1,600-acre project proposed for Mt. Piños

  • [photo by Patric Hedlund, The Mountain Enterprise]

    [photo by Patric Hedlund, The Mountain Enterprise]

By Patric Hedlund, TME

There were no comfy chairs or welcoming refreshment tables with hot cocoa at the Chula Vista parking lot near the top of Mount Piños on Saturday, Nov. 23. There was something more warming: A four-hour dialogue about the national forest that Mountain Community residents know as their neighbor.

In today’s changing climate, as scientific paradigms shift, this neighbor is still theirs to respect, protect and enjoy, but we all saw Paradise turn into Hades.

Everyone understands wind-driven wildfires spewing ember storms can threaten our homes and families. Yet forest stewards say healthy forests need fire. Smokey Bear is no longer…(please see below to view full stories and photographs)

Photo captions:

Above: A crowd of about 40 mountain residents rolled up to the Nordic Base Chula Vista parking lot on Mount Piños Saturday morning, Nov. 23 at 10 a.m. surrounded by spots of snow. They met with (right, l-r) interim District Ranger Adam Bromley (in green) and new vegetation and fuels programs manager for Los Padres National Forest, Brandon Stephens (red shirt). The dialogue lasted for four hours.

Above: This map is a rough estimate of the section of Mount Piños that would be affected by the “Healthy Forest” plan. “I like sharpies,” interim Ranger Adam Bromley said, with a smile. “Right now, this is an idea, not a plan,” he added.

Left: Bromley and Stephens pointed to a tall tree towering over those alongside it next to the parking lot. They said that the trees with smaller diameter trunks could become ladder fuel to carry fire into the forest crown during an intense, wind-driven fire event. They said those smaller trees need to be thinned to protect the older, largest trees, which can survive fires.

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This is part of the November 29, 2019 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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