_smallRed Mountain is known for endangered red-legged frogs and arroyo toads that have lived there, as well as the highest peak in the area.

Since the Powerhouse Fire, all of these areas in the forest have been closed to all recreational users.

The first closure order was expected to expire Dec. 31, but it has been reissued and remained in effect until March 1. The forest supervisor will consider boundary readjustments in February.

Also, the Station Fire closure is still in effect in much of the Angeles National Forest, five years after that fire. We could find that the Powerhouse Fire closure will be continued even after March 1.

If you plan to go into this area after March 1, you’ll want to call your local ranger station for closure verification and information.

Hundreds of people have violated the closure order since the fire, erroneously believing Fish Canyon and Salt Creek were not included in the order. After all, Salt Creek did not burn, and while the northeastern region of Fish Creek did burn, its lower area is still in fine shape.

However, the fact of whether an area burned is not the only thing the forest supervisor takes into consideration when making his or her decision about a forest closure.

deh010814c_fishcreek

Fish Creek

Fish Creek

All of the mammals that survived the Powerhouse Fire are now claiming Fish Canyon and Salt Creek as their new home. There are dozens of endangered species trying to find a place to settle down. There are bears, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes and foxes staking out new territories and competing with previous residents for food. In addition, the forest rangers have just relocated three bears into Fish Canyon.

By closing Fish Canyon and Salt Creek to visitors, the forest managers are trying to calm the animal residents within the forest. By closing Tule and Red Mountain, they are hoping for healthy forest regrowth.

It is a complicated matter to consider the biology, ecology and hydrology of a burn area and the surrounding animal sanctuaries. The Forest Service knows exactly what it is doing. It has the experts who have made these determinations.

The problem comes when hikers, mountain bikers or equestrians inadvertently go into the land within the fire closure. The delicate balance can easily be turned upside down, and endangered species can die. Mammals that are already upset by the fire can become even more threatened by people stomping through the area, and this can lead to more competition and even death, in some cases.

deh010814bThere are others who don’t care what the Forest Service says, or even that the forest closure exists. These are the people who cause the most damage to the forest, and indeed, in time, I hope, may be subject to the $5,000 fine for invading the area and up to six months in prison. And if a group goes in, it is subject to a $10,000 fine and six  months’ imprisonment. People who violate the forest closure need to rethink their own selfish motives and consider the consequences of their actions.

Most of the entrances to the Powerhouse closure are marked with signs indicating the area is closed. Some of the signs have been removed by “ambitious” visitors.

ALL property in this area that is under the jurisdiction of the Angeles National Forest is closed.

The map accompanying this article shows the exact boundaries of the forest closure. The forest closure starts at Interstate 5 on the west, includes all of the acreage below Templin Highway and around Castaic Lake to San Francisquito and Cherry canyons on the South, to Pine Canyon Road on the north, and to Elizabeth Lake, Green Valley and Spunky Canyon on the east.

Please be responsible and considerate. Wait for the forest closure to end before you visit.

 

Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel is executive director of the Community Hiking Club and president of the Santa Clara River Watershed Conservancy.

 

Red-tailed hawk

Red-tailed hawk

California condor

California condor

Cougar 7186

Yellow Mariposa lily

Yellow Mariposa lily

California buckwheat

California buckwheat

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

8 Comments

  1. Angeles Forest doesn’t care that this land belongs t the people.

  2. Its about the animals…..

  3. I wish the map had been included in the article.

  4. Hope it doesn’t stay closed for 5 years (and counting) like the areas affected by the station fire. Us locals need more area to dirt bike!

  5. Follow the link to see the map of the closure area

  6. Blame the guy who started the Powerhouse Fire, not the Forest Service. The forest & its wildlife need a chance to recover or there won’t be a forest to enjoy. (Although honestly, if the Forest Service hadn’t bungled the beginning of the fire and called off L.A. County, the outcome might have been different.)

  7. Hiker says:

    Do you have any statistics of how many have been cited or convicted for trespass?

