Letter to Director Mangat

September 14, 2014

Director Lisa Mangat
Department of Parks and Recreation

Dear Director Mangat,

Today something quite disturbing happened in light of the assurances by District Superintendent Dan Falat and Chief Brian Ketterer regarding State Park policies and their application to horse camping in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. As you are aware, we have been told that there really are no changes, despite the conflict with our experiences and those of other equestrian campers before and since Superintendent Falat began his current assignment.

At around 9:00 am this morning while waiting for a friend to begin a hike up Stonewall Peak, I was chatting with the State Park employee at the Paso Picacho kiosk. I asked her how the weekend was going and discussed the hot weather we have been having. She mentioned that 6 site reservations had cancelled. I asked if sites were routinely held off reservation in case campers arrived without reservations; she mentioned that a couple were kept back in case the was a double booking of reserved sites. I asked if she directed campers without reservations to Green Valley Horse Camp. She stated that it was “no longer” a campground exclusively for campers with horses, that “with the new administration they were told that it was no longer a ‘horse camp’”. I said “Really?” and asked if she directs overflow campers to Green Valley Horse Camp after 5:00 pm. She said, “No, anytime during the day.”

Obviously this is contrary to the “general operating procedure” that Superintendent Dan Falat has instituted of “Campers without horses who wish to camp in an available campsite within that loop (Green Valley Horse Camp) will be able to do so after 1700 hours.” This is not the first time or the first kiosk staff who has stated that policies were “changed”.

In fact policies and practices have changed. In fact the stated policies are not being followed.

I respectively propose that in the case of Green Valley Horse Camp that “preferred use” mean that only campers with horses may reserve sites and additionally that only when all sites at Green Valley Campground and Paso Picacho Campground are full, that Green Valley Campground be utilized as an overflow area for campers without horses. Obviously the practice and enforcement of such a policy is essential for its success in providing a quality camping experience in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.

Regards,

Peggy Martin

cc: Acting Chief Brian Ketterer, Deputy Director Stephen R. Lehman
cc: Senator Joel Anderson, Representative Brian Jones, Supervisor Dianne Jacob