I wrote the following letter to USFS fire investigator, Shawn Brandow. Thought some MET members would appreciate knowing about this concern of ours.
Thanks very much for stopping today on East Camino Cielo to listen to our concerns about the ad hoc church site we have seen growing during the past couple months. My wife and I walk regularly from Knapps Castle to the highpoint before East Camino Cielo drops down to the Glass Factory. We have a special spot at the top where we like to enjoy the views. This spot, which is near the ignition location of the Cave Fire, has been recently transformed by the Iglesia Monte Moriah, and it is no longer a place of natural solitude.
Manzanita has been cut to enlarge the area. The dead branches remain there.
Boulders have been placed circularly to define the meeting spot.
The name Iglesia Monte Moriah has been written in permanent marker on the boulders.
Today, we found evidence of cooking with a frying pan and food wrappings in plastic bags hung on the manzanita.
From what I understand, altering the forest landscape in the above manner is not permitted. As San Marcos Trout Club residents, living in the interface of the Los Padres National Forest, we are very concerned about the escalation of human activity along our rural roads, some of it legal and some of it not.
Gordon and Suzie Sichi
#8 San Marcos Trout Club