11/19/07 Warrior’s Society News

In this issue:

1. Cleveland National Forest Closure Order Update – parts of the Forest will be closed for 1 year

2. Fourth Annual Tour de Tryptophan/24 Hours of the Fullerton Loop to benefit Tara Llanes

1. CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST CLOSURE ORDER UPDATE

The part of the Cleveland National Forest affected by the fires, include the Main Divide from Black Star the Santiago Peak, the Silverado Motorway, the Harding Truck Trail, the Upper Joplin and Santiago Truck Trails and Maples Springs Road: these are the trails/roads that will be closed to the public for 1 year (until November 9th 2008).

This will NOT affect our events. Existing permit holders will be exempt from the closure as stated in the announcement “(1) Persons with a permit specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission.” The Forest Service’s main concern is that the public not access these areas without supervision, (especially the Harding Trail because the fire severely destabilized the slopes), for their own safety and to protect the burned areas from illegal access. There were many fire breaks done as defensive shields in case fire fighters were trapped – and there is a real concern that unauthorized use of these temporary fire breaks will delay or stop the rehabilitation efforts.

During both the Pow Wow and Traverse events there will be increased security to insure that riders/individuals not associated with or in the event access the forest. Those attempting to ride along unauthorized will be subject to arrest and/or fines by Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers who will be supervising the event in the areas affected by the closures. The Forest Service may require us to have participants show photo ID to in the morning check-in to prevent past participants with old number plates from attempting to ride along with those entered in the event.

In the mean time, the Warrior’s Society will propose to the Forest Service that volunteers from the Santa Ana Natural History Association (SANHA), the Sierra Club, CORVA or any other off-road organization and our own organization be permitted by the Forest Service to patrol the areas affected by the closure and lead group rides/hikes/road tours. These “guided” access rides would focus on the rehabilitation efforts, the need for volunteers and the impact illegal off-trail access has on the environment’s ability to recover from fire.

This would also allow us to educate the public on the need for controlled burns and other fire safety efforts that can reduce the effects/severity of wildland fires. For too long we have disrupted the cycle of fires and failed to educate the public on the benefits of fire to the chaparral environment as well as the detrimental effects of too many fires in the chaparral environment; we are now paying the price for this failure.

Others, such as the Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental organizations, have advocated limiting the use of fire breaks and restricting/eliminating the use of fire retardants because of their effects on the environment:

http://www.warriorssociety.org/News/ForestPlanAlert5-16-04.html

My answer to them is how much worse would this fire have been without the use of them? I agree that in the long run many portions of the Cleveland National Forest need to burn to return them to the natural cycle of fires, but to allow ALL of the Cleveland National Forest to burn with out the tools of firebreaks and chemical retardants is foolish; after artificially being prevented to burn for over 100 years, it would be devastating to allow fire to burn unimpeded with the amount of fuel that has built up.

I have seen steelhead trout deep in canyons in the Santa Ana Mountains that many would have never imagined to be able to exist there. It breaks my heart to know that their continued existence, and the survival of other species, will be jeopardized by the tremendous debris flows caused by the thousands of acres burned by these fires; and it motivates me to not let the threat to their existence go unchallenged.

We must responsibly allow the remaining unburned areas of the Cleveland National Forest to burn to return them to the natural cycle of fire. We must allow these areas to burn and control these burns with every tool available to get us to the point where active fire prevention tools are used in a limited fashion – or not at all.

Many will be quick t6 blame the Forest Service or the County for the after-effects of the fire, but the failure can truly be placed on the lap of the public. WE have neglected our forests, we have developed in areas near our forests/wildlands, which I have no problems with, – but because of this development – we have pushed polices that focus on preventing fire rather than managing it; and organizations such as the Sierra Club and the Center For Biological Diversity have advocated limiting “Active” management of our forest by the use of fire breaks and fire retardants, seeking to take important Active Management tools out of the hands of firefighters.

