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  1. #1
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    Brown Mountain Fire Rd, El Prieto...

    From the Glendale Examiner, re-posted without permission from the author. Robert Galbraith


    Brown Mountain biking trail closure extended

    * August 3rd, 2010 4:46 pm

    Brown Mountain viewed from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.
    Photo: Photo by Robert Galbraith

    For the past year one of the most popular (and best!) mountain bike rides in the area, Brown Mountain and El Prieto, has been officially closed by the National Forest Service due to unsafe conditions created by the Station Fire that swept through the San Gabriel Mountains last August.

    The original closure order was set to last through the end of September 2010. The mountain biking community has been eagerly awaiting this late summer reopening date (except for those of you that have been sneaking in illegally.)

    However, this patience will need to prevail a little longer. The most recent update issued for the burn area keeps the Brown Mountain and El Prieto trails off limits for an additional five months, until December 30, 2010.

    The Forest Service has recently been able to reopen limited areas of the burn area including the Magic Mountain Wilderness, a majority of the Pleasant View Wilderness, the West Fork of the San Gabriel River, Rincon Shortcut Road, Millard Campground, Chilao, Bandito, Horse Flats, Meadow Loop, Manzanita Loop and Coulter recreation areas.

    For the next several months those looking for accessible mountain bike trails in the area might consider rides starting at Chantry Flats and/or Monrovia Canyon.

    sent from my rotary phone

  2. #2
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    El Prieto would not be the same, I expect that, but I miss short workout at brown. They should just lay the K-rails and grade the fireroad, and let go already.

    It's a popular trail at least they should open the fireroad, I think. Oh, well another long wait.

  3. #3
    suspension whore
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    i find myself losing patience and resolve ( to do the right thing) as the season progresses.
    a little transparency and feedback from the powers that be would go a long way to making the whole trail closures easier to abide by.
    Intense 6.6..... Demo 9.

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  4. #4
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    I use to ride Brown/EP alot also, it was one of my "local" trails. But instead of getting all emotional about it's closure, perhaps everyone should just forget about the place altogether and just keep on riding at all the other fantastic places we have in the L.A. area.

    Just pretend that you can NEVER go there again. One day, it will open again.

    However, since the new opening date has been reset during our rainy season, it will probably remain closed until next Spring...so, forget about that place.

    The Forest Service is not intentionally picking on us mtn bikers. Those trails and fireroads remain closed for a reason. It's gonna be one of the bigger restoration projects. Didn't anyone see the pics of just how extremely hammered that area got after the fire?

    Just forget about it already. That's what I did a long time ago....
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885
    El Prieto would not be the same, I expect that, but I miss short workout at brown. They should just lay the K-rails and grade the fireroad, and let go already.

    It's a popular trail at least they should open the fireroad, I think. Oh, well another long wait.
    I just looked at your profile and the number of bikes you own, wow!

    http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug...-fire-20100806

    Lawmakers seek broad probe into Forest Service response to Station fire
    California's two U.S. senators and several local House members ask the Government Accountability Office for the inquiry into the Forest Service's tactics and decisions.
    August 06, 2010|By Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times

    California's two U.S. senators and several local House members Thursday called on Congress' investigative arm to launch a sweeping probe into the Forest Service's response to last summer's disastrous Station fire.

    In asking for the investigation by the Government Accountability Office, which typically grants such requests, the lawmakers recommended a broad examination of the Forest Service's decisions and tactics. Those include the use of aircraft early in the fight and the question of whether everything possible was done to protect homes that burned in Big Tujunga Canyon.
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    The legislators also cited the disclosure this week that telephone dispatch recordings made during the fire were withheld from a Forest Service review team and the public. The Times requested the recordings last year and again this year, but Forest Service officials said they did not exist.

    The late discovery of the recordings "casts a dark cloud over the findings of the review panel and immediately warrants an independent review of the Station fire response," the lawmakers said in a letter to the GAO. "Our purpose for this review is to ensure that all actions in the response to the fire were taken swiftly, properly and competently."

    In addition to Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, the signers include Reps. David Dreier (R-San Dimas), Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R- Santa Clarita), Adam Schiff (D- Burbank), Judy Chu (D-El Monte) and Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks).

    The development comes two days after the Department of Agriculture, which runs the Forest Service, announced that its inspector general had launched a separate investigation into the withheld recordings, which were made at an Angeles National Forest dispatch center. That probe could lead to criminal charges, depending on the findings.

