Author Archives: cyndijohnson

Ranger Talks!

Ranger Talks are back! Every Saturday night, 7:30 to 8:30 pm at the Greyback Amphitheater, about 1.5 miles east of the Barton Flats Visitor Center on Hwy 38. Programs are free with hot chocolate and coffee (your generous donations are welcome and appreciated), plus candy and snacks available for purchase. Bring warm clothing. You can find the schedule on our Ranger Talks page.

May Newsletter

We’re back! Well pretty much. Read all about it in the May newsletter. Our featured volunteer this time is Rosy Nunez.

A message from our president…

Bettye Miller, the President of the SGWA Board of Directors, has this message about our recent technical difficulties.

“SGWA’s new online permit system is speeding up the process of requesting wilderness permits and generally has worked well, although not without some glitches. We are working to fix those. In April we issued 439 day and overnight permits, and we’ve been flooded with requests since Vivian Creek Trail opened. Fewer than 3% of permit requests have been unsuccessful, which we know is frustrating if you’re one of those people. We are tweaking our programming to better handle the large number of requests, which has created unexpected issues with emailing approved permits. Some permits are landing in spam folders, so please check there. If things go amiss, please contact us at contact@sgwa.org.”

Backcountry Store sales suspended for now

Due to the continuing pandemic, we’ve decided to suspend sales from the Backcountry Store. With all the shutdown orders it’s extremely difficult for our volunteers to get to the products, pack and ship them. We hope to be back in a few months! And we’d like to mention yet again that if you shop online, please shop through Amazon Smile and choose San Gorgonio Wilderness Association as your charity of choice. It costs you nothing – you can’t make giving easier than that!

Remaining open campgrounds will close

Per Regional Order 20-06, all developed campgrounds are closed in the Pacific Southwest Region. Most campgrounds in San Bernardino National Forest were already closed anyway. From the Forest Service announcement:

Why are these campgrounds closing?

These closures are to align with the Governor’s Regional Stay Home Order, which went into effect in Southern California yesterday after ICU capacity dropped below 15%. The order says campgrounds are to close.

Are day use activities allowed?

Yes! In fact, the Regional Stay Home Order specifically cites outdoor recreation as important to Californian’s physical health and wellbeing.

When will these campgrounds reopen?

All Regional Stay Home Orders are to be in effect for at least three weeks, meaning this regional order would be lifted on January 7. This, however, could be extended if ICU capacity remains below the 15% threshold.

If the Regional Stay Home Order is about campgrounds, when will dispersed camping be allowed?

Dispersed camping and yellow post site camping are currently prohibited due to fire danger. We’ve had a record-breaking summer of visitor numbers taking part in these activities in the backcountry. Should a Santa Ana wind-driven fire start in one of these areas, a significant number of visitors could become entrapped, hurt or worse, especially if a fire starts in the middle of the night. Imagine trying to evacuate far-off places like Holcomb Valley or Thomas Mountain with the crowds we’ve been receiving this year. Until we receive significant precipitation to take us out of peak fire season, this prohibition will remain in effect. If precipitation occurs before this regional order expires, we will consult with the region on reopening these activities or not due to COVID.

For more information visit the Forest Service website

Shopping Online?

Of course you’re shopping online for the holidays, aren’t we all? You can make a difference while you shop Amazon this holiday season. Simply shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/33-0478045 or with AmazonSmile ON in the Amazon Shopping app and AmazonSmile donates to San Gorgonio Wilderness Association.

Free Access for 5th Graders

For the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, U.S. fifth graders can bring their families to national parks, wildlife refuges and other Department of the Interior managed public lands and waters for free! Learn more about the program at the link below.

https://www.nps.gov/kids/fifthgrade.htm

Aspen Grove Trail now open

As of October 11, 2020, the Forest Service has exempted the Aspen Grove trail from the closure order. Therefore we will be issuing permits for Aspen Grove. From the Facebook page:

“A new forest closure has gone into effect for the areas within and surrounding the #ElDoradoFire. This was enacted for both visitor and firefighter safety. This includes the entire San Gorgonio Wilderness, and trails that lead into it, including Vivian Creek, Momyer, San Bernardino Peak, Forsee, South Fork, and Fish Creek trails (exemption: Aspen Grove Trail to the Aspen Grove, about a quarter mile in. The trail is closed to the south of the grove. Permit required).”

Forest re-opens; Wilderness still closed

The Forest Service has re-opened the San Bernardino National Forest, with some restrictions. The San Gorgonio Wilderness is still closed. As of October 10, 2020, there are still areas burning inside the wilderness and this is expected to continue until the first significant rain or snowfall.

Read the entire announcement here – Forest Service News and Alerts

SGWA 2020 Yearbook is here!

SGWA Yearbook Cover Photo

There ARE things to celebrate in 2020. Click on the image above to read about our dedicated volunteers past and present.

It’s a large PDF file, please be patient while it loads. If you want to download it separately, click here.