The recent rains give us a short respite from the fearsome future. But, let us not be deluded. The increasing occurrence and ferocity of firestorms of these last years everywhere, in the west particularly, are only a predicted preview of what may come. Hopefully not.
Laguna Beach has had its existence just saved back in ’93 by the change in the winds and we have subsequently been hit by at least two fires requiring air drops in the canyon in the last few years. Aliso Creek was the scene of the last attack in June requiring substantial air and ground assistance and we were luckily aided by the lack of winds. We clearly need as much planning, luck, assistance and help as anywhere else in the west.
One of the seemingly best ideas that we have instituted has been the use of the glorious goat herd and its management. But I would submit that we need more herds inserted despite the curious assertion of a recent council candidate that the inevitable deposit of goats’ poop outweighs the value of the use and safety provided, as if deer, coyotes, squirrels, rodents, fox, rabbits, porcupines, possums, raccoons and lions may but apparently minimize by recycling their own.
I would submit and request that the city immediately acquire/employ/hire/contract two or three more herds to circulate around more frequently and that these herds be given the authority to eat back further and deeper the heavy brush, etc., protective zone created. Having no idea of the why not, should the safety zone not be enlarged to 100+/- yards? Mr. Lardie does a terrific job in his retirement managing the single herd, but why not double or triple his groups? Some areas, such as Park Avenue canyon, seem overgrown even now and the safety zone impinged. Brush and bush grow quickly, especially with rain.
Can we immediately consider these ideas, as the danger is so apparent? (And what a deal for the herd owner to be paid to graze and raise and grow your animals.)
Byron Nelson, Laguna Beach