Imagine AC100 Without Baden-Powell

Baden-Powell, with Angela Shartel, 2013.
The AC100 is asking the public’s support for the race’s survival as a trail race. At stake is the iconic portion from Vincent Gap over Mt Baden-Powell. Which could disappear. 

Their email came to my attention:
This past December, the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Act was presented by Congresswoman Judy Chu. The legislation adds new wilderness areas the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, and the effect on the Angeles Crest 100 Mile course would require another road section skipping the pinnacle of the course, Mount Baden-Powell. We need your help to reach out to your congressional representative to help get AC100 trail access and prevent the race from becoming a road race.

Then the following text on how to locate your congressperson:
Step 1: 
Step 2: Contact your Congressperson via their website. Copy and paste the following letter (add your name/title) and add your personal story as you see fit.
Step 3: If no response comes within a week, call the office and request a response. Remember, your congressperson works for you! 

Deja Vu, All Over Again 

OK, all well and good. I wish them the best. Maybe 500 people will do something. Does anyone realize that Congress gets blizzards of crap petitions every single day? 

Here’s what’s missing, or maybe invisible:
  1. getting a really good land-use lawyer, who can navigate the thickets here[1].
  2. A hefty campaign contribution to Judy Chu, at a sit-down when she’s back in her district, so the Race to concisely explain why they’re important.
Because, [brace yourselves], the AC100 is nowhere listed as one of the groups that might have a say in the proceedings.

From p. 159 of the Management Plan, here are listed groups.
  • Adams Pack Station
  • Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON)
  • Bike SGV
  • Cal Poly Pomona
  • Chico State University
  • The City Project
  • The Concerned Off Road Bicyclists Association (CORBA)
  • Foothill Transit
  • Friends of The Angeles
  • Modern Hiker
  • Mt. Wilson MTB Adventure
  • REI
  • San Gabriel Mountains Community Collaborative
  • San Gabriel Mountains Forever
  • The Trust For Public Land
  • The Wilderness Society
Seriously. What the holy hell? An organization that put in 1000s of volunteer hours since 1996, and not have a seat at the table?[2]

Right. That was Uncle Hal. Kenny was elsewhere.

If this goes nowhere, then AC100 might just have to "bite the pillow and become a 100k from Chilao to Loma Alta", as one observant friend put it.

Because who the fuck in Congress besides the usual GOP vested-weasels are going to vote against mountains? 
Here are the relevant docs:
San Gabriel Mountains National Recreation Area and National Monument Expansion Proposal

Rep Judy Chu’s bill:
H. R. 2323

"To establish the San Gabriel National Recreation Area as a unit of the National Park System in the State of California, to modify the boundaries of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument in the State of California to include additional National Forest System land, and for other purposes."

Companion Senate Bill from Sen Kamala Harris
S.3704 - San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act

You read down this far, congratulations. Here's the footnote section

[1] Back in 2008, When the Pleasant View Ridge Wilderness Designation process was winding its way through various committees, Ken Hamada messaged me in a panic. I was the Racebook editor in that far-off time.

"Hey, can you send this [xerox w Uncle Hal notations] up to Sen Boxer's regional office as a blowup?"

Yeah, but no. It wasn't ready for primetime, but engineers aren't always known for presentation polish.

I dug up the original 4-color pdf, set text, sent it off to Kinko's FedEx to be a [wait for it] color blowup. So the Race wouldn't look like a bunch of clueless amateurs. Kenny had to spend money here.

What happened to it, I'll never know. But here's the kicker.

I told Hamada to "call Tony Rossman up in Berkeley, as he was the guy who helped the WS100 to get grandfathered into the Granite Chief Wilderness in 1986." 

For those not familiar with that parlous time, the Reagan Admin Dept of the Interior was helmed by Donald Hodel, former under-secretary to James Watt. Both of these "wise use" corporados were no friends of the environment, unless it was timber, mining, ranching etc. 

Tony's work paid off, WS100 got grandfathered, and the rest is history.

Now, fast-forward. I doubt that Kenny called Tony Rossman. Tony suffered a stroke several years ago. I also doubt he's writing briefs. 

[2] I was there for plenty of those trail work weekends. Got to see people work, or shirk, according to their preferences. But they were out there.

On that note, have a nice weekend.


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