The San Gabriel Mountain Trail Builders build hiking trails and perform repairs and maintenance on trails in an effort to limit the human environmental impact in the San Gabriel Mountain chain.
In areas where humans hike, bicycle, picnic, and camp, the lack of established, professionally developed trails results in a number of unplanned trails that are almost always dangerous since they take a direct route from parking areas to rivers. Numerous unplanned trails caused more extensive erosion to microenvironments and cause some spreading out of litter that gets dumped along the trails.
Planned trails seek to make the grade up and down hills approximately 12 percent so that they’re not dangerous, and the trails are often made fairly wide so that our furry Forest Service Freddies (USFS) can get horses into an area to collect and haul out garbage. (Making trash hauling easier for USFS Freddies or volunteers that otherwise have to pack out tons of trash means trash collection can take place more frequently and in less time.)
At areas in the woods where humans like to collect, the U. S. Forest Service will often install trash bins and toilets, seeking to reduce the environmental, impact. And humans being what they are, vandalism and other stupidity inflicted upon the infrastructure designed to limit or control human environment damage is fairly common with toilets being smashed up, burned down, and what not, and with trash dumpsters getting picked up and thrown over cliffs to roll down into canyons.
Fortunately, the San Gabriel Mountain Trail Builders have a crack team of professional, highly trained, multiply certified Dumpster Recovery Team (DRT) members which remains on 24 hour alert, ready to chopper to any location within the mountain range to recover and restore heavy trash dumpsters.
When it was reported that a dumpster along Highway 39 near Mile Marker 28 was over the side, the DRT swung into action and some 12 hours later some how managed to avoid dragging their own pickup truck down into the canyon during the dumpster recovery.
The day previously, by the way, I photographed about 40 people down in a canyon along the San Gabriel River at Mile Marker 26.91 with a camp fire. Nothing makes me angrier, nothing gets my urge to scream obscenities going more than people who start fires in MY forest.
I spend a lot of time in the mountains on my bicycle and often there’s fires at night that I can’t report since there’s no Freddies or police officers anywhere handy, but this one I was able to locate when the Freddies down below were present and had a heavily armed Sheriff with them. I got a poor photograph of the people and the fire which I’ve added.
Fredric L. Rice
Note: I’m not a member of nor a spokesman of the San Gabriel Mountains Trail Builders. My opinions are mine and only mine.
Here's the missing dumpster -- or at least here's where it normally would be. A group of people -- mayhaps drunk, mayhaps just stupid; one never knows -- picked it up and carried it a short ways before rolling it over the side.
And here's where the dumpster wound up, not too far down the canyon since the lid kind of opened up and slowed things down a lot. The trash that was inside was later collected by the DRT and placed back in the dumpster.
The most intrepid member of the DRT swings into action! Carting about a hundred pounds of chain which was tied into a cable that was pulled by a grip hoist capable (we later discovered) or dragging a 5,000 pound heavily loaded pickup truck toward the canyon rim.
The other end of the grip hoist was chained to the solid, deeply planted metal hoop. A later effort to belay the end with the pickup truck failed since the hoist was dragging the pickup instead of bringing up the dumpetsr.
You might have noticed that one of us isn't doing any work at all. He's walking around with a camera taking photographs while the other three sweat it out getting sun burned and bleeding. It was pointed out that the pay was the same whether we're working or not and when I heard that, I grabbed my camera then took a nap.
Here's the equipment that a properly equipped DRT member carries with him or her to the field -- when one's on a bicycle and isn't bringing heavy chains, grip hoists, crow bars, and pickup trucks with them.
I bicycled up the canyon Friday night, starting around 8:30 p.m. to coincide with the peak of drunk drivers that frequent the road. After arriving at my first camp a mile from the start of West Fork Road, it was 12:35 a.m. so it looks like I averaged about 5 miles an hour.
Saturday morning I packed up and bicycled down to talk with the Freddies (USFS) down below and that's when I noticed the fire (next photograph.)
I then made my camp at the Rincon Environmental Education Center (first photograph) for the day, packing up at 7:00 on Sunday Morning to meat up with the rest of the members of the DRT.
It's difficult to see in this photograph but toward the center, to the right some and down some, there's a fire going which had people kicking branches and leaves into it as I watched from the highway trying to control my rage.
There's two new paths that are planned that should remove the burdon of everyone, and I'm going to acquire photographs of every stage of the process so that a detailed, boring description of how it's done can be created with photographs.
The fire starters are given signs that contain pictures so even if they're illiterate or can read neither English or Spanish, they should be able to tell that there's simply no open fires permitted anywhere.
I've watched the USFS people politely confiscate fire wood when they bring it into the canyons, and they always seem extremely polite, explaining things to people who start fires or plan to, professionally and politely.
And I don't know how they can do it. Day after day, year after year, the USFS people handle the same safety and environmental issues seemingly without getting angry or even annoyed. Either they're extrmely professional or the anger gets burned out of them after hte first dozen times.
by WHITE ON RICE
Saturday, Dec. 17, 2005 at 1:19 PM
I know I give you a lot of shit Fred, but this is pretty cool. Sincerely, I've got to give you props. I agree with the other posters, indymedia needs more stuf like this, just people doing what they do. maybe if everyone didn't feel so compelled to be "political" around here, we'd get more glimpses into who people really are and what they really do to make the world better (or, conversely, worse)--either way, it would be a more honest picture. and we wouldn't get so much ideological ranting sparring etc. on stuff most of us really don't know all that much about in the first place.
I'm always cleaning up the refuse from previous 'piggies' who leave their 'gifts' for someone else to remove. I can't understand people who trash a natural view and leave paper and plastic etc. for one of the lesser folk to clean. Arrogant $#@&*!!s.
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