Donate

Join Us

Volunteer

 

 

Sign up for our newsletter:

Leave this field empty

  Blog

Contact Us: 909/867.3536
Email:   i  nfo@sbmlt.net                                                                                                           San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust                                                                              501(3)(C) non-profit organization                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Tax ID# 33-0700417                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 

SBMLT in the News

Press Coverage


Back to all News

Mountain Summit:  FOREST Meeting Delivers More Questions Than Answers

Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2003 12:00

In a major meeting of the various public and government agencies tasked to provide and implement solutions for the devastation occuring in the local forests caused by bark beetle infestation, and exacerbated by a nearly five year long drought, a summit held at the University of Redlands last weekend in the Orton Conference Center attracted a concerned and outspoken crowd in search of answers to some long-asked questions.

Some were satisfied by the statements and progress reports heard at the summit; many were not.

The goal of the summit, according to a handout provided at the meeting, is to develop a road map for the future of the San Bernardino National Forest in areas of management, use and development, in light of its current overgrowth, bark-beetle infestation and wildfire danger.

The summit -- officially titled the Vision for the Mountain Summit -- was spearheaded by Gene Zimmerman, the supervisor of the San Bernardino National Forest. "We needed to find a way to get everyone on board, and design a plan to deal with this paramount problem we currently face in our local mountains," Zimmerman said. "Rather than focusing on the past, we need to look ahead now, while we still have time, and solve the problem." Zimmerman said the only way to accomplish this seemingly insurmountable goal is through unity and cooperation -- with both citizens and safety officials, and government agencies.

Facilitator Gifford Pinocht said the forest is in trouble because for years a combination of dense replanting following unregulated clear-cutting, fire suppression that has not allowed natural thinning of the forested areas, and water source diversions have thrown the forest into an ecological tailspin.

"Quite simply, we have an unnatural forest," Pinocht said. "It's true, we face a lot of challenges -- but we also have the opportunity to get together and do something about this, and to create a beautiful forest."

One participant wondered if such a forest would ever be seen in his lifetime. "Probably not," came the answer.

Said Peter Jorris, an Arrowbear resident who is now the director of the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust, "I know that I would like to have the opportunity to have the forest that was available to me as a child."

As the schedule turned to action planning, the usual disagreements were voiced throughout the room. Safety officials want the dead trees cut down and removed, and the private property owners and mountain residents want to know who is going to pay for it.

By Sunday morning the walls of the Orton Conference Center were covered with sayings, comments, appeals for help -- all the result of two days of often emotionally draining work by summit participants. The ensuing series of encounters and discussions culminated in attendees trying to reach a consensus on how to best help the forest in the present tense, as well as in the future.

While the focus of the event was how to support forests in general, most of the participants either live in, own property in, or have other ties to either the San Bernardino or San Jacinto National Forests. With such a divergent group of people there were many different opinions expressed, but it seemed most participants kept their eyes on the goal; how best to help the forests survive.

USE vs. ECOLOGY

While many of the attendees would consider themselves environmentalists, there were also representatives from the off-road vehicle and other outdoor groups who believe they have the right to use and enjoy the forests as much as those who wish to limit their use.

Supervisor Dennis Hansberger attended two days of the conference, quietly talking with participants while doing a great deal of listening. One of the positive outcomes of the "Mountain Summit: Vision into Action" event was the desire by participants to keep the momentum going -- so much so a follow-up reunion meeting has been scheduled for August 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in university Hall on the University of Redlands campus. (For information call Karen Finlayson at (530) 647-5393.)

Some of the thoughts displayed on the walls were "positive visions lead to positive actions," "What you say is what happens," "Drought is not a one-time event," "Healthy ecosystems are sustainable, biologically diverse, productive, native places where fire is a natural component, dependent on resource construction restoration," "A healthy forest is essential for a vibrant and balanced community for recreation, business and our community needs."

A HEALTHY FOREST

One point of agreement was in order to have a healthy forest, it is necessary to have an 'open forest' where there are no more than 40 mature trees per acre.

