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December 7
1921 - William S. Hart marries actress Winifred Westover [story]
Bill and Winifred Hart


The unprecedented number of visitors to public lands during the COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed agencies like the U.S. Forest Service, and officials are asking people to stay safe and clean up after themselves this Labor Day Weekend.

The Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument are examples of local public lands that are serving as places of refuge and recreation during the pandemic for millions of first-time visitors.

Due to the high number of visitors, not all restrooms can remain open and trash dumpsters and bins are overfilling. While most visitors may be more accustomed to visiting a city or county park with more maintenance and amenities, the Forest and Monument offer a more wild and untamed experience and with that comes more responsibility on the visitor.

To reach this new audience, local agencies across L.A. County are working with local partners, such as Nature for All and the National Forest Foundation, on messaging that urges the public to come prepared for their next visit to the Forest and Monument.

For peace and solitude, ANF District Rangers recommend visiting the Forest’s higher elevations where visitors will find fresh air, cooler temperatures, and much less crowding. Driving an extra 30-minutes can easily take you into the high country, where visitors will find spectacular vistas, along with needed space to roam, explore and enjoy the outdoors experience.

With more than 700 miles of trails, all open to the public, the Angeles National Forest has plenty of space beyond the more easily accessible and highly popular areas at the lower elevations.

public lands

This Labor Day Weekend the Angeles National Forest will temporarily close access to Chantry Flat and Millard Canyon Campgrounds to further limit crowding and fire risk within these restrictive mountain canyons. Both locations will reopen after the holiday weekend.

Ninety-five percent of all wildfires in California are human-caused. This Labor Day weekend’s high temperatures, low humidity and dry vegetation raise concerns in what has already been an above-normal fire season across California.

By taking a few steps to plan ahead, visitors can help these places stay open, clean, and safe for future visitors, especially during the pandemic.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing to visit a National Forest or Monument.

Don’t assume you will have access to public service amenities such as:

* Informational/visitor services

* Available restrooms

* Public trash/recycling cans

* Have at least one backup destination in case your first option is too crowded.

* Bring and wear a mask, especially at the trailhead or when passing other people on a trail or in a picnic area.

* Use your own restroom prior to visit the Forest as there may not be public restrooms available at your destination.

* Bring a trash bag to take any trash home with you to dispose of.

* Bring along any maps, directions or other information you may need during your visit.

Take responsibility for your own safety:

* Check for fire danger or closures before you leave

* Bring basic first aid supplies

* Check weather and dress appropriately

* If there is an emergency or you see a fire – call 911.

While many organizations and outlets are communicating Leave No Trace principles, local organizations realize that the wording and language used in the principles may be hard to understand for the new visitor. Partners will be making a concerted effort to share basic tips and guidance in approachable language this fall as visitation continues to rise.

The Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel National Monument not only provide 70 percent of the open space in Los Angeles County, but they also provide 30 percent of the drinking water for the county. Conservation leaders in the region are depending on all visitors to help take care of this critically important place in Southern California.

About the National Forest Foundation

The National Forest Foundation works on behalf of the American public to inspire personal and meaningful connections to our National Forests. By directly engaging Americans and leveraging private and public funding, the NFF leads forest conservation efforts and promotes responsible recreation. Each year the NFF restores fish and wildlife habitat, facilitates common ground, plants trees in areas affected by fires, insects and disease, and improves recreational opportunities. The NFF believes our National Forests and all they offer are an American treasure and are vital to the health of our communities. Learn more at nationalforests.org.

About Nature for All

Nature for All works to build a diverse base of support for ensuring that everyone in the Los Angeles area—no matter where they live—has equitable access to the wide range of benefits that nature can provide. Visit www.lanatureforall.org.

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