Sunday, September 11, 2005

“A Million Acres,” Another Kalifornia Lament ...

¶ . . . regarding what I have always loved and regarded as an Eden. You might have seen it posted here before: The Eastern Sierra Nevada. Kalifornia, if one can look beyond (a difficult task, at best!) the out-of-control officials at the helm, is a wonderful place for the outdoors type. In fact, when I’m spending time on the East Scarp, the “state of the State” is mostly out of mind. An Eden, indeed. I encourage all to do what I call “The 395 Ride;” it’s 375 miles, Mojave, California to Reno, Nevada along U.S. 395, of wonderment that many Californians, even, have not experienced. Here’s a fairly good link to maybe start on a trip plan.
   That being said, it has long been my goal to bail out of L.A. Though a great place to grow up (Venice, CA), it is now overcrowded, overpriced, balkanized, and an increasingly more hazardous place to live, and I don’t mean earthquakes. I’ll never live more than a day’s drive from the Sierras (at least never east of the 100th meridian!). Northern Nevada is my choice, so much more distinctly glorious than Clark County. High country, sagebrush desert, the Comstock Lode, it’s enamoring. However, it’s urged that you read  this newspiece, from the  Reno Gazette-Journal .

Here are some of the salient points:

  • One federal LEO (Forest Service) for nearly 1.3 million acres of National Forest, from Reno to Mono Lake, CA.

  • Increasingly urban problems, including drug-fueled youth parties, illegal dumping, vandalism, assaults and even murder.

  • A wide range of crimes are occurring in the forest, often involving “urban spillover” activities, including gangs and drive-by shootings, rapes and assaults. They expected marijuana cultivation to be an issue and weren’t disappointed. But they were surprised at the scope of methamphetamine manufacturing occurring on national forest land.

  • Evidence of satanic cult activity

  • Gang activity; One officer: “I’ve dealt with the Mexican Mafia in the forest. They want to recreate, too.”

  • “. . .a place near Mammoth Lakes . . . with aggressive panhandlers . . .”

   Alarming, to be sure,in all of the numerous trips I’ve taken and the multitude good times and memories I cherish, I have encountered nothing but great folks.Still, I mourn for the changing face and times of the West . . .
   I’ve often thought, “They ought to make this whole place a National Park": NOT! That totally limits, er, eliminates your “readiness” capabilities.
   Make the trip; idealistically, the more of a presence of the "good folks," I believe, discourages the negative. Let's not get in the position of "having to take it back." All too often, by then it is too late . . .

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