Effort Underway to Save Historic Adams Pack Station Post Bobcat Fire

The last pack station in California is in the Angeles National Forest. | Courtesy photo by Bill Harrington

By Terry Miller

Arcadia resident and environmentalist Cameron Stone became well-known to the community several years ago when he helped spearhead an ambitious bid to save the Arcadia woodlands with a group known as the Arcadia Four in 2011. Tree-sitters John Quigley, Andrea Bowers, Julia Jaye Posin, and Travis Jochimsen were arraigned Feb. 18, 2011 on charges of trespassing, disturbing the peace, and delaying a peace officer while trying to protect one of the last urban woodlands in Arcadia. Quigley and Bowers sat in a tree in a peaceful effort to stop the trees from being destroyed by Los Angeles County Public Works for the Santa Anita Dam Sediment Removal Project. Despite a herculean effort by environmentalists spearheaded by Stone and a huge amount of publicity the trees were destroyed.

Now, Stone has made this newspaper aware of another disaster resulting from the Bobcat Fire which has created a dilemma for people living in cabins in Big Santa Anita Canyon who rely on Adams Pack Station for the delivery of supplies.

Big Santa Anita Canyon above Arcadia took a big hit from the Bobcat Fire. At least 15 of the 100-year-old historic cabins in the canyon were incinerated, according to Stone who has a cabin there which miraculously survived the Bobcat Fire and many other fires.

Access to the cabins is via foot only. In other words, you’ll need to hike at least a mile to get to the cabins and another mile to get to the popular waterfall.

The history of the canyon — one of the most popular hiking areas in the county — is a big part of Los Angeles. Southern Californians used to ride the Pacific Electric red cars to the end of the line in Sierra Madre and hike into the canyon. They built the cabins back then under permit from the newly minted U.S. Forest Service which needed money to sustain their work.

Adams Pack Station is the lifeline for canyon dwellers as there is no road — only donkeys and man on foot will get you to the cabins.

Donkeys from the pack station have been relocated since the Bobcat Fire. | Photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

“The whole community up there is salt of the earth and relies on the Adams Pack Station to pack in propane and other heavy goods to their cabins,” Stone sold Arcadia Weekly.

Maggie Moran, the new owner of the pack station, has started a GoFundMe campaign to keep Adams Pack Station solvent. According to the GoFundMe page, the pack station may not be able to reopen as a business for one to two years but Moran wants to “use the Pack Station as a home base to support the Big Santa Anita Canyon community as they rebuild and restore what has long been a treasured place in the San Gabriel Mountains.”

With an ambitious goal of $200,000 the GoFundMe page has already raised more than $20,000. “Our goals are to raise funds to assist with boarding, food and care for the nine donkeys ($60,000), to help Maggie sustain her newly acquired business loan on the Pack Station while business is unable to continue ($100,000), to help with the costs for repairing and restoring the Pack Station surroundings due to fire, smoke and water damage sustained during the Bobcat Fire ($20,000), and to assist in preparing for possible mud and rock slides during this upcoming winter ($20,000),” reads the fundraising page.

October 14, 2020

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Terry Miller

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