The extensive erosion damage at the Keystone Point Road Turnaround was repaired recently. Thanks, Mark Bulot and Ken Masters for taking charge of this critical project.Read More
Representatives from all the Big Bear Forest Service cabin tracts met with local FS staff on April 20 to discuss numerous common issues and concerns.Read More
If you have visited Keystone Point since last summer, you may have noticed some new power poles and power lines in the area. Here's a report from Dick Fisher (Cabin 85), written in November 2017, which provides details about what is happening:
Power Pole Replacement and Relocation of Power Lines
Forest Service and Bear Valley Electric
With no notice of any kind to cabin owners, the Forest Service and Bear Valley Electric System began construction several weeks ago on the first phase of a multi-year project to install new wood power poles on the SW Shore, and to move all power lines off of trees and onto the new poles. The project is likely eventually to result in all telephone lines also being removed from trees and routed onto the new wood poles, in addition to the electric lines.
This initial phase of this BVES project is limited to a 12-cabin service area located just south and above Keystone Point Road. It involves re-routing the main line downhill from highway 18 so that it runs between cabins 27 & 39, down to a point around the midpoint of Keystone Point Road. From there the line runs downhill along the northern edge of the road, down to the Keystone Point turnaround near the existing pole there, from which it is routed in a southerly direction up the slope.
The service connections to the three cabins along lower Keystone Rd (Nos. 16, 17, and 18) will be fed from behind the cabins rather than from the main line along Keystone Road. Other cabins involved at this time are Nos. 14 through 22, 25, 26 and maybe 73. BVES has located the new poles as close as possible to roads and driveways to accommodate service/repair access.
Dick Fisher and Steve Harbison, along with Bob Hritz, immediately after hearing about the work in progress, met on the job site with BVES management, walked the affected area and reviewed the project. We pointed out some problem areas and requested that several of the new poles be re-located. We were able to persuade BVES to re-locate several poles that would have run lines directly in front of primary views from cabin porches, including the top new pole along Keystone Point Road. We were not able to get them to consider moving the new poles off of Keystone Point Road, but the three poles there are quitetall, so that the lines will run well above the direct views of the meadow and lake.
BVES and the Forest Service have assured us in writing that for future phases they will consult with us during the planning phase, before finalizing plans.
Most of the existing poles are at (or beyond) the end of their useful lives, rotted in the ground, and the attachments to trees are less reliable than to poles, so this project will provide more safety and protection against fire or electrical safety hazards caused by fallen power lines. But the project will no doubt continue to present challenges in terms of interference with views. Our goal will continue to be to push for pole and line placements that minimize any damage to the views of the neighborhood or from individual cabins.
(Note: Follow this link to a map of the area showing roads and cabin numbers.)
Ed Leonhardt (Cabin 39), our cabin cam-master has made some wonderful changes and additions to the Cabin Cam site. Rather than try to describe it here, we encourage to simply click on the image above, or click on this Cabin Cam link to visit the new site and experience it for yourself. Check out all of the new weather data, photos, and other informative links that are available there. Thanks, Ed, for all of your time and effort over the past many years since you first set up the Cabin Cam in 2004!
To help him decide what other changes and additions to consider in the future, Ed would like to know which aspects of the Cabin Cam site you use and enjoy the most, and what suggestions you have for additional features and capabilities for the site. Please make your comments below on this blog post, or send your comments, suggestions, and thank-you notes to Ed using our website Contact Form. Let's all tell Ed how much we support and appreciate the wonderful resource he is providing to us with his Cabin Cam.
If you would like see the old Cabin Cam site for comparison, it is still available for a limited time at the following link: Old Cabin Cam. Take a look at the old site to really appreciate all the wonderful changes Ed has made!
An ongoing dilemma at the Southwest Shore seems to be the lack of fast, reliable internet service. Once again we would like to start a group discussion about the internet service alternatives that work best in the Southwest Shore. Please take a few minutes to leave a comment below, and tell us how you get your internet service in the Southwest Shore. Is your cell phone reception strong enough to use your phone as a "hot spot" to provide internet access to computers and tablets? Do you have some type of amplifier to boost your cell phone signal? Do you get internet service via Dish Network or Direct TV? Do you have some form of DSL service through your landline phone? Please let us know what you are using, how satisfied you are, some idea of the installation and monthly costs, and any other information you think might be helpful. Thanks in advance for your willingness to share your experiences and insights.
