We hope to be back on the Mountain soon
Pacific Southwest Region
September 15, 2020
Regional Order No. 20-12
I have decided to issue Forest Order No. 20-12 to prohibit going into or being upon National
Forest System lands in the following National Forests: Cleveland NF, Angeles NF, San
Bernardino NF, Los Padres NF, Sequoia NF, Sierra NF, Stanislaus NF and Inyo NF. This order
will be in effect from September 15, 2020, at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time, through September 21,
2020. This Regional Order will protect natural resources and provide for the safety of forest
visitors by preventing them from getting trapped on National Forest System lands during
California is experiencing an unprecedented and dire fire season. There are 18 National Forests
in California, totaling approximately 20 million acres. Currently, 13 of 18 National Forests in
the Pacific Southwest Region in California have large fires. Nearly all fires are now large,
“complex” fires (a series of fires in close proximity to one another that have burned into a single
large unit). In a typical fire season, California will see some 300,000 acres burn. This year,
more than 3 million acres have already burned statewide.
To date in 2020, 1,148 wildfires have burned 839,677 acres of National Forest System lands in
the Pacific Southwest Region. Currently, there are 19 uncontained large wildfires in Northern
California with 25 new fires reported. In Southern California, there are eight uncontained large
wildfires with 19 new fires reported.
In Southern California, to-date this year there have been 555 wildfires burning 197,443 acres on
National Forest System lands. Light to moderate initial attack activity is expected through the
middle of next week as humidity will continue to be low with poor recoveries other than along
the immediate coast. Despite generally light winds, the fire threat will be moderate through the
middle of next week due to the low humidity, warm temperatures, and overly dry fuels
conditions. Extreme fire behavior and dangerous rates of spread are possible at any time of day.
Looking ahead, the potential for extreme fire activity will be likely to continue until enough
precipitation occurs to significantly increase fuel moisture. Fires on National Forests in Southern
California: Creek on the Sierra NF, El Dorado on the San Bernardino NF, Bobcat on the Angeles
NF, Dolan on the Los Padres NF, SQF Complex on the Sequoia NF, Valley on the Cleveland
Extreme weather conditions have made this situation significantly worse this year. Record high
temperatures, unprecedented dry lightning events, and multiple heatwaves across the state have
made conditions extremely dry and susceptible to fire ignition. Temperatures have reached over
100 degrees for most of the state several weeks running, even in areas along the coast that are
typically cooler. In addition to the heat and high temperatures, significant wind events have
occurred fueling blazes out of control. This week major wind events are forecasted for northern
and southern California. The combination of record heat and wind are recipe for significant fire
danger and potential disaster.
National Forests in California have seen record numbers of visitors this summer. Reports
indicate that use levels normally associated with peak holidays such as Memorial Day and the
4th of July are being seen every day throughout the summer. This has held true this Labor Day
weekend as well. Campgrounds and dispersed use areas are reported as full to capacity and
overflowing. Parking lots spill over into roadways. Conflicts between use groups are up,
including criminal activity. And trash and human waste are collecting faster than staffs are able
to clear and clean facilities. These visitor use levels and related management issues further
exacerbate a challenging fire situation creating a heightened level of risk.
In southern California and the southern Sierra Nevada mountain foothills, the situation is
particularly dire. Climates are typically drier in these parts of the state. And years of drought
and major tree mortality in the Sierra foothill areas has created fuel types and conditions
particularly suited to fire ignition. When we consider this in relation to the high levels of public
use and recreation that occurs in these areas, there is a recipe for potential disaster. There are 40
million people in close proximity to the forests in southern California and use is high and
difficult to manage. For example, on the San Bernardino and Angeles National Forests, there are
major roads leading up steep canyons accessing remote communities and forest areas. On most
days forest recreation was so crowded that parked cars along roadsides blocked traffic. In more
than one such instance, emergency vehicles were prevented from accessing those in need
because of the crowds. A similar situation occurred nearly a month ago on the Angeles National
Forest where visitors were entrapped by a wildfire and had to run for their safety. And finally,
recently the Creek Fire on the Sierra National Forest grew exponentially one afternoon due to
high winds encircling a popular boat launch and lake area. As a result, 150 people were
entrapped and had to be evacuated by helicopters from the Army National Guard.