    Dreier, whose district includes much of the forest, said he initiated the letter to the GAO "to redouble our efforts to get to the bottom of this."

    "The notion of not taking every action to find out exactly what happened is something that is just plain wrong," he said.

    The Times has reported that the Forest Service misjudged the threat posed by the fire, rolled back its attack on the first night and failed to fill an order for air tankers in the hours after sunup the following morning, when the blaze was still small. The lawmakers asked the GAO to examine all of those actions.

    August 06, 2010|By Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times
    (Page 2 of 2)

    The fire blackened 250 square miles, destroyed scores of homes and other structures, and killed two Los Angeles County firefighters. It was the biggest fire in county history.

    On Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell had invited Congress to ask for the GAO investigation.
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    "We welcome the opportunity to have the GAO review the actions of the Forest Service," Tidwell said in a statement Thursday.

    In November, the Forest Service review team found that the agency followed all proper protocols and procedures in its response to the fire, a conclusion labeled a whitewash by former Forest Service officers and some local elected officials.

    A subsequent Los Angeles County Fire Department inquiry was far more self-critical about the events that led to the deaths of Tedmund Hall and Arnaldo Quinones, who died while trying to defend their Mt. Gleason camp.

    In the letter to the GAO, the lawmakers say, "We must establish what lessons were learned from this devastating fire. By identifying mistakes made and where different choices would have caused better outcomes, agencies tasked with preventing and fighting fires will be able to better prepare and respond in the future."

    Meanwhile, the inspector general also will examine whether the Forest Service had the legal authority to record phone calls to the Angeles dispatch center without the consent of all callers. Radio dispatch communications are routinely recorded, but the Forest Service wants the inspector general to determine whether the phone recordings violated privacy rights, agency officials said.

    In an internal memorandum Wednesday that was obtained by The Times, Forest Service Deputy Chief James Hubbard ordered all dispatch centers to stop recording calls until the matter is resolved.

    paul.pringle@latimes.com

    sent from my rotary phone

  6. #6
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    Thanks,
    Our money at work by the Gov. Don't hold your breath, I still doubt that we'd get to ride this year at all.

    Wonder if this is private property, we'd probably be riding since last Sep. Better yet probably never miss any ride, and the fire would have been contain in the matter of hours, because the dense tree would have been trimmed to prevent this kind of catastrophe, and keep things more manageable.

  7. #7
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    [[I called the forest service office on Santa Anita Ave and she said I don't know when it's reopening and we don't estimate. I asked about the Glendale newspress article if she could confirm the opening date to Dec 2010 she said doesn't know.


    Anyone have any luck with more info?



    [/B]QUOTE=mimi1885]Thanks,
    Our money at work by the Gov. Don't hold your breath, I still doubt that we'd get to ride this year at all.

    Wonder if this is private property, we'd probably be riding since last Sep. Better yet probably never miss any ride, and the fire would have been contain in the matter of hours, because the dense tree would have been trimmed to prevent this kind of catastrophe, and keep things more manageable.[/QUOTE]

    sent from my rotary phone

  8. #8
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    Opening by December? That would be awesome! Hopefully it is true.

  9. #9
    Just another Homer
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    I've emailed 5 different people ( all I could find) from the websites to get information on anything that may be opening and have only been referred back to the website that I got their email from in the first place. Very annoying but standard for a government office. I know CORBA is working there today and Trails for all also did some work a while back. And Banner has been working there with volunteers also. The work that's being done is top notch but some hikers are not in agreement with some of the work and have changed things that will not hold up. Also the amount of folks using this area are mostly local hikers who consider this their home trail and say they will not be kept out. (I got this first hand from some hikers). I think if the rains hold off a little while longer we could see this one open soon.
    I may not be as good as I once was.
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  10. #10
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    Yeah! I've seen the announcement earlier in The week. I was committed to the fat tire classic happening on the same day. I'm sure many of the people who race there would contribute. Oh well. I posted on another thread about CORBA can list what else that needs to get done, I'd be glad to do it on thu, my day off.

    I don't mind picking up trash or clearing bushes whatever that doesn't require supervision. I'm sure there's many others who feel the same.

  11. #11
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    I know one of the regular hikers of that zone. She says that she has been seeing lots of hikers and bikers up there regularly as of late.