By now all cabin owners should have received and paid the 2017 Forest Service Annual Permit invoices. If you did not receive an invoice from USDA Forest Service, we suggest you immediately contact Scott Evans, our Forest Service Special Uses Coordinator (909-382-2802 or firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have not yet paid your annual Forest Service Annual Permit fee, we suggest that you pay it as soon as possible, to avoid issues and additional charges. The Cabin Fee Act is now in effect and stabilized, so there appear to be no outstanding unresolved issues. At this point the only future fee increase allowed under the CFA is an annual adjustment for inflation. There are no more time-consuming, costly, and controversial appraisals involved in the fee determination process. For more information please follow this link to read "Cabin Fee Act - 2017 Update" on the National Forest Homeowners (NFH) website.
Speaking of National Forest Homeowners, the NFH organization continues to do excellent work on behalf of the owners, families, and friends of the almost 14,000 cabins that are part of the federal Recreation Residence Program on National Forest System land across the country. We encourage you to visit the NFH website (NationalForestHomeowners.org) for current information on the implementation of the Cabin Fee Act, as well as other issues that are important to Forest Service cabin owners. You might also consider becoming a member of NFH, as a way to offer your financial support the organization.
During the summer our Association once again sponsored the annual Brush Clearance Project to gather and remove brush, shrubbery, tree limbs, slash, and other forest debris that constitute a fire hazard. The project was completed and the brush piles hauled away in October 2016 after many of you had already closed your cabins for the season. Dennis Moran (Cabin 84) and Rick Krugh (Cabin 38) organized the project, and through their efforts we were able to take advantage of a USFS grant that provides funds for projects to maintain healthy forests and reduce fire fuels. The Brush Clearance Project was completed at no cost to our Southwest Shore Association or its members. Thanks, Dennis and Rick, for your excellent work on behalf of all the Southwest Shore families and friends. Thanks, also, to all the cabin owners, families and friends who did their part to clear brush and debris from their cabin areas to help keep our local forest healthy and safe.
As you have probably heard, there has been at least one black bear (they actually may be red, brown or black in color) foraging around our cabins this summer, and the drought may attract others from the high country down to the lake. The recent bear representative visiting the area is probably a juvenile (only about 150-170 lbs), who has not yet established a territory. Our quick research reveals the following information:
The San Bernardino Mountains were California grizzly bear territory until that species was exterminated by man in the early 1900's. Black bears were first introduced to these mountains in the 1930's when "problem bears" from Yosemite Park were relocated here. There is now a stable, permanent population of descendants of those Yosemite bears, living in the forests of Big Bear. These bears become quite large (500 lbs.), are a protected species, have great predatory powers and speed, and like to eat meat as well as plants -- but they do not, we are pleased to report, hunt human prey or normally pose a threat to humans. Very shy of humans, they enter settled areas to find garbage and other food that they associate with human habitation. They can be very dangerous, however, particularly in the following circumstances:
- If the bear loses its natural shyness by too much human contact and by being fed by humans, it is likely to associate cabins with food, and may break into cabins or otherwise become aggressive with humans. This human-induced bear misbehavior will result in Fish and Game wardens eventually killing the nuisance bear to protect the offending humans – an unfair but common result;
- If the bear, based on its extraordinarily keen sense of smell (which can extend for miles), mistakes you for prepared food because of food odors on you or your clothing (e.g., some campers have been mauled while sleeping outside after handling food and/or wearing clothing which was worn while cooking);
- If the bear and your dog have a hostile confrontation, the bear easily may kill the dog, or may chase the dog, and the dog may thus lead the angry bear back to your cabin, at which time your animal-management skills will be severely tested. Best not to permit your dog to wander;
- If the bear is surprised or scared by your unexpected presence, particularly if it feels cornered. You should make noises when you are hiking, so that bears can avoid you;
- If a mother bear thinks that you may be bothering her cub in any way, or coming between her and her cub, she will become aroused and aggressive. Young bears, cute as they may be, therefore pose a special danger to humans and are to be avoided, because there is usually a cranky and protective mother bear nearby; and
- If, upon encountering a bear, you make sudden movements or turn and run, you may trigger an aggressive “chase” response by the bear. If possible, back away slowly, at the same time taking care not to come nearer to a cub or between a bear and its cub. Depending on the circumstances, making loud noises such as clanging metal plates may scare off the bear.
The paramount rule for peaceful co-existence with bears is "do not to feed them in any way." Do not leave food (including bird seed) or garbage in a place where it may attract bear attention or entry. Do not throw or bury garbage outside the cabin, and do not store it outside, even in closed trash cans. And do not rely upon screen doors to deter bear entry to garbage or exposed food.
Considerations similar to the above also apply to bobcats and other large predators, who may also occasionally visit the SW Shore Colony in search of water and food.
Submitted by Dick Fisher, based on a previous Southwest Shore advisory notice dated September 10, 1996.