Alabama Hills BLM meeting (online)

billharr

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Stockton CA
I will sign on and listen to what is said. Sad to see so large an area for dispersed camping being closed. But as Pogo said "We have met the enemy and he is us". Any time a government agency says they are making "exciting changes" it is not a good thing IMO.

Link for BLM information.

Map of area closed.

From BLM Facebook page:

Join us for the second Hills Happenings Event!
The BLM and its partners have begun making exciting changes to camping in the Alabama Hills as described in the 2021 Alabama Hills Management Plan. At this Hills Happening virtual event, you’ll hear a short presentation on what’s happening and then have the opportunity to ask questions. We’ll also share ways you can help preserve this phenomenal landscape!
Click on this link to register: https://bit.ly/3wsaU8B
Please contact jking@kearnswest.com with any questions about registration.
For more about the Alabama Hills, visit: https://www.blm.gov/visit/alabama-hills
 
Please keep us posted, Bill. With all the damage that was/is being done by the hordes showing up at the Alabama Hills, something desperately needed to be done. I was/am getting really tired of stepping in human waste, seemingly around every corner. The few portipotties they are setting up is a poor solution. The Alabama Hills is one place WAG bags needs to be required and enforced.
 
I have not been to the Alabama Hills for eight years - doubt I'll ever go back. Even back then it had long since been the most horrifyingly trashed place I had ever attempted to camp. Ski mentions poop, I got sick of crunching glass beneath my shoes with just about every step. And the Tuttle Creek campground - so many generators running I could not hear the creek when I was right next to it.

I'm with you, Bill - when they feel the need to say the "changes" are "exciting" my BS monitor begins to shriek but I know something needed to be done because too many people are (insert adjective(s) of choice here) But thank you for the notification. I tried to register but something failed so I'll try again.
 
Quick summary, Not much of a meeting IMO.

  • Everything west of Movie Road is day use only, no camping.
  • Camping only in marked areas.
  • No more than 50 marked campsites. Number of sites will be reduced if BLM can not manage.
  • Sounds like pit toilets will be added later.
  • Permits will be required next fall.
  • Permit will be like a fire permit. Go online read and take a test. Permits will not be site or date specific, just like a fire permit.

The BLM is setting up a problem with only 50 sites in 18,600 acres. Nearby Tuttle Creek Campground is very small and has 83 sites. The permit is problematic to say the least. Who is going to check and what if you do not have one? I see more restrictions coming in the future. Guess there is just too many of us. I see one large paid/reservable campground in the future, surrounded by day use area.


On a positive note. I scored two nights in the valley at Yosemite for May. They released the campsites held for high water this morning.
 
When I was at San Jose State they sold an unlimited number of parking permits. It was commonly referred to a a hunting permit. I rode a bike.

I don't see this going well at all. If they don't want to set up some kind of station to issue permits and keep count it seems pretty clear that they will not be committing staff to this plan.

I think about the time and resources Mono County has put into attempting to manage the dispersed camping crowd after the disaster of 2020. We now have shiny brochures about how to "camp like a pro" and my favorite "poo like a pro" *** and a further commitment to more "studies" on how to "educate" visitors. My suggestions included taking advertising funds to put more enforcement out there and requiring something like a campfire permit for dispersed camping. I asked the powers that be if they really believed someone who will trash a place will take the time to stop at the visitor center to pick up a shiny brochure telling them how to poo. At best I was ignored. I was also labeled a cynic. Yeah - and your point is?

***actually my favorite was the campaign out of Mammoth Lakes Tourism which included a jingle called "Don't Be A Bleephole" but it was disappeared two days after it went live and the public outrage was authentic comedy
 
AWG_Pics said:
Personally, I am a easily amused pessimistic skeptic.
I think that is a much better description of my attitude as well. And I was amused especially because I was accused of cynical non-participation after writing up and sending off my ideas and participating in zoom meetings while they refused to consider what I (and a couple of other people including a former county supervisor) had to offer.

The fact is that any place that spends millions of dollars on advertising to bring in more and more tourists and outsources the problems like garbage and excrement and unbearable crowds to the tax paying locals (and the decent visitors) is committing suicide. Are tourists going to return to a trashed location to fight with people for a parking spot?

And I am hearing more and more mumbling from residents about leaving Mono County because we are tired of picking up after the guests of the business sector and tired of having to curtail our own outdoor activities because there there are too many disrespectful people (and not all of them are visitors!) and real tired of a local government which values tourists over residents for the benefit of private businesses. Fortunately I go places that are not nearly as popular but the clean - up I had to perform a couple of weeks ago was so gross I am not sure I want to tell the story.

I have been admonished that tourists pay for the county services I use but I have also scoured the budget for a breakdown of property tax vs tourist dollars and they fail to categorize funds in a manner which would be enlightening and have yet to find a county official who is even the slightest bit interested in answering my question.

I'd be gone from here if I could find another home that would feed my soul the way this place does. I can understand that others also need that food but I think there are far too many people who have no soul.
 
teledork, thank you sharing your insightful views as a resident of the eastern Sierra, many of which I share. I've been deeply involved in local issues over the years and have, basically, ended up frustrated with the political process. I have given up. I have seen meaningful attempts at long term solutions pushed aside. I have repeatedly told local agency officials, "Show me your decision is what's best for the land and I'll be your strongest supporter." Over and over I've seen the final decision obviously based on other interests. I have yearned for someone with courage to break that trend. I have given up.

I have little hope for a rebirth of outdoor users with "a soul." A lack of any attention span, short term gratification, and no responsibility, sadly, appear to be the norms these days.

I will stay in my hole and only occasionally poke my head out.
 
Teledork and Monte,

It is very hard to cope with the maddening crowds. In so many ways. Thanks for your efforts

Our modern construct of government and business relies on economic growth and expansion to keep things going. If future growth projections are flatlined, then maintaining current infrastructure and services becomes unsustainable. I don't know how, or if, we can get ourselves out of this situation. After a long career of trying to repair environmental damages and interacting with hundreds, more likely thousands, of elected officials at all levels, my take-away is they do not have the tools or the citizen mandate to change course voluntarily. However, natural events, processes and forces will sort us out eventually. Whether or not we will be around to see the outcome, well... remains to be seen.

Meanwhile I will try to respectfully explore and enjoy the wild lands as long as I can.

Best wishes in your journeys.

Tony
 
AWG_Pics said:
Our modern construct of government and business relies on economic growth and expansion to keep things going. If future growth projections are flatlined, then maintaining current infrastructure and services becomes unsustainable.
And if nothing changes nothing is "sustainable". Nearly every day I count my blessings that I am not young and I have no offspring.
 
ski3pin said:
I have little hope for a rebirth of outdoor users with "a soul." A lack of any attention span, short term gratification, and no responsibility, sadly, appear to be the norms these days.
That is the very sad truth. I became an educator more than 40 years ago because I thought I could inspire, that I could "be the change I wanted to see". I only rarely poke my head out now too.
 
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