    She also said that the Ranger said, "you really shouldn't be here" but he did not ask them to leave...
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  12. #12
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    I have to admit, I was actually very annoyed after speaking to the operator at Santa Anita Forestry office. All I wanted was information, besides there web site directs me to that telephone number for information. Although she gave me an answer of "I don't know", or " We don't estimate". I just find them to be very arrogant. Is this supposed to be Top Secret information?

    I also read that the closure in the station fire area has been extended until 2011 September! LINK. I hope I read it wrong.

    I'm sure we can get more information by contacting these groups who are being allowed to perform trail work on El Prieto.

    I've walked my dog up to the closed area the last two weeks and I've seen K-rails reinforced with asphalt installed on damaged sections along the road. I've seen a handful of mountain bikers also go through the closed sign and into the closed area.

    Has anyone filled up the volunteer forms from the Angeles National Forest website? You can complete by email? Do you actually get a reply when sending this form in?

    sent from my rotary phone

  13. #13
    Glad to Be Alive
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    "The Forest Service "

    what a bunch of BS....come on...trails don't get damaged in fires....yeah there can be erosion after fires but all it would take is one day to fix up the erosion spots...this is just flat wrong to take a year and a half...what a crock

  14. #14
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    couldn't agree more SMT. can't get a trail open, but they can sure pack a parking lot full of rangers writing tickets for not having a forest pass.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    "The Forest Service "

    what a bunch of BS....come on...trails don't get damaged in fires....yeah there can be erosion after fires but all it would take is one day to fix up the erosion spots...this is just flat wrong to take a year and a half...what a crock
    At the beginning of the year, i was talking to mountain biker who happened to be working for a contractor in charge of clearing Angeles Crest Highway of debris. He said, that they were able to clear the highway after working long hours for consecutive days. Just to give you a picture of the amount of debris they were dealing with, they said the mud flow was 4' to 12' high. (If I remember correctly and I really don't)

    He said, once it started raining again, mud would fill the highway due to the scarred hillside caused by the station fire.

    I wonder if the Forest Service maybe dealing with the same issue here in regards to peoples safety. You could only imagine the wall of water that went through El Prieto and destroyed it.

    sent from my rotary phone

  16. #16
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    Idea! Contact me if you want to help

    I know of a crew that works on el prieto and they have started work. There was a trail fixing session 2 sundays ago. PM me and i'll put you in contact with the organizer. The trail is in rideable condition, but any heavy traffic will damage it. it is fragile right now. As long as the rains dont damage work done too badly, we should be riding before spring.

  17. #17
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    A 50% budget cut for the forest service would be a good start, It is going to happen
    sooner or later anyways. Call your elected officials and let them know about their attitude.
    A well written letter describing what the rangers actually do in that area (nothing)
    could influence further increase or decrease in funding for that district. time people
    take back our country. the 5000 Year Leap would educate alot of people.
    At least up here in Idaho, we actually have a say so.,
    former Torrance mountain biker

  18. #18
    RaymosB
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    Any news on this trail being open or closed? A few buddies of mine and I were thinking about riding this Sat.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by raymosb
    Any news on this trail being open or closed? A few buddies of mine and I were thinking about riding this Sat.
    Nope not yet. Not for a while. I'll be stroked if it open this year.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by raymosb
    Any news on this trail being open or closed? A few buddies of mine and I were thinking about riding this Sat.
    A few poeple I know say they are seeing lots of bikes up there now...

    but, it does remain "closed"...nice law abiding citizens we've got, huh?
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  21. #21
    Just another Homer
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    I believe you have it wrong. The rangers that are working in the field are the only ones who are working (even if it is writing those stupid tickets) The USFS is way top heavy in upper management that really doesn't serve a worthwhile function. When it comes time to thin the ranks these are the ones who go last as they're usually in a supervisory position. In the meantime we (the public) suffer again due to mismanagement. I'm as frustrated as anyone else with the delay of reopening rideable/hikeable forest. I've been told now it's mostly a matter of red tape as someone in charge needs to sign off and we all know this comes down to another matter of covering ones ass. Just try to have a bureaucrat take responsibilty without having a scapegoat in the wings and then you will start to understand the delay.

    Remember too, if they want to they can write a trespassing ticket and these are not your typical cheap tickets. You could end up paying some where around 5 thousand bucks. I'm not preaching but I think I'll give it a little while longer before I consider poaching this trail.
    I may not be as good as I once was.
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  22. #22
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    I heard that El Prieto is totally trashed again due to the latest rains. Anyone know if that's the case?

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