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County Sues U.S. Forest Service Over Cedar Creek Falls Reopening

Supervisor Dianne Jacob said adequate law enforcement staffing must be in place before the trail is opened back up.

San Diego County sued the U.S. Forest Service Friday to get the federal agency to set aside a decision to reopen a trail to Cedar Creek Falls next week.

The Forest Service announced that on April 5 it would reopen the trail to the falls from San Diego Country Estates in Ramona.

Cedar Creek Falls is a beautiful but rugged area that became popular in recent years, which led to overuse and several deaths and serious injuries. The closure came after a fatality two years ago.

"The lawsuit is in response to the Forest Service's decision to ignore both the public safety and fiscal concerns raised by the county during the appeal of the permit system plan," Supervisor Dianne Jacob said. "Adequate law enforcement staffing must be in place before the trail is opened back up. Either the Forest Service needs to be able to enforce its own rules, or pay the Sheriff's Department to do it."

The Forest Service announced in December that the area would reopen in the spring, with an online permitting system, a decision the county has been trying to change. The agency said the need for a permit and a $6 fee would limit use of the area.

—City News Service

Lou Cypher March 30, 2013 at 05:17 AM
You know... what ever happened to taking personal responsibility for making decisions? If you are going to hike in a remote area, that's a decision YOU make. By virtue of making that choice, you recognize that there are dangers that you should be aware of. The idea that you need "authority" figures to police every square inch (and protect you from yourself), is ludicrous, unless you're one of those who are fearful of anything beyond their domesticated life. God help us, we're turning into a nation of pansies who need babysitters every where we go. The thinking by people like Dianne Jacobs, who apparently thinks that we need to be supervised and controlled everywhere all the time by the defacto police state, nauseates me.
Big bucks March 30, 2013 at 06:24 AM
Grown up and live right next to the cedar creek trail head its been beautiful and peaceful. Until all the inter city "pansies" showed up. You know it's not a problem If people would be responsible and respectful guest besides that's what we all a to our national forests. No!!!! that's lost when people think they can park anywhere they want up on and over curbs and on mine and my neighbors yards. Spent over $ 1,100 in 2011fixing broken sprinklers and misc. Yard equip. So do people need to be policed? very much so, if The forestry isn't willing to take action we as residence will !!!!!!!!'
Teresa Hanvey March 30, 2013 at 01:54 PM
As I have always suspected this is all about parking. So use the public land and grade more parking! Residents are happy and hikers can hike at their own risk as they do everywhere else. Easy
Mark P March 30, 2013 at 03:26 PM
Yea Lou, and we should do away with lifeguards at the beach, Police on the street and Rangers in the Forrest because people are so responsible. The closure was because 1250 people a day were carting everything from kegs to bongs to the area and ruining it for "hikers." Since the County was having to pick up the tab for policing and rescuing all those "hikers" to the tune of $300K per year (taxpayer money), I think it's reasonable that the Federal Government pay their fair share MP
Mark P March 30, 2013 at 03:29 PM
Great idea Teresa, residents in the area asked for that solution eight years ago and every year since. The Forestry Department has refused.
Big bucks March 30, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Ya! Let's fork out more tax payers money when people have and can park on forest properties and on county roads not on my yard. Let's put tax dollars to better resources
Lou Cypher March 30, 2013 at 09:39 PM
Mark, Although 1250 ppl per day seems a bit of a stretch, those ppl carrying the kegs along with the increased (foot) traffic, probably wouldn't have considered making the trek had the forest service not previously manicured the trail, turning it from a difficult access into essentially a side walk. (with the intent of encouraging more ppl to enjoy CCF) As to the money spent on "rescuing," you make my point. People need to take personal responsibility for their actions. The very fact that there are lifeguards at the beach or helicopter rescue for the back country encourages those without knowledge or skill, to risk activities they are not ready for. (As to taxpayers money paying for rescues... I'm pretty sure a bill is sent to the family. Just like if you take a fire department ambulance ride to the hospital, they send you a bill.)
Perette Godwin April 01, 2013 at 07:02 PM
Lou, perhaps an answer to your question about personal responsibility and why DianneJacob might feel she needs to protect hikers from themselves. http://eastcountymagazine.org/node/11960
Mandy Mathews July 19, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Your tax dollars at work funding lawsuits. Taxpayers are footing the bill on both sides of this case. More personal responsibility is needed and less lawsuits. Participating in life is dangerous. I thank God that I, along with family and friends, have been there countless times to enjoy the serenity and jump off the cliffs before they came to shut it down and restrict our behavior. To think that we were not "allowed" to go there or that my grandchildren will not be "allowed" to go there is a real tragedy. And jumping of the cliffs is part of the experience. How can you go to a swimming hole surrounded by cliffs and be convinced that prohibiting jumping and restricting access is somehow justified after you've enjoyed doing it your whole life?

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