District Ranger for the San Bernardino National Forest's Mountaintop District Scott Tangenberg

Big Bear Valley, CA/San Bernardino National Forest — District Ranger Scott Tangenberg has been overseeing the Mountaintop District of the San Bernardino National Forest for over a year now, having officially assumed the position in September after serving as acting district ranger upon the promotion of Kurt Winchester last spring. “I am basically the local supervisor,” he tells KBHR. “I supervise 150 employees and am the local decision-maker on ranger district projects.”
Among those projects are the plans for additional fuels reduction along the Big Bear Valley, to increase the defensible space along the wildland-urban interface. “We call it the South Big Bear Project,” explains Tangenberg, “and it basically goes from Bear Mountain Resort to the Big Bear dam, and up to the ridgetop from the back of the community. What we are finishing up right now is the planning, which will authorize several years’ worth of implementation.” Though a specific start date has not yet been determined for the South Big Bear Project, it is likely that in the spring of 2011 fire crews will take to the ridgeline with chain saws to implement additional fuels reduction. To date, the San Bernardino National Forest has completed a fuel break along the ridgeline and cleared defensible space boundaries, up to 300’ deep, between the southern border of the community and the forest. “What we’re authorizing right now,” adds the District Ranger, “is some maintenance of those two, and some treatment in between and along the other roads that go to and from, such as near the Aspen Glen picnic area, and on other interior roads.”
In the interim, adds Tangenberg, “Certainly we are preparing for fire season. We’ve hired all of our crews and we are completing our training and readiness reviews. We’ve got our Big Bear Hot Shots crew of 22 and, in the Valley, we have four engines on this side of the mountain and four engines in the Running Springs, Lake Arrowhead area—and those are fully staffed.” In light of fire season and the upcoming holiday, Tangenberg notes, “As Deputy Forest Supervisor Tom Gillett reminds us, ‘We are encouraging our visitors to plan ahead, and be fire-aware during their forest visit. With the public’s help, we can make this a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July.’ And, no personal fireworks on the mountain or fires outside of designated fire rings.”
With many projects underway to maintain our local forest, both short term and long term, our one-year-new District Ranger Tangenberg adds, “The job has certainly been challenging, but I love that challenge and continue to enjoy being engaged with both the community and my employees of the San Bernardino National Forest on a daily basis.”

Fuels reduction has already been established along USFS road 2N10, off of Mill Creek Road.