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Monday, May 3, 2021
After months upon months of restrictions and shutdowns, we are now seeing more and more opportunities available. Here in Santa Clarita, several of the programs, activities and sports leagues that were put on pause to slow the spread of COVID-19 are once again being offered.
Monday, May 3, 2021
Our City has long been hailed as one of the safest in the nation. In fact, the City of Santa Clarita was recently named the 4th Safest City in America by SmartAsset.com when analyzing violent crime, property crime, vehicular mortality and more.
Friday, Apr 2, 2021
When the City put the Santa Clarita 2020 strategic plan in motion more than five years ago, we knew it was an ambitious undertaking.
Thursday, Apr 1, 2021
Last spring, the City Council heard the community’s call to step in and preserve the landmark Valencia Ice Station. After months of renovations and updates, the 93,000 square foot building is almost ready to welcome the community back - to the newly renamed The Cube.
Tuesday, Mar 16, 2021
We have now reached the one-year anniversary of the shutdown of society as we responded to the threat of COVID-19.
Tuesday, Mar 2, 2021
Picture this…the sun has just set on another brisk spring day.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Sheriff’s Department officials are asking the public to stay clear of Castaic Lake on Tuesday morning due to an active shooter drill that’s being conducted there.
LASD Hosting Active Shooter Drill at Castaic Lake
On Monday, Los Angeles County Public Health officials confirmed that the State and L.A. County will be keeping the current masking guidance until June 15 to remain in alignment with the L.A. County Health Officer Order of May 3.
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: Masking Requirements to Remain in LA County; 27,858 Total Cases in SCV
Los Angeles police have arrested a man suspected of igniting a wildfire that has so far burned over 1,300 acres and spurred mandatory evacuations as fire crews battled the blaze in steep, brush-filled terrain in a canyon community west of the city.
Arson Suspect in Custody as Crews Battle LA Wildfire
The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office has reported 9 productions filming in the Santa Clarita Valley aka "Hollywood North" the week of Monday, May 17-23, 2021
Filming This Week in SCV: ‘Star Trek Picard,’ ‘Good Trouble,’ 7 More Productions
A new report published by the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture and Claremont Graduate University’s Center for Business and Management of the Arts revealed disparities between earnings of L.A. County arts administrators that identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and their White counterparts.
New Report Highlights Income Disparities in Entry-Level Arts Organization Staff in LA County
Santa Clarita Valley’s six school districts could receive a little over $7.5 million from Los Angeles County to provide comprehensive COVID-19 screening programs at SCV schools.
CDC Funding to Support COVID-19 Testing at Schools
1993 - Dale Poe, 61, developer of Stevenson Ranch, killed in car crash [story]
Stevenson Ranch fountain
1938 - Brand-new Lockheed transport plane crashes in Agua Dulce; all 9 perish including 2 infants [story]
plane crash
1969 - Board of Trustees selects "College of the Canyons" name [story]
COC
The city of Santa Clarita Planning Commission is scheduled to conduct a public hearing Tuesday to further deliberate on the Sand Canyon Resort development.
Sand Canyon Resort Development Returns to Planning Commission
The CIF Southern Section and KAP7 International, Inc. announced a five-year partnership extension for KAP7 to be the official boys and girls water polo ball for all championship events.
KAP7, CIF-SS Announce Extension of Five-Year Ball Partnership
Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a plan that would spend about $1.5 billion of the state’s $75.7 billion surplus in grants of up to $25,000 to support small businesses, according to state officials this week.
Chamber Urges SCV to Support Newsom’s Aid to Small Businesses
On Friday, Los Angeles County Public Health officials confirmed 17 new deaths and 583 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 27,842 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: Studies Show Vaccine Appears to Be Effective Against Variants; 27,842 Total SCV Cases
Fourteen-year-old Andrew Jenofsky was the first in line to get his shot at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Thursday morning, as adolescents ages 12-15 were given the go-ahead to get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
14-Year-Old First to Receive Pfizer Vaccine at Henry Mayo
Support for Israel was written across the signs and faces of approximately 100 demonstrators during a rally held on City Hall’s steps Thursday evening.
Approximately 100 SCV Residents Gather to Support Israel
The city of Santa Clarita received approximately 850 applications for its rental assistance program ahead of the program’s April 30 application deadline.
City Receives More Than 800 Rental Assistance Applications
Saddleback Butte State Park announced it is urgently searching for volunteers to become camp hosts beginning June 1.
Camp Hosts Needed at Saddleback Butte State Park, New Updates Announced for Mojave Area State Parks
Los Angeles County Public Health officials said it will review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's newly released guidance for fully vaccinated residents in order to make adjustments to the current County and state guidelines.
LA County to Review CDC’s Masking Guidelines for Fully Vaccinated People
The city of Santa Clarita released an updated schedule for the Concerts in the Park series set to take place in July and August.
City Releases Updated Schedule for Concerts in the Park
1874 - Outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez captured in Hollywood Hills [story]
Tiburcio Vasquez
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidance Thursday indicating that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely resume activities that were done prior to the pandemic.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: CDC Loosens Mask Restrictions for Fully Vaccinated People; SCV Cases Total 27,825
A total of 277 single-family homes changed owners during April in the Santa Clarita Valley as the as the tight inventory rose to its highest level in five months, though remained well below year-ago totals, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Thursday.
SCV Median Home Price $795,000 Hits Record
After making numerous requests for correction for failure by the County Board of Supervisors to abide by various sections of the Brown Act, the Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment was left with no option than to file a formal legal complaint.
SCOPE Files Legal Complaint Over L.A. County’s Failure to Abide by Brown Act
The case against a prominent Santa Clarita Valley Realtor who had been accused of a sexual assault stemming from a Las Vegas real estate conference last summer was dismissed, a court clerk confirmed Thursday.
Las Vegas Sexual Assault Case Against SCV Realtor Dismissed, L.A. County Case “Still Active”
%d bloggers like this: