The County of Los Angeles Fire Department, Forestry Division Camp 17 is located adjacent Camp Paige in the City of La Verne. Camp Paige houses approximately 125 juveniles and is managed by the County of Los Angeles Probation Department. The Forestry program works in conjunction with the Probation Department camp guidelines and provides the camp youths an opportunity to participate in a work crew environment that emphasizes Urban Forestry and Horticulture concepts.
The Forestry program begins for each minor with mandatory Training Crew participation. Each minor must pass a basic physical fitness program and a series of written daily quizzes encompassing four main topics: Program Orientation, Landscape Concepts, Irrigation System Components and Chainsaw Safety/Operation. Upon graduation, minors become Forestry Crew Members and are eligible to participate on a work crews in the capacity of crew leader, sawman, bucker, tool man, or crew member. All crew members have the opportunity to earn as many as three Certificates of Achievement depending on desire and dedication to the program. Practical daily work skills and employer expectations are stressed in all training and work crew assignments in preparation of work within the private sector. Minors are encouraged to seek employment in the nursery trade, landscape business, irrigation systems or tree maintenance companies upon graduation.
The Forestry Program is staffed Monday through Friday. Two work crews, each consisting of 13 minors and one Probation Department Juvenile Crew Instructor, are checked out from Probation at 0815hrs for their daily work assignment. After roll call and inspection, the minors are required to complete a one hour physical fitness regime to include a combination of calisthenics, stair climbing, jogging or hiking in the surrounding hills. The workday concludes by 4:00PM each day with the last hour dedicated to equipment and vehicle maintenance and cleaning.
Typical work projects have included, Burro Canyon tree removal project in Azusa Canyon, tree plantation maintenance at Bonelli Park, removal of invasive non-native plant species at the Santa Fe Dam facility, and annual brush clearance for fire safety around the entire perimeters of both Camp Paige and Camp Afflerbaugh. Throughout the year, Camp 17 crews provide support services for the Los Angeles County Fire Department Headquarters, and the Los Angeles County Fair exhibit. /
CURRENT WORK PROJECTS
SANTA FE DAM ARUNO REMOVAL
January through March two crews per day were scheduled to work at this offset revenue project at the Santa Fe Dam in Irwindale. Work for these months involved the gathering of thousands of previously cut Arundo stalks. The bundles were then hauled from the river bed and loaded into trucks for landfill disposal.
During the months of September through December, two crews per day will be assigned the task of cutting and clearing any existing Arundo in preparation for Forestry staff to apply herbicide to the cut stalks.
BONELLI PARK PLANTATION MAINTAINANCE
During the months of March through June, two crews per day were assigned the task of limbing, bucking, chipping and removing of tree rounds and slash from the Dynamite Gulch tree plantation. Approximately 250 pines died from the stress of the extended drought and subsequent beetle infestation of the trees.
During the months of June and July, two crews per day were assigned the task of brush clearance around the entire perimeter of both camps for fire safety. A combination of hand tools and string trimmers were used with clearances ranging up to 200 feet in distance from fence lines or structures. All piles of brush generated from the work operations were loaded into a dump truck for disposal. In Camp maintenance of the grounds is usually performed three days per month.
L.A. COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS ‘CARING FOR THE LAND’ EXHIBIT
One crew is utilized for the cleaning, weeding, and general maintenance of the grounds and buildings at this exhibit prior to its opening in September.