A Note From The President of MWBA
Dear MWBA Community,
The last two weeks have been challenging, even by the standards of 2020. As I write this, the Bobcat Fire has sprawled to over 90,000 acres of some of the most rugged and diverse terrain of the Angeles National Forest. It has been a painful experience to watch as some of our most cherished places succumb to flames. Under normal circumstances, we could process these losses with a group ride, a trail work day, or a few shared beverages with our MWBA community. Instead, the ongoing pandemic leaves us to process the destruction of this fire season in our own circles.
While we won’t know the full extent of the damage until the fire subsides, there have been hopeful updates from those on the front lines. Mt. Wilson Observatory continues to be held by fire crews, and the lodge at Mt. Waterman was reportedly spared. Efforts are ongoing to protect the Chilao area from flames approaching from the south and north. We can not express enough gratitude for the wildland firefighters tackling this fire in spite of the brutal terrain and record setting heat. Despite their successes, the outlook for our beloved “dark side” trails and many others is not optimistic. Historically, the Forest Service closes burn zones for some time following an incident of this scale, so it may be months or years before we can have a full understanding of the damage. As soon as it is safe to do so, MWBA will be ready to pick up the pieces and start rebuilding the trails we love.
While its hard to keep the Bobcat Fire from our minds, MWBA continues to advocate for our trails and forest. We recently submitted a letter to Region 5 requesting additional support for the Angeles National Forest under the Great American Outdoors Act. We are also coordinating with the National Forest Foundation for trailwork support by California Conservation Corps teams while volunteering is on hold.
Lastly, it should be of no surprise that hosting a traditional Pancake Breakfast is not feasible or responsible this year. I would love to pedal up to Henninger Flats and spend some time with you all, especially in light of the gauntlet of challenges we have all faced this year. While we can’t all meet in person, that shouldn’t stop us from coming together in different ways. MWBA would like to host an alternative event this year, and we want your feedback! Please take a look and fill out the attached survey, which will help us in planning a successful event.
I look forward to hearing your feedback, and to seeing all of you out on the trails when the forest re-opens.
Thank You For Your Support
We’re very happy to have learned that MWBA will be the recipient of donations from both the Pasadena Athletic Association Cycling Club and TRVRS Outdoors Apparel.
The members of PAA voted to make MWBA one of thier “Charities of Choice” for 2020. We have a long-standing relationship with this prolific group and we’re pleased to continue to work together towards our mission of sustainable trailwork and trail stewardship in the ANF.
TRVRS has had to make the tough decision to postpone their annual “Fool’s Traverse” endurance event due to the Bobcat Fire. They’re currently offering those registered the option to have a portion of their entry fee donated directly to MWBA in lieu of a refund. We’d like to extend our gratitude to TRVRS for again thinking of us, especially during this difficult time.
MWBA Responds to GAOA Funding
The Great American Outdoor Act was signed into law this past August providing up to $1.9 billion a year for five years to provide needed maintenance for critical facilities and infrastructure in our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and recreation areas. One fund established by the GAOA, the “National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund;” prioritizes projects that focus on reducing the backlog of deferred maintenance. While there are projects included for our area in this fund, we believe that the Angeles National Forest deserves more.
2020 MWBA Pancake Breakfast
While the traditional Pancake Breakfast format will not be feasible this year, we’ve been working through some ideas on how to make a successful alternative version of our favorite fundraising event possible (and fun!). Please take a minute to give us your thoughts by taking a survey.
MWBA Neck Gaiters Restocked
Restock! We worked with our friends at Cutaway USA to create these lightweight, moisture-wicking neck gaiters displaying scenes from the Angeles National Forest photographed by Dustin Perkins. Constructed from a wind-blocking micro-fibre, this versatile accessory can be worn as a traditional neck gaiter, a skull cap, headband, face covering, or balaclava under the helmet. You can pick them up at Road Runner Bags in Los Angeles or have them shipped to your door.