This Regional Order includes an exemption for persons with a Forest Permit for Use of Roads,
Trails, or Areas Restricted by Regulation or Order (Form FS-7700-48). Authorization under this
exemption will only be provided if I or my delegate determine that the risk to personal health and
safety is reasonable considering the circumstances of the request. We may also require appropriate personal protective equipment and other necessary safety measures. I hereby
delegate the authority to sign Form FS-7700-48 granting an exemption to this Regional Order to
Forest Supervisors on the Cleveland NF, Angeles NF, San Bernardino NF, Los Padres NF,
Sequoia NF, Sierra NF, Stanislaus NF and Inyo NF.
I have concluded that this decision may be categorically excluded from documentation in an
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or Environmental Assessment (EA) under the National
Environmental Policy Act. This action falls within the category identified in 36 CFR 220.6(d)
(1) – prohibitions to provide short-term resource protection or to protect public health and safety
– and does not require documentation in a decision memo, decision notice, or record of decision.
I have determined that there are no extraordinary circumstances associated with this temporary
closure. Implementation of the decision may begin immediately after I issue this Order.
Regional Forester Pacific Southwest Region
Closures as of September 6, 2020
Critical Temporary Forest Closure
Date(s): Sep 7, 2020 - Sep 11, 2020
Critical Temporary Road Closures- Sept.4-8
Date(s): Sep 4, 2020
Critical Temporary Closure of Cedar Creek and Three Sisters Trails
Date(s): Aug 3, 2020 - Oct 31, 2020
SDGE Construction Area Closure on the Descanso Ranger District
Date(s): Jun 15, 2020 - Dec 31, 2020
Holy Fire Burned Area Closure
Date(s): Apr 9, 2020 - Sep 20, 2020
Forest Service Temporarily Closes Southern California National Forests, Adds Prohibitions in Others --> This includes the Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres & San Bernardino National Forests
August 25 ,2020
BOARD MEETING VIA ZOOM: SEPT 10, 2020 7 PM
Meeting ID: 802 882 2053 Passcode: 14505
Plan to vote in LMVA’s election as soon as you get your ballot.
There is one activity we can participate in and that is the election process to elect our officers for 2021. See Page 6 for details.
We are still waiting for approval to reopen the Visitor Information Center And to be able to resume volunteer activities on the Mountain.
August 28, 2020
Election Process (during COVID crisis):
Election Process for 2021 Election of Officers
Dates. Etc/ September – Nominating Committee makes calls.
October – Board Meeting – Nominating Committee Report
October 20 VOICE prepared, Voice mailed by no later than Oct 22nd.
November 10 – Ballots must be postmarked by November 10
November 12 – received ballots taken from the Post Office Box for counting
Results announced at Board Meeting on November 14.
Results also announced in December VOICE.
Election of Officers. In August, the Board shall appoint a Chairperson and form a Nominating Committee, and direct the Committee to prepare a slate of candidates willing to serve for each elected position.
In October, no later than the fourth Saturday of the month, the Nominating Committee slate of nominees and ballots shall be mailed to the membership in the November issue of the monthly newsletter. Ballots
shall be returned by mail or in person to the Nominating Committee Chairperson by such time designated by the Board on the ballots.
In November, no earlier than the second Saturday of the month, all ballots shall be tabulated during the Annual Membership Meeting by a Teller Committee, formed by the Board for that purpose. The Teller
Committee shall consist of non-Board candidates. The Chair of the Teller Committee shall prepare a Teller Report, including a tally of votes for each candidate, and a tally of disqualified votes. The Teller Report shall be read into the minutes of the Annual Meeting before the meeting is adjourned.