The management of our forests should not focus on stopping fires – or on letting them burn.

It is not black and white – it is somewhere in-between.

And if we deny nature/fire her/its natural cycle – the PUBLIC – as current conditions have proven – will pay the price. And if we limit our ability to actively ATTEMPT to manage fire – we will only increase the devastation.

Below is the announcement from the Forest Service:

DECISION MEMO

U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE – FOREST SERVICE

FOREST CLOSURE ORDER
SANTIAGO FIRE AREA
02 07 11

CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST
ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

DECISION

It is my decision to issue a Forest Order authorizing a temporary closure of a portion of the Trabuco Ranger District in the Santiago Fire burn area and adjacent area, with the addition of a class of persons exempt from the Order
(1) Persons with a permit specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission. (2) Owners or lessees of land in the area, (3) Residents in the area; 4) Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting force in the performance of an official duty.

The area affected is described on Exhibit A and shown on the attached map, marked as Exhibit B. The closure will be in effect from November 15, 2007 through November 09, 2008 and will address public health and safety concerns related to the fire. The order will also serve to protect forest resources and critical watersheds located within the fire area.

NEED FOR THE PROPOSED ACTION

There is a need for this action because of the threat to human life, and resource values due to this wildfire. An emergency situation has been identified as existing as a result of this fire. There are hazards known and unknown within the fire area that threaten public health and safety.

The fire has been contained at approximately 28,400 acres; however, firefighting and resource rehabilitation efforts are continuing. Movement of personnel and equipment pose a threat to public safety as the road and trail systems within the burn area are narrow and hazardous. There are also aerial operations that pose a threat to persons within the burn area. Additionally, there are numerous natural hazards created by the fire, such as tree snags, staubs, root holes that have been created by roots burning beneath the surface of the soil, etc…

An additional threat to public safety created by this fire is flash flooding caused by loss of vegetative resources. The time frame of this closure has historically had severe monsoonal thunderstorms that result in some flash flooding; however, the loss of the vegetative resources increases the probability of severe flash flooding in the burn area and adjoining areas.

In addition to the public health and safety aspect of the Santiago Fire there numerous archeological, historical, and culturally relevant sites have been exposed by the fire. Many of these sites are recorded; however, numerous other sites have not been surveyed.

The topography of the area is steep with sensitive soils. The topography combined with sensitive soils invite erosion when traversed by either mechanical means or by primitive means.

The Closure is felt to be the most immediate and effective method to reduce the potential for loss of life, and loss of significant physical, and cultural resource values on the forest.

The Closure also includes areas that were heavily impacted by dozers during
fire suppression efforts. These areas include a portion of North Main
Divide Road (3S04) between Bedford Peak and Santiago Peak; Silverado Trail
(5S03) and the area around Modjeska Peak.

This order needs to be in place for one year because the Forest Service needs time to remove the known hazards, such as falling hazard trees and repairing roads and trails. Also during this closure, the land will have a chance to rest: this will allow time for the native seeds to germinate, take root and grow; the chaparral vegetation an opportunity to re-sprout; and the soil and hillsides an opportunity to stabilize.

REASONS FOR CATEGORICALLY EXCLUDING THE PROPOSED ACTION

This decision is categorically excluded from documentation under Forest Service Handbook 1909.15, Section 31.1b(1) – Orders issued pursuant to 36 CFR Part 261 – Prohibitions to provide short-term resource protection or to protect public health and safety.

As a result of the above-mentioned analyses, I find there are no extraordinary circumstances that might cause the action to have significant environmental effects; therefore the proposed action is excluded from documentation in an Environmental Impact Statement or Environmental Assessment. Extraordinary circumstances would include but are not limited to negative impacts on the following:

1. Steep slopes or highly erosive soils.

This action will promote retention of natural vegetation that will help stabilize the steep slopes and highly erosive soils located within the closure area and protect the public from rolling rocks.

