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Re: Comments on meeting day

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July 27, 2003 04:11PM
Here are some comments of my own on the meeting and the meeting day. First, on arriving at the springs, I immediately noticed that there has been some considerable vandalsim to the largest tree in the grassy area near the Anniversary pool. 5 or 6 good-sized branches have been yanked down, breaking them off in ragged tears. AZ Mike, Paul, and a helpful volunteer dealt with removing the branches from the area to prevent them being used as firewood by anyone. We lamented the fact that we did not have a saw to cut them off cleanly, or any pruning sealing product that could help to prevent insect infestation from beginning. If any one reading this has such items and will be going to the springs soon, I hope you will consider making an attempt to help this poor tree.
It was a perfect day for the meeting, and the pain of seeing what was done to that tree diminished as I noted some things that made the day exceptional. I did not see glass being used by anyone all day, and we were treated to a thundershower just before the meeting. That was my first such experience while at DCHS, and it felt to me like a blessing, although taking minutes was a challenge with damp paper. The group of people there all seemed respectful and friendly types, and we enjoyed a game of frisbee in the water that included as many as a dozen players at a time. (too bad we only had one frisbee)

Comments on the meeting:
Personally, I am hoping for greater attendence of members at future meetings. Just a suggestion from me to all other members.

Our meeting seemed to take less time than most others have and was extremely friendly throughout. I especially enjoyed the presence of visitors and the positive feedback on our group that was expressed throughout the day by other hot springs users.

On item# 3--
When we discussed using Whink, I did not think to inquire as to the chemical makeup of this product. I think that, if we do use it, we should not do so too near the stream to be sure of not adding any chemicals to the water.
Comments on a discussion with Ranger Brad:
When Ranger Brad arrived, long after our meeting of course, we were bagging up a considerable amount of trash that had been left, but not by anyone there at the time. I think we made 7 or 9 bags, some quite small, and had the help of some wonderfully kind visitors in carting it all out. Even so, a few items could not be taken, including a couple of blankets.
After finishing with this task, I gathered my things and headed up the trail with Paul and AZ Mike towards Bowen Ranch. We hiked very slowly, stopping for rest and water, and spent so much time talking at the top of "MoFo" hill that Ranger Brad and the sheriff caught up to us there. We hiked the rest of the way to the step-over gate in their company, and greatly enjoyed the conversations we had. We stopped to survey the area where the trail in contention meets the main trail. Ranger Brad explained the necessity that drove him to approve the attempt to eliminate the trail's use, and also explained that process a little better. The idea in piling the brush on the trail, it seems was to reseed the dirt and allow growth to hide the trail. It might have worked out better, but use of the trail almost immediately after the attempt included removal of this brush before any reseeding had a chance to occur.
Erosion, Ranger Brad said, is a potential problem at both ends of the trail, but not in the areas in between. The potential problems from such erosion would likely be felt more severely at the lower end, though, where the two trails meet, and could result in loss of the main trail as well as the other trail at this point.
My personal feeling about this is that I would not want to use that trail and so contribute to the possible need for extensive trail work to regain both trails. The problem has already been made worse by use of the trail, and the switchbacks where the trails meet have begun eroding, leaving lots of loose dirt that could easily start sliding down in rains. I am hopeful that, with the help of DCV members and other volunteers, the USFS will be able to alleviate the danger of erosion at this point.
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