Organizing Angora’s anger
Anger at land management policies in the aftermath of the Angora fire has taken a sharp turn toward resolve, with some at the South Shore looking to organize their opposition.
Zephyr Heights resident Kamin Leonard began handing out hundreds of fliers at the community meeting at South Tahoe Middle School on June 27. The quickly-made fliers pose the question “How do YOU feel about the TRPA?” and encouraged people to direct their comments to an e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I created the e-mail address for people to come together and have one voice – to hold the TRPA accountable for their decision making,” Leonard said at her Lookout Road home on Thursday.
Since the initial distribution, 20 people have signed up for updates from the e-mail address, and requests to be added to the list are “increasing daily,” according to Leonard.
She hopes to get between 150 and 200 people involved and start holding regular public meetings to solidify grievances against public agencies in the basin.
Leonard has battled the TRPA, as well as the U.S. Forest Service, in court in recent years, with the restoration of a forest service parcel next to her house being the most recent skirmish.
Last month forest service officials replaced a lawn on the lot with several small trees and covered the area with pine needles, pine cones and branches.
“This hill particularly gets a lot of wind”, said Leonard “I’m very scared now that we have that in front of our home.”
Forest service officials defended the management of the lot on Thursday, saying the removal of dense stands of trees are the most significant factor for controlling wildfire.
“Pine needles and pine cones aren’t the problem,” said Rex Norman, spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service, on Thursday. “The restoration of that disturbed lot did not involve installing items that would contribute to the fire danger there.”
The defense did not appease Leonard, who appears determined to lead the charge against the policies of the TRPA, the U.S. Forest Service and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board.
She said that all inquiries sent to email@example.com will be responded to and that the information presented, including e-mail addresses, will be kept confidential.