Angeles National Forest supervisor Tom Contreras and District Ranger Mike McIntyre, on Wednesday announced that they were hoping to get approval from the regional director to open approximately 50% of the Station Fire closure area. It only requires a review and a signature, and we hope to have that on Thursday [May 24], in time for the Memorial Day weekend.
Last year the closure order was revised a few days before the memorial day weekend.
The area slated for opening includes everything west of Fall Creek fire road (3N27), which descends from Mount Gleason Road to Big Tujunga Canyon. Trails in the newly opened area include Stone Canyon, Condor Peak, Trail Canyon and Mendenhall Ridge. Some work has been done on Stone Canyon, Condor Peak trail, and Trail Canyon trail, though their readiness for bicycling is unknown. If these or other trails are not in safe enough condition for public use, the trails will be signed as closed, even though the area is technically open.
Condor Peak was once slated for a wilderness designation, and as a show of protest, CORBA and IMBA led a mass group ride up Condor Peak to demonstrate its viability as a backcountry multi-use trail including bicycles. It’s a steep and challenging trail, and we’ll be very happy to see it opened again.
The announcement was made at a Sierra Club event at Eaton Canyon Nature Center on Wednesday evening, March 23, 2012. Forest Service staff reported on the station fire recovery efforts. Nathan Sill, staff biologist for the forest reported pre- and post-fire population counts of several endangered species including the Arroyo Toad, Arroyo Chubb, Mountain Yellow-legged frog, Spotted Owl and others. Most of the species covered have shown significant population increases since the fire and are recovering well.
Steve Bear, forester for the Angeles National Forest reported on the controversial re-forestation efforts and the plans for the next five years.
This post will updated when the closure revision is officially announced.
Update: Maps have been released showing the closure: