March 27, 2020
Regional Order and Forest specific closures.
Areas that Recreation sites that are closed on the Descanso District:
Agua Dulce Trailhead – Closed
Burnt Rancheria Campground – Closed
Visitor Information Center – Closed
Desert View Picnic Area – Closed
Laguna Campground – Closed
Pioneer Mail Picnic Area – Closed
Boulder Oaks Campground – Closed
Cibbets Flat Campground – Closed
Bear Valley OHV Area - Closed
Corral Canyon OHV Area - Closed
Corral Canyon Campground – Closed
Bobcat Meadows Campground – Closed
March 24, 2020
THE RED TAILED ROOST AND THE VISITOR INFORMATION CENTER IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICEBOARD MEETINGS CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO COVID-19
WE ARE ABLE TO RECYCLE SO PLEASE HOLD ON TO YOUR RECYCLABLES UNTIL THIS CRISIS IS OVER
ACCESS & VOLUNTEER
Roost and VIC are closed to our activities until April 8th when we will reevaluate. No large groups, social distancing, over 65 self isolate. We will get through this. Stay safe and healthy.
Thank you for being flexible as the USDA works through how to best serve the public while also keeping our employees, volunteers, and partners healthy. Things are rapidly changing daily and with outbreaks in San Diego increasing, the Cleveland National Forest is trying to be proactive to maintaining a safest working environment for our employees, partners & volunteers while also trying to provide continued public access & service. As I receive updates, I will keep you updated as things progress.
ACCESS TO SHARED GOVERNMENT FACILITIES:
RESTRICTING VISITORS TO ALL USDA FACILITIES:
Effective Monday , March 16th, we are no longer allowing visitors into USDA facilities who have not been screened and approved. Visitors will not be granted permission into our facilities unless they have been cleared through our screening processes. Every visitor to a USDA office or facility should be asked a set of three questions. If any of the conditions apply, the visitor should not be allowed to enter our USDA offices and asked to return at an appropriate time or conduct a meeting virtually. This gives our offices out in the field the flexibility they need to move toward more scheduled visits, to the extent possible, in order to safely interact with our customers and best serve them.
See attached memo for additional guidance.
RECONSIDER IN-PERSON MEETINGS:
Effective Monday, March 16th, all USDA employees are encouraged to move in-person meetings, both with internal USDA employees and with external stakeholders, to virtual meetings. We take these steps while continuing to conduct the regular and ongoing work of USDA. To the extent possible, we encourage employees to work with our stakeholders to schedule necessary meetings by teleconference or videoconference. If a visitor has a mission-critical, essential, and time-sensitive reason to meet with an employee in person, these visitors must be screened and approved through the outlined process. See attached memo for additional guidance.
CLOSING FOOD SERVICE TO GENERAL PUBLIC:
Effective Monday, March 16th, all USDA-controlled food service at USDA facilities will be closed to the general public and visitors. Buffet and self-service style food service will not permitted to continue at any USDA facility. Pre-packaged, ‘grab and go’ foods, vending items, and made-to order food service options may continue. All USDA-controlled food service at USDA facilities may remain open to USDA employees and USDA contractors only. See attached memo for additional guidance.
Additionally, I received the Forest Supervisor’s interpretation of how this will impact volunteer facilities & operations; below is his direction:
The Roost is a government facility and although it is designated for the primary use of volunteer & partnerships, all partners & volunteers are still considered “visitors” to that government facility. Because there is no USFS staff onsite to manage the COVID-19 access screenings for the building, the risk is too high that an individual may attend a meeting that has been potentially exposed to COVID-19. All meetings planned for using the Roost should be canceled until April 8th. We will reassess on the 8th to see if we can reopen the Roost to volunteers & partners or if we need to continue the closure.
Volunteer operations have not been suspended but may only occur in limited capacity if you are following the following 1) there is no large meet ups & meetings organized, 2) no food is shared, 3) the Roost & the VIC are not utilized, and 4) volunteer activity allows for 6 feet of distance between individuals. President Trump just held a press release, March 16th, where is discouraged any meetings with a group size greater than 10 individuals. I defer to you, as the leaders of your organizations, to make the best choices to keep your members healthy & safe! If you feel you need to cease all operations; I support you! If you would like to keep operating under the above guidelines and just implement stricter cleaning/sanitizing protocols; I also support you!
Roost Cleaning day has been postponed until April 11.
Burnt Rancheria opens to dry camping Friday January 31.
Laguna campground CLOSED December 9, 2019 through March 31, 2020 for improvements.
Green Valley Falls CLOSED in winter.
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.