Letter to the editor: Darwin award

Closure on Tuttle Creek Rd.


Attached should be a shot of the “intersection closure” on Tuttle Creek canyon road at the seven thousand foot level in the Sierra. The second shot labeled: AlternateRoute shows the remaining access, through private property, to get to the several hundred acres of pine-nutting/dear hunting area used daily this time of year, by many, many people.

Alternate route through private property to Tuttle.

Someone gets a Darwin Award nomination for this one!

Note that the barrier is at the base of a steep hill. Any vehicle coming over that hill from the other side finds itself nose into a barrier with the choice of backing up a steep blind grade or going around the barrier through the brush. Unsafe, stupid placement of the barrier. Worse is the result: the daily traffic that was using this access, goes down canyon about 3/4 of a mile, turns across private property and then goes up a ridiculously steep, severely eroded Forest Service road that even the four wheelers haven’t used in fifty years, but now is the only way to drive to that pine forest area.
Like many folks, I have personal anger over the fact that I was told; “no closures would happen in this area”, and told it by every forest service official at every public meeting for over three years.
All of the feed back that I have heard about this closure is very negative, to vengeful. The area that they attempted to close is a favorite of locals and travelers alike for day use and it is the easiest road access to pine nuts anywhere around Lone Pine. The words ‘blatant disregard’ come to mind.
To add injury to the insult: this was the one road our daughter could take, in her wheel chair, to get into the pinion pines, from our house. When they replanted the intersection, they made a point of leaving no trail connecting the roads. Criminal! She has been going into that canyon her entire life and snap, one day it’ a crime for her to cross the barrier!

Russ Monroe


27 Responses to Letter to the editor: Darwin award

  1. Jerry C. June 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    What a jumble, and a humiliation to everything our small community stands for!

    If “they” can pound posts into the earth, why can’t we simply remove them?!? Seems easy enough. Who’s doing this anyway?

    Perhaps it’s time folks start acting like the strong-willed Americans that they once were.
    Folks! For God’s sake! Throw your TV out the house and let’s do some good old fashion road preservation. Don’t forget to bring your sidearm! Can we still open carry on public land, or is that illegal too?

    Good luck Russ, thanks for the letter!

  2. Problem Solved June 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm #


    I’m sorry to hear your daughter no longer has access to the forest since she is disabled.

    At the last ” Travel Management ” meeting @ the Forest Service Theater in Mammoth, a
    ” Disabled person ” asked the ” Top Ranger ” if they included the ” American Disabilities Act ” in their plan? ( which is a Federal Law requirement )

    The Forest Service said ” NO ” then ” any other questions?”

    Unfortunately ” Disabled Persons are not a concern ” of the Forest Service.

    Sad but True !!!!

    • Big AL June 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

      They are handicap enabling until it doesn’t fit their agenda .. then like anything else, it doesn’t count that you are against .. implementation will go ahead.

      • Big AL June 21, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

        And you’re right .. some Darwin awards are in order for a few things going on.

    • sierragrl June 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

      I think people are a bit confused on Darwin Awards… the idea of a Darwin Award is someone does something really stupid, which causes them to die before being able to procreate, thus not being able to pass on their genes… No-one at the USFS is going to die and not pass on their genes because they put this barrier up. You may hate what the USFS has done here, but I see zero connection to a Darwin Award.

      • Big AL June 22, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

        It is aimed at the people who did the work such as described in some of these posts, such as places where the barrier is placed in such a way that someone causes harm to their vehicle and or themselves when they come to them, or that it causes them to have to tread off of the road, and or back up for a considerable distance to get turned around.

        The people in this case are certain individuals associated the friends of the Inyos. They contracted to do the work .. under the supposed direction of the forest service. There is some question as to whether or not the forest service gave such direction or if they left it up to the FOI?

        Either way .. it is asinine for some of the placements of barriers, and in some instances, down right dangerous.

        I think that everyone here pretty much knows the origin and idea behind the darwin awards. The basic same idea applies here in the feelings some have for the stupidity and blatant regard some have in carrying out these closures. And the individuals in the forest service who are responsible for making sure it is done right and who fail to check the work its integrity can share in some of the feelings people have about the absurdity of it all.

  3. Eamon McNamara June 21, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

    God didn’t create the back country ADA compliant; those arguments are red herrings.

    • Russ Monroe June 22, 2012 at 7:27 am #

      GOD? Seriously?… First off Eamon, the statements about closure of wheelchair access were statements of fact, not arguments, for or against, anything.
      If your statement: “God didn’t create the back country ADA compliant” means; God didn’t put 36” wide concrete ramps all over the wilderness, therefore cripples aren’t supposed to get to go there, then I thank you for proving the old adage: “Just because a man can read and speak, doesn’t mean he has anything relevant to say”

    • Rob June 22, 2012 at 9:10 am #

      I understand God didn’t creat the bck country ADA compliant, however that’s also no reason to close a road that’s been there for a long long time.

      These road closures are a perfect example of what happens when the forest service gets taken over by a bunch of greenies.