2. Threatened and Endangered species or their critical habitat.

One of the reasons for this action is to protect threatened and endangered species, and their habitats, located within the closure zone.

3. Flood plains, wetlands, and municipal watersheds.

This action will minimize impacts on flood plains, wetlands, and municipal watersheds within the closure area.

4. Inventoried roadless areas.

There is an inventoried roadless area within the closure area. Protection of this area will be enhanced by the closure area.

5. Native American religious or cultural sites, archaeological sites or
historic properties or areas.

One of the reasons for this action is to protect Native American religious or cultural sites, archaeological sites or historic properties located within the closure area and new sites exposed by the fires.

2. FOURTH ANNUAL TOUR DE TRYPTOPHAN/24 HOURS OF THE FULLERTON LOOP TO BENEFIT TARA LLANES

Ride and Donate to the Fourth Annual Tour de Tryptophan/24 Hours of the Fullerton Loop Spread Some Holiday Cheer for the Tara Llanes Recovery Fund

Fullerton, CA – November 14, 2007 – – Did you hear that Tara Llanes moved her left leg yesterday? For those who don’t know, Mountain Bike legend and sweetheart Tara Llanes was injured in a racing accident at the beginning of September, resulting in what is hoped to be a temporary paralysis. A fund has been set up to help in her rehabilitation, and this year’s Tour de Tryptophan is a benefit for the Tara Llanes Road to Recovery Fund.

From high-noon on Friday the 23rd of November until high-noon on Saturday, riders from far and wide will be donating to the cause and doing fun laps on the legendary Fullerton Loop in Fullerton, California.

Fourth Annual Tour de Tryptophan Benefit Ride The Fullerton Loop is an 11-mile network of suburban trails that pass through city parks, horse trails, hidden pathways and creekside wilderness. Originally pieced together by Richard Cunningham of Mantis Bikes and Mountain Bike Action fame in 1983, hundreds of people ride and train on the famed loop every week.

One of the people that has graced the loop is the inimitable Tara Llanes, and many riders are getting stoked to help her cause this Thanksgiving weekend.

T-Shirts, Silent Auction and Raffle The ride will start and end at the Brea Dam Park, which is approximately 1 mile north of Chapman Avenue at 1700 North Harbor Boulevard in Fullerton. You can show up at any time to donate $40 and receive the Commemorative T-Shirt. When the original order of shirts runs out, we will print more as needed.

If you cannot attend and want a shirt, send a check for $40 made out to Tara Llanes to: Tour de Tara, 414 N. California St., Orange, CA 92866 before Thanksgiving, please state shirt size and quantity.

Donate Directly to the Tara Llanes Road to Recovery Fund If you are NOT interested in a shirt, and just want to contribute to Tara’s recovery fund, you can send a check to Tara Llanes – Tour de Tara:

4068 Green Avenue, Los Alamitos, CA 90720. Paypal donations can go to:

tlroad2recovery@aol.com

Product Donations Still Needed If you can send products for the silent auction and raffle, that would be most appreciated. Send product to arrive at Tour de Tara, 414 N. California St., Orange, CA 92866 by Wednesday the 21st (i.e. Ship ’em Today!)

Give it up for a friend in need… What you give will come back to you tenfold. Peace. CFE PR+ Steve Boehmke

E-mail: chunkyflyrite@gmail.com

Manitou and Shimano are the Major Component Sponsors of the Warrior’s Society

Rock N Road Bike Shops and Sho-Air Racing are Major Sponsors of the Warrior’s Society

Cytomax is the Official Fluid Replacement Drink of the Warrior’s Society

Clif Bar is the Official Energy Bar and Gel of the Warrior’s Society

The Warrior’s Society is a Blue Ribbon Coalition (BRC) affiliated organization

The Warrior’s Society is a Tax Exempt Organization under 501 (c) 4 of the IRS Code

“Far better it is to dare mighty dreams, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take the ranks with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in that gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat!”

Theodore Roosevelt

www.warriorssociety.org

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