Take Two for September 18, 2013

Congresswoman wants Angeles National Forest part of new recreation area

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Deb Burgess and her pack of donkeys trek nine miles to deliver supplies on September 5th, 2013.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

David Nickoloff, a packer who helps Deb Burgess, brings propane and soap to a cabin owner in the Angeles National Forest.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

David Nickoloff, a packer who helps Deb Burgess, leads a donkey to a cabin in the Angeles National Forest.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Deb Burgess brings supplies to a historic cabin in the Angeles National Forest on September 5th, 2013.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Deb Burgess unloads a propane tank at a cabin in the Angeles National Forest.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Deb Burgess leads her pack of donkeys and one mule down from Chantry Flat in the Angeles National Forest. The entire packing trip takes about eight hours.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Owners of the 80 historic cabins in the Angeles National Forest area rely on Deb Burgess and her donkey pack to bring up supplies such as propane, generators and food.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Deb Burgess brings supplies to the historic cabins in the Angeles National Forest once a week. To stay financially afloat, Burgess still works another job.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Sam McAdam, the manager of the Adam's Pack Station, sweeps the steps of the store located in Chantry Flat. Deb Burgess bought the pack store in 2006.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Andy and Eeyore, two pack donkeys, wait to get supplies loaded onto their backs on September 5th, 2013.

Donkeys Mules Angeles National Forest Recreation San Gabriel Mountains

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Deb Burgess prepares Andy, a pack donkey, to take supplies into the Angeles National Forest.


The rugged San Gabriel Mountains are heavily used by millions of residents who live within easy driving distance. The U.S. Forest Service, which oversees the Angeles National Forest, has little money to add rangers, to make trails safer or clean up graffiti.

A local politician hopes to improve the area by making it part of a National Recreation Area. KPCC political reporter Sharon McNary has the story.


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