Take the attraction of snow, unprepared park staff, sloppy visitors and wildlife and you end up with a mess.
When we had snow in our mountains last week, the stampede of visitors overwhelmed the Forest Service on Mt. Laguna, and my guess all the other folks in the Mountain Empire.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported long traffic lines and overflowing trash cans.
“We’d like folks to pay more attention to how they’re treating Mt. Laguna,” said acting Descanso District Ranger Julie Hall.
“It was pretty bad. One of the problems was the critters (raccoons and skunks mostly) would get into the trash over night because we don’t have the staff to empty the trash cans several times a day. The critters would spread the trash and things deteriorated from there.”
I realize there’s underfunding, but I’ve never understood why the good folks — park staff and residents alike — in the Mountain Empire don’t plan for this. After all, it’s been going on as long as there’s been a settlement in San Diego. I’ve seen old photos of folks in horse and buggy going up from San Diego to play in the snow.
Some past visits? Here’s a CBS 8 story from 2011.
So what we have is an unprepared park staff and visitors that don’t take their trash with them. Enough blame to go around. This is a traditional San Diego day trip. Expect it.