In the event of an uncontested position, or an uncontested slate of candidates, the Teller Committee Chairperson may petition the current Board to ratify the uncontested position or slate of candidates. The
current Board may ratify the uncontested position or slate by a 2/3rds vote, provided there is a quorum of current Board members present.
The Nominating Committee is:
John Grisafi (619-473-8372 /firstname.lastname@example.org),
Vivian Sartori (email@example.com) and
They will be accepting calls if you wish to be put on the ballot or you can expect a call from them to ask if you are willing and able to be put on the ballot.
August 18, 2020
Reopening of Laguna Campground was on Friday August 14th! They added new restrooms, water lines, pavement, etc. as part of the renovation. Currently only 50% of the sites will be open and must be reserved through Recreation.gov . The plan is to re-open the remainder of the sites in October.
2)PLEASE START THINKING ABOUT LMVA NEXT YEAR! (already)
Our By-Laws require that a "slate of candidates" be prepared and published in the November issue of the LMVA Newsletter.
SO...by October 20th 2020 the list must be ready in order to make the required deadline.
If you want to keep your position on the Board of Directors or try another one, let me know so I can pencil you in on the slate.
In September, the Nominating Committee will begin contacting all members to request their involvement as Board Members for 2021. The committee is as follows:
John Grisafi (Chairman)
Please note I will not be on the slate for 2021 but will be looking into other ways to continue helping LMVA.
Thank you for your interest LMVA! LMVA is a non-profit, tax exempt organization dedicated to assisting the Descanso Ranger District of the Cleveland National Forest.
The village of Mt. Laguna was once the home of more than 3,000 people. Most of them worked for the Air Force at the base atop Stephenson Peak. The children were educated at the elementary school on Sunrise Highway. When the base closed, there were only about 300 citizens remaining. The school had only a few students. After a few years, the local school district determined that it was less costly to bus the students down the hill to Pine Valley than to maintain the school. The school closed and remained vacant for several years.
The Forest Service wanted to purchase the building for use as a volunteer headquarters but lacked the funding. The Trust for Public Lands stepped up, purchased the building, and dedicated it to the Forest Service. In 1995 the Forest Service approached LMVA about renovating the site, promising that LMVA would have primary occupancy through a Memorandum of Understanding. They even held a contest to name the facility. It was dubbed the Red-Tailed Roost, after the Red-Tailed Hawk.
LMVA responded with enthusiasm. Are first headquarters was a small building across the road from the Red Tail Roost, We loved it, and had years of fun there. We provided $100,000 in funding to pay for the removal of asbestos and to re-roof the building. Volunteers pitched in and helped remodel the interior, right down to the kitchen and main room floors. The Forest Service allowed us to remove the stained and warped wood from the lanes in the bowling alley on the Air Force Base, which was going to be demolished anyway. We enlisted the help of an inmate crew from Barratt Honor Camp to install and re-finish the floors, who charged us the whopping sum of 9 pizzas and all the soda they could drink.
Our Volunteer Activity Center consists of a large meeting room, separate berthing facilities with about 20 beds, a fully equipped kitchen, and male and female bathrooms. With full showers. There are three RV hook-ups in the parking lot outside (a nominal fee is charged for electricity on the honor system). LMVA members volunteering that day or the following day are welcome to use the center free of charge. It is requested that you leave it cleaner than you found it, and replace any consumables.
The Laguna Mountain Recreation Area is located about 60 miles east of San Diego, California. It is atop Laguna Mountain at about 6,000 feet in elevation. The Sunrise Highway snakes through the Rec Area, in places offering
stunning views of the desert floor far below.
The area is classified botanically as Pine/Oak Woodland. It is part of the Peninsular Mountain Range, which extends south into Baja California.
A note on Adventure Passes: The Adventure Pass program applies in High Impact Recreation Areas (HIRAs) such as parts of the Laguna Mountains. A Day Pass ($5) or Annual Pass ($30) must be displayed on the dash of parked vehicles in certain areas.