Absurd Statements and Quotes about ASRA from California State Parks
The ASRA Expansion Plan is based on several flawed premises. They claim that most visitors are “local” (Placer or El Dorado Counties), that ASRA is powerless to control the number of visitors, and that traffic at the confluence is not heavily congested. To support these flawed premises, they’ve made absurd claims in their documents and in meetings. A few are below:
Parks’ claims expansion will make us Safer from Fire. Absurd!
“Relative to the No-Action Alternative, the effects on the frequency, intensity, or size of wildfires; or risk of exposure of people or structures to wildfire from the Proposed Action would be less. This is attributable to the similar increase in visitation under both scenarios, offset by increased management and wildfire prevention activities that would be implemented under the Proposed Action.” (Draft EIR/EIS page 4.17-15).
ARCC Comment – Parks’ claims the expansion will make us safer from wildfire. Absurd, more people, more campgrounds means more fire danger. They refuse to accept CalFire’s recommendations for Fire Safety.
From Foresthill Fire Department: Increased utilization and development of the Auburn State Recreation Area served by the Foresthill Fire District will have a direct impact on level of service available to the taxpayers within the District as resources are diverted to provide fire, ambulance, and rescue services to the Auburn State Recreation Area, a facility that does not contribute to the local cost of those services.
Response from Parks’ – “…The comment is not correct that implementation of the Preliminary GP/Draft RMP would decrease the level of service provided by Foresthill Fire Protection District to local residents for several reasons.”
ARCC Comment – So the Sacramento planners at State Parks’ know more about Foresthill than their Fire Chief does? We think not. In June, Cool’s local Fire Station was unable to respond to a wildfire on Catecroft near the elementary school because they were supporting a rescue at the confluence.
During preparation of the GP/RMP, CSP and Reclamation solicited input from numerous fire districts and emergency management agencies.
ARCC Comment – They admit they neglected to contact Foresthill.
Sept 2019 Meeting with Jim Michaeals, primary author of the Plan: Residents claim their insurance has been cancelled in part due to nearby campgrounds: Jim said: “I don’t believe that !”
ARCC Comment – Insurance cancellations are real, prevalent and a significant issue for homeowners. Parks’ claim that it is made up demonstrates their disconnect with the area.
“…BOR has finalized the Fire Management Plan for ASRA/APL”
ARCC Comment – No they haven’t. The Fire Management Plan is not complete, there is no Emergency Evacuation Plan, no Roads and Trails Management Plan and no Cultural Resource Management Plan.
Parks’ claims expansion will Reduce Traffic. Absurd!
The Draft EIR/EIS recognizes existing parking and circulation challenges in ASRA/APL. It does not seek to attract substantial new visitation to ASRA/APL…
ARCC Comment – Today, access to ASRA is limited by available parking. How can adding hundreds of campsites and day-use parking to accommodate an additional half a million annual visitors NOT ATTRACT NEW VISITATION??
“…implementation of the Preliminary GP/Draft RMP would not substantially degrade roadway or intersection operations or emergency access.”
ARCC Comment – Their plans do NOT reduce confluence traffic, they increase it. Adding parking throughout ASRA is supposed to stop people from parking at the confluence to visit the River. The confluence nightmare will worsen.
Parks’ claims expansion will Reduce Drownings. Absurd!
“Suicides are the primary reason for river drownings” – Comment made by BOR staff during site visit, Sept 2019
ARCC Comment – Clearly a misinformed staffer. Statistics show that due to drownings, ASRA is more dangerous than any National Park in America. Failure to reduce river access at the confluence ignores Public Safety for visitors, and diverts local emergency responders away from the surrounding communities.
Water is Cold & Fast – Stay Out – Stay Alive (Warning sign at ASRA) “We have to provide access to the River, that’s the main attraction”: Jim Michaeals, Parks’ Planner, Sept 2019
ARCC Comment – Local ASRA Staff are trying to keep people safe and alive, but State Planners ignore the danger by locating campsites at the river. Much more needs to be done and the Plan ignores this need.
Visitor surveys show 60% of visitors are from Placer and El Dorado Counties.
ARCC Comment – That survey is over a decade old. Today they say the river issues are compounded because “too many visitors from out of the area are unfamiliar with a fast moving river and cold water”