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Sierra Club hypocrisy.....

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Brian in Oregon, Apr 10, 2008.

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  1. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    Straying hikers hurting sensitive areas in Griffith Park - LA Daily News from Thumper talk:<br>
    <br>
    By Dana Bartholomew, Staff Writer<br>
    Article Last Updated: 04/09/2008 12:16:28 AM PDT<br>
    <br>
    http://www.dailynews.com/ci_8857310<br>
    <br>
    As Griffith Park recovers from the fire that scorched 800 acres last spring, park rangers and environmentalists are accusing hikers of damaging pristine chaparral by straying from official trails.<br>
    <br>
    And the major culprit, some say: elite hikers of the Sierra Club, a 116-year-old advocate for all things green.<br>
    <br>
    Trained hike leaders not only are hot-dogging off legal trails but are blazing new ones or leading fast-paced walks across recovering burn areas, critics from the club say.<br>
    <br>
    "Where I take issue is where Sierra Club hike leaders are taking shortcuts and creating new trails," said Louis Alvarado, honorary mayor of Griffith Park and longtime Sierra Club hike coordinator. "In some cases, it's deforming the natural terrain, killing wild plants and flowers, and defacing the natural landscape."<br>
    <br>
    An official from the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club said hikers are instructed to keep out of burn areas and stay on official Griffith Park trails.<br>
    <br>
    "We're trying our best," said Virgil Shields, an executive member of the club's Angeles Chapter, adding it's hard to police 1,000 hike leaders and 50,000 local members.<br>
    <br>
    "The Sierra Club always has respect for the outdoors. We've made it a point to protect Griffith Park. We've told our leaders not to hike through burn areas. ... We tell our leaders to stay out of unofficial trails."<br>
    <br>
    The nation's wildest urban park is shared by millions of Angelenos, including many who take to its 57 miles of designated fire roads and trails for their panoramic views from Mount Hollywood and adjacent hilltops.
    While park rangers won't point fingers, they say some hikers are damaging pristine chaparral, native grasses, wild hyacinth that is now in purple bloom, and other flowers. In addition, some are trekking through the slurry of seed and mulch in burn areas that have been hydro-seeded.<br>
    <br>
    This week, Chief Ranger Albert Torres joined Alvarado for a tour of errant trails over burned and unburned parkland.<br>
    <br>
    "See all the trails zigzagging up the hill?" said Torres, a 33-year city parks veteran, pointing to a spider web of trails meandering up a charred ridge behind Bee Rock. "All those aren't designated trails. They're all man-made.<br>
    <br>
    "People tend to take the shortest route. It's some people (who) go off trail."<br>
    <br>
    As a towhee chirped above laurel sumac emerging from blackened earth, Torres pointed to other areas behind Mount Hollywood where hikers have blazed the shortest trails.<br>
    <br>
    Many Sierra Club hike leaders say leaders of some of the fastest organized hikes cause some of the greatest damage.<br>
    <br>
    Three nights a week, up to 500 hikers gather for sanctioned Sierra Club hikes throughout Griffith Park. While most opt for moderate moonlit jaunts, about 50 follow hike leaders for a sunset dash through the hilliest terrain.<br>
    <br>
    And, some say, across deer paths and an estimated 350 miles of unmarked trails.<br>
    <br>
    One Sierra Club hike leader said she once was leading a moderate hike up Mount Hollywood when 30 fellow club trekkers charged across the road.<br>
    <br>
    "They were coming straight up where there was no trail, grabbing branches like it was the cat's meow," said Rosemarie White, a hike leader who chairs the club's Endangered Species Task Force. "(They were) No.5 and No.6 (level) hikers, the real hot-doggers, who are going to do it their way to harass Mother Nature. Those wild places should not be destroyed by humans trying to demonstrate their prowess."<br>
    <br>
    Another longtime leader said she's seen fast-paced clubbers trampling shrubs or racing along animal paths that then turn into people trails.<br>
    <br>
    "They're treating the park like a gym," said Angela Colicchio, who until recently led Sierra Club hikes for 30 years in Griffith Park. "If this went on for years, there wouldn't be a bush or shrub or a blade of wild grass left."<br>
    <br>
    During her first Sierra Club night hike in Griffith Park soon after last year's fire, Skye Patch said it was as if her moderate hike leader didn't know where the hikers were going.<br>
    <br>
    "Sometimes there were trails that looked like deer trails, not human trails," she said. "I felt that we were going off trail and could have been damaging something."<br>
    <br>
    Alvarado and others said they have complained to the Sierra Club for years, but nothing has ever been done to rein in certified leaders trained for two days to guide club hikes.<br>
    <br>
    While rangers have posted new signs telling all to stay on designated trails, many say few, if any, knew which were authorized trails before an official city map was released last fall.<br>
    <br>
    A walk in the park offers few clues as to which trails are official and which aren't.<br>
    <br>
    Hike leader Andy Serrano, who sponsors an evening "boot camp" for the hardiest hikers, said a trail is a trail, with many undesignated paths leading to stairways, bridges and other man-made features.<br>
    <br>
    In some areas, he said, the unofficial trails are the only way to get from place to place, as from Lake Hollywood to Mount Cahuenga.<br>
    <br>
    "I'm a fast hiker, but I don't blaze new trails," Serrano said. He added that, without the sporting element, many hikers would rather stay home. "They won't come. I wouldn't come.<br>
    <br>
    "I'd go to the gym, where there are pretty girls in leotards," he said. "The smaller trails ... are very steep. You do some technical climbing. There are rocks. They're more challenging.<br>
    <br>
    "The fire trails are like a sidewalk. There's absolutely nothing interesting there."
     
  2. omgb

    omgb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,759
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    I used to live next to Griffith Park. Now I just work across the river from it. Those hikers are not the real issue. Nope, the real issue is the huge number of Gay men who use the park as a meat market. All along Zoo Dr. and especially along Vista Del Val you can't walk up a trail without finding a couple of guys doing all manner of things to each other. Personally, i couldn't care less if two guys want to do whatever to each other but geez Louise, not out in public and not where children might see it.
     
  3. Dickgshot

    Dickgshot Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,676
    omgb: I hiked there a couple months ago and you're right about what goes on there, but that's not where the burn area is. I hiked up to the observatory and didn't see any sign of the fire damage. I think it occurred on the road that branches way off to the west, a pretty long way into the park.
     
  4. famill00

    famill00 TS Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    610
    OMGB,

    Concerning the gay guys.....how hard was it for you to hide them after you took care of them?

    Forrest
     
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