I am more than appalled at what Tom Hopkins (President of VWA) has sent in an email to Chris Counts, Jack Ellwanger, myself, and others, without knowing the facts. I have the facts. I will share the facts, and I urge all of you to GET the facts before you make claims like this:
“I was with my wife Julie Anne and VWA Executive Director Paul McFarland (Farley) last Thursday, the day those cars were dumped along Willow Creek Road. On our way up the road, about 10:30 AM, there were four cars (photo 1) and one boat farther up the road (photo). On our way out about 4 PM there were five cars. The wheel marks from the truck that delivered #5 were quite fresh. The truck tire tracks suggested that these cars came down Willow Creek Road, not up from Highway One. One of the junk strewn properties up Willow Creek Road was on the market a year or so ago. Maybe it sold and is being “cleaned up”. We have reported the dumped cars and boat to the Forest Service.
So it appears we have (possibly local) yahoos dumping cars and a boat on the road and other yahoos using this event to attack well intended conservation initiatives. Both of these behaviors are why Jack’s efforts to create meaningful dialog and respect for our public wild lands, among both locals and outsiders, is so important.
Tom Hopkins, President
Ventana Wilderness Alliance
PO Box 506
Santa Cruz, CA 95061
These are the photos he posted to the VWA website and sent to me personally, presumably all taken by Tom Hopkins:
This abandoned boat has been there for YEARS, per my personal observations over 20 plus years. And it was brought in by some out-of-towner, according to my source.
As to these vehicles:
Both the USFS and the CHP were made aware of the situation before they were hauled to this point. Four of the five were picked up by a licensed hauler today. Three more were taken down, and these four are scheduled to be hauled away on Friday. The hauler can only take four at a time.
There is no way to have abandoned or broken down vehicles which are up a 4×4 dirt road picked up by a licensed hauler, unless they are close to the highway. Yes, this may be an “eye sore” for a few days, but it is the ONLY way to responsibly get rid of broken down and abandoned vehicles. So, that is what is happening.
I cannot fathom why Tom says: “other yahoos using this event to attack well intended conservation initiatives. Both of these behaviors are why Jack’s efforts to create meaningful dialog and respect for our public wild lands, among both locals and outsiders, is so important.”
What is Tom saying? How does local efforts to properly dispose of abandoned vehicles attack conservation initiatives? How does local efforts to properly dispose of abandoned vehicles have ANYTHING to do with Jack’s efforts – real or imagined?
Please be careful about what you put out about my community, because I will not sit idly by. I have been a lawyer for the indigent and downtrodden for almost 30 years. I am used to these kinds of fights. And, I am good at them. Because I insist on getting the facts, and getting them accurate. If my source, whom I trust, is wrong, I will not hesitate to correct my error, and apologize.
I make mistakes on this blog, I have posted inaccurate information occasionally, but when I find out it is inaccurate, I IMMEDIATELY correct it and apologize.
Now, if VWA wants to worry about an “abandoned” vehicle that is not being taken care of, what about this one, also up Willow Creek?
(this photo was taken by bigsurkate on 7/24/10)