.

Hikers Protest Closure Of Popular Trail

The Department of Fish and Game did not enforce the closure when more than 100 hikers marched into an off-limits area Saturday at the Bump and Grind Trail.

A rainy day did not put a damper on a protest of the closure of the upper Bump and Grind Trail as about 120 hikers marched into the off-limits area Saturday.

The Department of Fish and Game did not enforce the closure, which is marked by a gate that has been reinforced with barbed wire and metal posts.

Leanne Gallegos, who turned out for the protest despite the light rain, said she has been hiking the trail for 20 years.

“I’ve never seen a bighorn sheep. People are out here to be healthy, to stay healthy,” Gallegos said.

She said today’s protest was the first time she has been up to the closed part of the trail since the gate was installed in June.

“This is ugly,” Gallegos said of the barbed wire around the gate. “This is way worse than anything the hikers have done.”

Richard Wood, 61, of Palm Desert said he probably would not have gone up to the top if state officials stood there threatening arrest.

"I've never heard of anyone actually getting a ticket," he said, adding the he hikes the trail most mornings at 4 a.m.

Earlier this week, Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the DFG, said he hopes hikers understand the closure is for the protection of the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep.

“We understand why (the hikers) are unhappy about this (closure), but we’re not going to take any proactive action,” said Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the DFG in Sacramento.

The last half-mile of the trail was closed with the installation of the gate in June to help protect the sheep, Hughan said.

He added that the department did install surveillance cameras when the gate was put up in June, but those were vandalized by hikers.

“It’s clearly a hot button issue down there. And it’s clearly an issue people care about. We’re tying to do all we can to protect a listed and endangered species,” Hughan said.

The Department of Fish and Game previously said anyone caught in the closed section of the trail could be cited and could face a misdemeanor and up to a year in jail.

With more than 200 people using the trail daily, DFG scientists have grown concerned that the human presence is disturbing groups of ewes that are caring for their young nearby.

Stephen Thewlis, a hiker who organized the protest, said he believed the turnout was down a little because of the rain.

“A larger issue is the progressive closure of more and more trails in the name of the sheep,” said Thewlis, who hiked to the top.

He said that many locals use the trail because they can’t afford to use the gym or prefer to be outdoors.

“Hikers have some rights too. Until they can really show that the high mortality of new-born lambs is due to people rather than disease and predators, until that is made absolutely scientifically clear then the rights of the people should prevail,” he said.

He said state officials left out consideration for a key group when they decided to close the trail.

"The only species not considered in the plan is the human species," Thewlis said.