    • JeanGenie June 22, 2012 at 11:34 am #

      Thats not the back country Eamon, its front country that handicapped people did and should have access to. The Green Gestapo strikes again.

    • leatherbag June 22, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

      “God didn’t create the back country ADA compliant; those arguments are red herrings.”

      And if God had meant for man to fly, he’d have given him wings. Talk about red friggin’ herrings!

      If God had given man the knowledge to get into the back country, he’d have made pack mules and horses available for his use and the resourcefulness to create a vehicle to do more efficiently what he cannot do. Holy Moses, He did!!

      Time to go back and review your Friends of the Inyo and other liberal theocracies indoctrination/propaganda pamphlets.

  4. Rob June 22, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    I could remove the Closure on Tuttle Creek Rd. in 30 seconds without leaving a trace of it.

    It’s high time for some late night shenanigans.

    • upthecreek June 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

      It is amazing how the Wind can blow things away… see it many times up here in the Sierra.

      Gov. Gone Wild

      what ever happened to “for the people By the people”

  5. hisierragal June 22, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    so Jerry C. is willing to shoot someone just so he can ride his ATV or whatever – for some reason the phrase “Nero fiddled while Rome burned” come to mind

    • Rob June 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

      I’m sure Jerry C. isn’t willing to shoot anyone so he can ride his ATV.

      Open carrying on public land makes a good statement.

  6. sierragrl June 22, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    I hope Ross doesn’t really go dear hunting…LOL wouldn’t want to be his honey

    • sierragrl June 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

      i would hope people are smart enough to differentiate between deer and dear. i’m not disparaging deer hunting, just dear hunting….sheesh

    • Steve June 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

      I got the joke, but it took a second. I think people read it too fast. 🙂

  7. salblaster June 22, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    well i guess now we can finaly answer an age old question. does a bear sh-t in the woods. aparently it does but only after a enviromental impact study has been done and a report filled by federal, state and county biologists.

  8. Jeremiah June 22, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Anything or anybody trying to stop me too gather pine nuts anywhere in this valley is gonna be fighting a loosing battle!!!

    Thanks Russ for the heads up.

  9. Big AL June 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    Well Jeremiah, you won’t be stopped from gathering pine nuts, you just can’t drive to your favorite spots .. you will have to hump it in and pack it out.

    But if the greenies can stop you from driving there now .. as soon as they get a hair up their butts about people gather pine nuts and starving the local critters .. you can bet they will try to … actually stop you from gathering pine nuts ..

    Things like this are setting precedent.

    @ the open carry, that erosion of liberty is already in the works.

    AB144 by state Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-Pasadena, makes it a misdemeanor to carry an exposed and unloaded gun in public or in vehicles, with violators facing up to a year in prison or a potential fine of $1,000 when the law takes effect Jan 1.

    While this does not apply to hunting and shooting events or off road, as far as I know. it is one of those vaguely written bills, that can leave people open to wrongful arrest and seizure. It means, you can no longer carry guns such as your shot gun in your vehicle, even unloaded, unless you’re attending a shooting event or hunting .. really?

    The precedent has been set. It will only be a matter of time you will not be able to carry a gun out in the country .. off road

    • Jeremiah June 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

      Dang. .

      Hump it in and pack it out? So its open season on whoever is CAUGHT driving up there?

      I am all for Protecting our plants and animals and letting it take its natural course, but when we are consuming and wasting so many resources at a rate that the Earth can’t keep up with, Whats the use of a lame law like this?

  10. Jerry C. June 25, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    hello hisierragal !

    Sorry, but I’m not prepared to shoot someone just so I can ride my ATV.

    You’re clearly not a gun owner, or you would’ve got my poor attempt at making a connection between our right to access public land, and our right to own a firearm (or lack thereof).

    But I do appreciate your wild imagination… LOL!

    For some reason the phrase “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually” comes to mind…

  11. Skipper June 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    I provided lots of input and comments in writing and at the scoping meetings. My comments included keeping intact a series of roads that all connected so that one could pass through unhindered. These roads have been use since at least the 70s when I was first on them. Traveling up Westguard I noticed now a number of roads blockaded that I used to go on to chukar hunt. Now I need to find an alternate route to get to some of those spots, probably burn more fossil fuel in the process. It seemed to work in the past and I don’t know why they had to go and do this. Better law enforcement in the higher impacted areas (meadows, rare plants etc) could have solved a lot because now they’re going to waste money and send out “officers” looking for folks yanking the baracades. I can unserstand not wanting more roads than what we got but why close so many that have been in use for decades?

    • Big AL June 25, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

      That’s a good point Skipper, not imagining less roads. Their defense for this management decision was based on increased of road users.

      So how does this makes sense, with increased users, that roads are closed, thus limiting available roads to travel on. Absurdity.

      It’s all about control and personal agendas masked behind care for the environment. We should care for the environment, but we should not use it as a tool for our own agendas and control issues.

  12. Rob June 25, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    Time for some good ‘ol-fashioned Monkey Wrenching…

    • Big AL June 25, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

      We probably could find a good deal on a crate of monkey wrenches Rob.


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