Monday, March 19, 2012

Peace No More

I've hinted at the trouble brewing in our blessed creek but have been too upset to really talk much about it. As I predicted years ago, the Angeles National Golf Course would change life as we knew it. And while many trails were demolished by the course - we had to go around instead of through - we hikers and horse people who love the Tujunga River have managed to get along.

But some "do-gooders" with the city have not. First demanding that the golf club "maintain" the trails... I use that word in quotes because the trails maintain themselves. There are hiking, horse and prey trails. If one trail is no longer "maintained," it's simply because it's no longer desirable or needed. Ex: the path to the water washes out but there's a perfectly acceptable path a few yards down... everyone simply starts using the easier trail and the old one vanishes. It has been this way for decades.

After giving the club a year to "clean up their act" - residents were very angry over the sheer amount of homeless that had moved in when the economy took a down turn. The club was ill equipped to enforce removal of people who lived there and many of them bothered no one. Quite honestly, I would prefer the company of Margaret (a 30+year resident) or Good Tim to any of the riff-raff frequenting our creek these days.

This year, the city intervened and turned the property over to the mountain conservancy in this area who has come in and put up signs and let's just say that everyone I know breaks the laws posted forth:

  • On leash dogs - DON'T even get me started.
  • Picking up poop (wouldn't make a dent in all the coyote, rabbit or fox poop. And what about the horse poop??? I'm far more offended by the huge piles of that stuff!!! Why don't they have to dismount and scoop???).
  • "Park" closes at dark - one of my favorite hikes was a summer night when I found a friend had passed away and I just HAD to get to "my" creek.  9 pm - just me and Mabel and the full moon. 
  • No motorcycles - a long established law that I actually wish someone would enforce.
And then there are the CYA warnings (CYA = Cover your ^$$ or the city's ^$$):
  • Be careful in a motorboat - DUH... there's rocks and a depth of maybe 6" most of the year!
  • And "swimmers" must wear a life jacket! 
And the pooper scoopers they've placed at the entrances that make me - a girl with an IQ in the 140s - feel like I need an engineering degree to figure them out!

I wasn't always an off leash advocate...but then I moved here and got a dog with greyhound in her blood. My dog simply cannot get enough exercise on a leash. And I cannot run that fast! So we meet up with like minded hikers and enjoy a good romp... and now risk 170 dollar tickets!

It simply kills me that they call this rugged terrain a "park." I just love the new hikers coming out...thinking it some easy park-like place. Most have been dog lovers and scritched our pups. My favorite was the mom pushing a pram through all the rocks and actually wondering aloud why it was so difficult. "Just cause they call it a park don't make it a park... hit the sidewalk, lady!"

And let's just take a look at the HOARDS of people me and my off leash dogs bother, shall we? These photos form a complete circle on one of the trails...but you can see the popular (but empty) levee in photo 4.

  So...I'm risking my financial security every time I walk my dogs. The good news...there's only 12 park rangers to cover the thousands of acres in this program. Still, I'm always on guard in the place that has been my sanctuary for a decade.


Raising Addie said...

That just sucks.

Glad there are only a few that police the grounds. AND I totally agree that if you have to pick up dog poo then the horse people need to pick up theirs.

Truly this they were not doing this to your special place.

Lots of Luv & Kisses
Addie, Lucie and Hailey

Berts Blog said...

I am so sorry. To have to be so cautious in a place that is yours in all rights because of the respet you have shown to it for years, just doesn't seem right.

Priscilla said...

Same problem here, a RESERVED forest is going to be cut into a few smaller pieces in the name of development and for the golfers too. I just don't understand all these!!!