Far west coast November 12, 2011 at 05:57 PM
The assumption on the part of the Department of Fish and Game is just that assumptions. The Statement by Stephen Thewlis, "Hikers have some rights too. Until they can really show that the high mortality of new-born lambs is due to people rather then disease and predators, until that is made absolutely scientifically clear.. then the rights of the people should prevail." That statement really says it all. OMG ------ABO
CDUB November 12, 2011 at 06:03 PM
HAVE YOU HAD ENOUGH GOVERNMENT YET?????
Susan Brown November 13, 2011 at 10:56 PM
For goodness sakes people! They are just trying to protect the precious Big Horn. What in the world are your problems. Get a grip and find another trail to hike and stop acting like babies do, by having your little fitts of thats not fair! Go home and find something more important to do with your time and voices.. Have you ever thought about volunteer work or being a voice for a real major community problem that we have? And we have plenty. I can go on and on and on. There are all kinds of different ways to get excercise and yes walking is one of those, but this trail isn't the only trail around to walk. Get a grip and stop being so selfish and start thinking of the Big Horn and other animals on the earth that are becoming a threat to destinction, because of people like yourselves! Go volunteer at the Living Desert, get educated on why this trail is so important to shut down, for the good of the Sheep. Get over it and go home and thank God you have the ability to go anywhere in this world almost, Haven't we taken anough land away from our wildlife already! They were here first by the way. If this is all you have to bitch about, then their is something really wrong with all of you. Peace/Out
Far west coast November 14, 2011 at 04:56 AM
@susan Brown, Stop the pontificating, and get a life, these people do in part........ many of them or little of them do in fact many other volunteer work, ..... but they are will to take on the Department of Fish and Game. They are saying, the government is fallen off the reservation and they are calling the government on it. They are taken the government to task on government's belief that humans are the problem. These hikers are not occupying the trail during absurd hours or camping out when they are not allow to. They want these fools...... "the government" to shown them and others their scientific proof that humans are the problem. OMG.....ABO
D November 14, 2011 at 09:53 PM
SPARE US YOUR SERMON. TAKE A HIKE! NO, REALLY!!!
D November 14, 2011 at 09:57 PM
Hundreds of miles along the Peninsular range for these sheep ~ no shortage of space. Can't help wondering if the homeowners/property owners more than the sheep are the cause for the closure.
MARK November 14, 2011 at 11:32 PM
More like those hikers that fall down while texting. Others forget to bring water and have to call 911. Come on Man. Take a HIKE somewhere else REALLY!!!!
MARK November 15, 2011 at 12:48 AM
@Scooter, do you know Rebecca? I bet the Big Horn would like to stick it to you where the sun doesn't shine. Probably your feet.
Far west coast November 15, 2011 at 01:13 AM
scooter, ease up a bit, your point is taken, but for god sake release the accelerator pedal. WoW OMG>>>>>>ABO
Far west coast November 15, 2011 at 01:15 AM
Scooter, same here too. No one gets any thing accomplished when one starts the Nazi Germany references. OMG>>>>>>>>ABO
MARK November 15, 2011 at 01:53 AM
Boy, i get accused of being a Cop and a F&G. Are you guys kidding me. I'm looking for a black vest today to get a banquet gig. All i'm saying is leave the Animals alone. There's plenty of places to hike in the desert. Me! Hike? Had enough hiking in the Army. Don't like camping either. Can you do me a favor Scooter, tell them hikers to wear a shirt and some of those hikers don't need to be wearing spandex. Have a nice day Scooter, your name sure sounds familiar.
REBECCA DAY November 15, 2011 at 06:35 AM
B CAREFUL SUSAN THESE R DIE-HARD TO THE CORE MEAN-SPIRITED PPL. U WILL NEVER CHG THEIR MINDS I DONT KNW WHERE IN WHICH THEY COME BUT THEIR MEAN ESPECIALLY FWC HE'S A PURE UNADULTERATED CAPITALIST NEED A SAY MORE? HIS WORDS NOT MINE.
REBECCA DAY November 15, 2011 at 06:38 AM
OH, THIS GUYS PRICELESS, EVERY CHANCE HE GETS HE WILL DISAGREE. DONT LISTEN, JUST PASS HIM BY
REBECCA DAY November 15, 2011 at 06:41 AM
R EXCUSE ME! WHAT DO i HAVE TO DO WITH THIS? MARK i'M ASKING U TO JOIN ME FOR COFFEE MY TREAT. I'D REALLY LIKE TO MEET U.
REBECCA DAY November 15, 2011 at 06:46 AM
SCOOTER, DONT APOLOGIZE. THESE GUYS LOVE TO SEE SOMEONE CRUMBLE. U WERE JUST VOICING UR OPINION WHAT DO U HAVE TO B SORRY 4? THEY LIKE GETTING UNDER UR SKIN. IT'S A GAME TO THESE GUYS
scooter November 15, 2011 at 09:58 AM
