Janurary 5, 2008: Mothers used to teach their youngsters “Fools’ names and fools’ faces often appear in public places.” Perhaps the lesson has been lost because graffiti keeps appearing in the Alabama Hills. Rich Williams and Jim Jennings worked several hours a few months back, and the paint was very resistant to cleaning up. A location on Tuttle Creek and Ruiz Hill were both desecrated by multiple attacks. No one was ever apprehended for the vandalism.
Graffiti has happened again. This time the area just west of the Gunga Din Temple site has been hit, with some racist overtones. The Alabama Hills Stewardship Partnership, including the BLM Bishop Regional Office, community of Lone Pine, LP Chamber and the LP Film Museum and Film Commission, have been working on several maintenance challenges being faced by the area. Use has created litter so twenty-five local volunteers worked cleaning high use areas one Saturday in late September.
Now, Dave Kirk has been hired to act as the Steward of the area, greeting people, answering questions and general “pressing the flesh with handshakes.” He will be looking out for the welfare of everyone including the plants and animals of the Hills.
Dave is a great interpreter of the beautiful landscape through painting. His many watercolor and oil works, both realistic and abstract, can be seen about town: at the Espresso Parlor, Seasons restaurant and on the façade of the new Thompson Hostel on Main Street.
The Stewardship Committee hopes to enlist everyone’s care and vigilance in ending the graffiti. Should anyone see people committing vandalism in the area, they should contact the Sheriffs Department, BLM Office in Bishop at 873-2400 and ask for Jim Jennings or call Chris Langley at 937-1189 as soon as possible. The BLM has special cleaning machinery and chemicals to work to clear off the vandalism as soon as possible. The LADWP also supports this work on their lands that lie next to the BLM and Forest Service lands in and near the Alabama Hills.
If you see Dave Kirk up in the Alabamas, please stop and say hello and ask any questions you might have about the various stewardship projects.