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Valley Focus | Angeles Forest

Big Tujunga Access May Be Restricted

August 29, 1998|TOM SCHULTZ

Officials who monitor crowds along Big Tujunga Creek warned they might again close the recreation area to visitors for several hours Sunday if automobile traffic continues to overwhelm park roads.

In the past month, rangers restricted Sunday access to the two-mile picnic and swim spot north of Sunland--usually between 1 and 5 p.m.--because of numerous traffic accidents, said Julie Molzahn, a ranger who oversees recreation in the park.

"We have too many people," Molzahn said. "This is a safety issue. People need to remember they're driving on mountain roads."

Molzahn said for the three-day Labor Day holiday next weekend, rangers may restrict access to the creek not only on Sunday, but Saturday and Monday as well, depending on how many people arrive.

The times of closure are subject to change at any time, she said.

Park officials say the reason for the large crowds, which have recently numbered up to 4,000 people, is that the creek still surges with water from El Nino-driven rains and visitors want to fish and enjoy the unusual conditions.

Anybody who wishes to camp in the forest during the Labor Day weekend needs to realize they might not get a spot, Molzahn said.

"If people want to camp in the forest, they need to get to the campgrounds by Thursday," she said.

"A lot of people are planning to come Thursday."

For those who secure a spot, rangers suggested looking out for several bears spotted in the forest this summer.

"For instance, we have a mother and her cub," Molzahn said. "And we have a very active, larger sized bear. It likes bathrooms for some reason. It actually went into a bathroom, sat on the toilet seat and broke it. I think he wanted to be potty-trained."

For more information, call (818) 899-1900.

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