Rebecca seems I stumbled into a hornets nest. I don't like no one fencing and putting up barbed wire period. I have seen over the years F&G do some pretty un called for stuff! I suppose if I wasn't afraid of those types I would have done something. It doesn't serve me to get involved with bad wounds agin. We are generally losing freedoms every day the government meets. I love nature and like being outside with her as much as I can. It takes away the pains I have inside of where all these things are going. I sure like people too. So its not giving in, its saying maybe I am just not up to fighting windmills. Government has gotten so crazy they don't even see it. I don't need no uniformed officer on a trail I like hike to tell me to stay on it. Dont need them checking my paper work either. Last time I talked to my mother she said I was born free and to be a nice person help others and follow the ten commandants. There is a 11th. Love your country. I do. Its buy a pass here can't use it there. Pay 68 dollars to stay over night in a public land park I pay taxes and a lot of them Its just a sham . Keep up the fight. All the best. I don't have answers any more. its absurd.
MARK November 15, 2011 at 01:21 PM
I wish i could write like you do scooter. Thanks for sharing. Don't mind Rebecca, she needs help. Thake it easy scooter. Love that 11 commandant. That's why i did 11 years.
MARK November 15, 2011 at 02:34 PM
Rebecca, i only drink Herbal coffee. I only drink coffee with people i respect. I only drink coffee at my meetings. That means NO! i don't need to drink coffee with someone like you. Come on Rebecca be happy and merry its almost Thanksgiving. Billy Reed's in Palm springs dinner $9.99 its great. We always order 2 and share it. Have a nice day Rebecca.
Far west coast November 15, 2011 at 05:07 PM
@Rebecca Day, "these are die-hard to the core mean-spirited ppl". Becca, right out out the left wing hand book. ( A.) you don't even know these people, ( B.) they look like Grand parents and family people. ( C.) They are probably your neighbors, maybe people you see everyday, sit next to in church or serves you at Vons. But they are not die-hard to the core mean-spirited ppl. Hey, Beeca what the heck does ppl stand for? If these people are consider by you as mean-spirited,, what does that make you? OMG.....ABO
Far west coast November 15, 2011 at 05:13 PM
@Mark .....now there is a real offer from Becca. When your star buck excursion is completed, then take a hike on the bump and grind together where you both can meet those die-hard mean spirited people. OMG....ABO
MARK November 15, 2011 at 05:58 PM
FWC, remember hate to hike and dislike Starbucks. Just a simple guy. Have a nice day FWC. Don't take any wooden nickels.
Far west coast November 15, 2011 at 07:02 PM
@Mark, You got one thing right this year so far , I do not like the taste of Starbucks coffee. ..........................................Herbal coffee ? ........................................................ ............ Your not reading the posting carefully and following the threads............ OMG .......ABO OMG ABO
MARK November 15, 2011 at 08:28 PM
FWC your right i don't understand Posting and threads. I just write what i feel. I'm starting to thing your just a bone head looking for attention? Hope i'm wrong. I thought you would be smarter than that. Anyways like i said "Don't take any wooden nickels". Splinters hurt.
Far west coast November 15, 2011 at 10:06 PM
@mark, with due respect get back on the med's, this is advice from the "simple guy". Go get that $9.99 dinner from Billy Reeds with of course the wooden nickels you have collect over time. By the way take your special friend Rebecca along she want to meet you anyway. Top off that dinner with your fine cup of Herbal coffee. Don't forget to dress in that black vest. Mark, after the evening is over you can stop in at the Toucans Tiki Lounge for a night cap. Now this is your kind of evening and think you can be home by 10:00 pm to booth. Happy days to you from the "simple guy". CCC OMG >>>>><<<<<<<<< ABO >>>>
MARK November 15, 2011 at 10:53 PM
FWC, didn't your Mother teach you not to start something you can't finish. Like i said your just a Donkey who needs attention. Probably you were the kid with the football that nobody wanted to play with. Save your little games baby. I'm simple but for real. I like Ice Tea after my Dinner. I haven't read from anyone inviting you for coffee Donkey. Maybe because your a Jerk with noboby to play with. COME ON MAN!!! OMG ABO SMH Maybe this one easier Hee-Haw!!! lol
Far west coast November 15, 2011 at 11:02 PM
@Mark Did I get a little bur under your saddle with the Toucan Tiki Lounge. Don't forget the Black vest at J.C Penny you were looking at $32.95. Tempers like yours can be self devastating and dangerous. You true self is surfacing and I say it isn't pretty. CCC OMG.....ABO

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something