"An open forest supports wildlands and mountain communities that are ecologically resilient and not at high risk of catastrophic wildfires," said one sign on the wall. Members of the local Deep Creek Open Space Coalition announced that members and other interested participants will meet on October 4 for the group's annual Deep Creek restoration day. "All interested participants should meet at Toto's Mexican Restaurant in Running Springs at 10 a.m. and take their lunch, gloves, water and hats. The work will end about 2 p.m. ," an organizer said. For information call (909) 867-3536 or (909) 881-9275.

During the Sunday sessions participants broke into groups that could focus on major "themes" and the group dealing with preserving open space by purchase/or some other type of method was attended by several members of the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust.

During the discussion period, one of the participants was discussing the fact that she hoped that people could get away from the philosophy that "if you can't eat it, wear it or sell it it has no intrinsic value." This led to a discussion on how much development, how many full-time and part-time residents and how many visitors could the forest accommodate without going over its natural capacity. "Our irreplaceable forest has huge intrinsic value," they agreed.

Supervisor Hansberger was very pleased with the process and said so before the conference ended. "One of the things that has been really good to see is that there are people here who usually talk about each other and now they're talking to each other." He added that the conference allowed individuals to put forth their ideas and concerns and have professionals in that field hear and discuss them. "The test will come when we define what actions should be taken and then see how committed people, including the county, are to making these things a reality," he concluded.

The conference was sponsored by Southern California Edison; San Bernardino County; San Bernardino National Forest Association; the San Bernardino Sun; Bear Valley Fire Safe Council; Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians; Big Bear Chamber of Commerce; California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection; the California Licensed Foresters Association; Mountain Rim Fire Safe Council; Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council; Riverside County; and Mountain Media TV.

Among the local mountain residents (including those who work for the Forest Service at local stations) who attended at some point included Bruce Daniels, Laura Dyberg, David Caine, Hugh Bialecki, Peter Jorris, Bob Carpenter, Walter Ford, Jean Frederickison, Marge Gardner, Lacy Goldsmith, Jim Gourley, Jerry Henderson, Daniella Lowery, Carol Pedder, Bob Sommer, Gary Steffens, U.S. Forest Service Mountaintop District Ranger Allison Stewart, Steve Watt and Stan White.

http://www.mountain-news.com/news/localnews/article_5e2eeb48-0df8-5592-9ac2-04d61cd05324.html 

http://www.mountain-news.com/news/localnews/article_5e2eeb48-0df8-5592-9ac2-04d61cd05324.html 

 

 

Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2003 12:00 am

In a major meeting of the various public and government agencies tasked to provide and implement solutions for the devastation occuring in the local forests caused by bark beetle infestation, and exacerbated by a nearly five year long drought, a summit held at the University of Redlands last weekend in the Orton Conference Center attracted a concerned and outspoken crowd in search of answers to some long-asked questions.

Some were satisfied by the statements and progress reports heard at the summit; many were not.

 

The goal of the summit, according to a handout provided at the meeting, is to develop a road map for the future of the San Bernardino National Forest in areas of management, use and development, in light of its current overgrowth, bark-beetle infestation and wildfire danger.

The summit -- officially titled the Vision for the Mountain Summit -- was spearheaded by Gene Zimmerman, the supervisor of the San Bernardino National Forest. "We needed to find a way to get everyone on board, and design a plan to deal with this paramount problem we currently face in our local mountains," Zimmerman said. "Rather than focusing on the past, we need to look ahead now, while we still have time, and solve the problem." Zimmerman said the only way to accomplish this seemingly insurmountable goal is through unity and cooperation -- with both citizens and safety officials, and government agencies.

Facilitator Gifford Pinocht said the forest is in trouble because for years a combination of dense replanting following unregulated clear-cutting, fire suppression that has not allowed natural thinning of the forested areas, and water source diversions have thrown the forest into an ecological tailspin.

"Quite simply, we have an unnatural forest," Pinocht said. "It's true, we face a lot of challenges -- but we also have the opportunity to get together and do something about this, and to create a beautiful forest."

One participant wondered if such a forest would ever be seen in his lifetime. "Probably not," came the answer.

Said Peter Jorris, an Arrowbear resident who is now the director of the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust, "I know that I would like to have the opportunity to have the forest that was available to me as a child."

