Since last December — before Christmas! — an eyesore has greeted commuters going to Palmdale on Angeles Crest Highway at milepost 30.16, 5 miles from La Cañada. It looks as though a truckload of trash was simply dumped in a gully alongside the highway.
It is just one example of the tons of trash hauled out of the forest daily, but this is dumping on an altogether different scale from the family messes that are the main headache. It is also unique in being so clearly visible to the thousands of people driving through.
The gully is choked with plastic bags, planks, bottles, forlorn chunks of concrete that no longer have a purpose, two toilets (!), bits of paper that blow away in the wind and miscellaneous rubbish.
Over the weekend rain made the scene more sordid than ever: soggy pieces of cardboard and soaking cigarette packages lay scattered around.
For more than two months I have been trying to find out from Angeles National Forest officials what they plan to do about it, but though this is one of the most unsightly scenes in the forest, they have deflected all questions with vague promises, despite agreeing that the situation is “awful.”
Their lack of interest in either attending to it themselves or working with Caltrans to attend to it is a painful reminder of both the ugliness of some human behavior and stewardship that needs an injection of energy.