Rancho Cuyamaca State Park
Photos above: Sign amid charred terrain reads, "As these habitats recover from fire, a colorful variety of bird liife will return."
By Miriam Raftery
March 28, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – One month after a controlled burn at Cuyamaca sparked controversy, as ECM reported , the State Park Service has failed to answer any of our questions. Two elected officials have issued statements supportive of burn policies despite mature pines and cedars being torched in a park an estimated 99% of its mature pines to the 2003 Cedar Fire, which charred 95% of the entire park.
But new photos taken after the burn reveal that the fire also burned d15-foot-tall saplings planted after the Cedar Fire, foot bridges, and a “habitat restoration” area for wildlife replanted as part of reforestation efforts after the Cedar Fire.
Cal Fire has insisted that the burn did not jump out of control, though local cabin owner Craig Maxwell says a state park ranger told him it did. But if firefighters did not lose control of the burn, this raises an even more troubling question: Why would State Park officials charged with protecting our public parks order the destruction of some of the last remaining mature pines and cedars, as well as plantings established to replaced what burned in 2003?
Moreover, this region has also been decimated by oak-boring beetles that have killed thousands of trees locally, making protection of what remains even more critical.
By Miriam Raftery
October 31, 2011 (Lake Cuyamaca) - In search of fall foliage, I ventured out to Rancho Cuyamaca State Park today. Though it's still early for the vibrant gold aspens and oaks yet to turn, some splashes of color were visible.
I found a far more rare and thrilling sight -- a pair of bald eagles soaring high above Lake Cuyamaca.
June 13, 2011 (Cuyamaca)-- Cal-Fire and Cuyamaca Rancho State Park will be conducting prescribed burns on Park lands opposite the Paso Picacho campground on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 14 and 15.
December 24, 2009 (Cuyamaca) – A team of 62 sixth and seventh graders marched out to Cuayamaca State Park on December 16th armed with shovels, tubex tree shelters, weed mats and acorns. Their mission? Plant 100 sheltered trees (complete with gopher guards) in areas burned by wildfires. The effort was part of an oak woodland restoration project led by Maureen Anderson of the Cleveland National Forest Descanso Ranger District.
GOVERNOR VOWS TO VETO TAX INCREASE PROPOSAL THAT MAY KEEP STATE PARKS OPEN, STAVE OFF CUTS IN STATE SERVICES
By Ryan Lescure
July 1, 2009 (San Diego)--Faced with the prospect of closing 220 state parks, including two in East County (Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Cuyamaca Rancho State Park), the California Legislature passed a bundle of tax and fee increases by a simple majority, though a two-thirds majority is required to raise taxes. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vowed to veto the budget, which did not meet the two-thirds majority due to lack of Republican support for tax increases on tobacco, alcohol and other items proposed by Democrats.