As the schedule turned to action planning, the usual disagreements were voiced throughout the room. Safety officials want the dead trees cut down and removed, and the private property owners and mountain residents want to know who is going to pay for it.

By Sunday morning the walls of the Orton Conference Center were covered with sayings, comments, appeals for help -- all the result of two days of often emotionally draining work by summit participants. The ensuing series of encounters and discussions culminated in attendees trying to reach a consensus on how to best help the forest in the present tense, as well as in the future.

While the focus of the event was how to support forests in general, most of the participants either live in, own property in, or have other ties to either the San Bernardino or San Jacinto National Forests. With such a divergent group of people there were many different opinions expressed, but it seemed most participants kept their eyes on the goal; how best to help the forests survive.

USE vs. ECOLOGY

While many of the attendees would consider themselves environmentalists, there were also representatives from the off-road vehicle and other outdoor groups who believe they have the right to use and enjoy the forests as much as those who wish to limit their use.

Supervisor Dennis Hansberger attended two days of the conference, quietly talking with participants while doing a great deal of listening. One of the positive outcomes of the "Mountain Summit: Vision into Action" event was the desire by participants to keep the momentum going -- so much so a follow-up reunion meeting has been scheduled for August 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in university Hall on the University of Redlands campus. (For information call Karen Finlayson at (530) 647-5393.)

Some of the thoughts displayed on the walls were "positive visions lead to positive actions," "What you say is what happens," "Drought is not a one-time event," "Healthy ecosystems are sustainable, biologically diverse, productive, native places where fire is a natural component, dependent on resource construction restoration," "A healthy forest is essential for a vibrant and balanced community for recreation, business and our community needs."

A HEALTHY FOREST

One point of agreement was in order to have a healthy forest, it is necessary to have an 'open forest' where there are no more than 40 mature trees per acre.

"An open forest supports wildlands and mountain communities that are ecologically resilient and not at high risk of catastrophic wildfires," said one sign on the wall. Members of the local Deep Creek Open Space Coalition announced that members and other interested participants will meet on October 4 for the group's annual Deep Creek restoration day. "All interested participants should meet at Toto's Mexican Restaurant in Running Springs at 10 a.m. and take their lunch, gloves, water and hats. The work will end about 2 p.m. ," an organizer said. For information call (909) 867-3536 or (909) 881-9275.

During the Sunday sessions participants broke into groups that could focus on major "themes" and the group dealing with preserving open space by purchase/or some other type of method was attended by several members of the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust.

During the discussion period, one of the participants was discussing the fact that she hoped that people could get away from the philosophy that "if you can't eat it, wear it or sell it it has no intrinsic value." This led to a discussion on how much development, how many full-time and part-time residents and how many visitors could the forest accommodate without going over its natural capacity. "Our irreplaceable forest has huge intrinsic value," they agreed.

Supervisor Hansberger was very pleased with the process and said so before the conference ended. "One of the things that has been really good to see is that there are people here who usually talk about each other and now they're talking to each other." He added that the conference allowed individuals to put forth their ideas and concerns and have professionals in that field hear and discuss them. "The test will come when we define what actions should be taken and then see how committed people, including the county, are to making these things a reality," he concluded.

The conference was sponsored by Southern California Edison; San Bernardino County; San Bernardino National Forest Association; the San Bernardino Sun; Bear Valley Fire Safe Council; Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians; Big Bear Chamber of Commerce; California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection; the California Licensed Foresters Association; Mountain Rim Fire Safe Council; Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council; Riverside County; and Mountain Media TV.

Among the local mountain residents (including those who work for the Forest Service at local stations) who attended at some point included Bruce Daniels, Laura Dyberg, David Caine, Hugh Bialecki, Peter Jorris, Bob Carpenter, Walter Ford, Jean Frederickison, Marge Gardner, Lacy Goldsmith, Jim Gourley, Jerry Henderson, Daniella Lowery, Carol Pedder, Bob Sommer, Gary Steffens, U.S. Forest Service Mountaintop District Ranger Allison Stewart, Steve Watt and Stan White.