Siskiyou Crest National Monument- Viewpoint from Laurel

This viewpoint on the Siskiyou Crest National Monument was written in response to a letter from Rita of the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce and since the issue directly affects the lives of all of us living along the Klamath River Valley, her views, and other views expressed by Tom Waddell below are published for your information.–editor

Thank you for contacting us about this proposal. There is much misunderstanding about the likely impacts of a monument designation, though there is a long history to refer to see what has occurred in other places in similar situations.

The view of the Siskiyou Crest National Monument from the viewpoint of Laural of Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center

First, it is important to understand that 100% of the proposed monument is already federally managed land, and no limits to access or property use would occur on private land. Residential land values would be likely to increase due to their proximity to a protected area, as would larger tracks of privately held land.

I just yesterday visited with an economics professor at Southern Oregon University to initiate an economic analysis of the likely impacts to local counties, and we will post the results on our website and to the press. There is a large body of economic research that shows that counties and communities adjacent to protected areas have more robust and diversified economies than those based solely on resource extraction, agriculture and the like.

I have attached our just completed campaign profile document for you to review. There is a small section on ‘gateway communities’ you may find of interest. We also are proposing an active management of this area that would create jobs doing thinning of plantation forests, fire hazard reduction and other restoration based activities.

Another major concern people seem to express is a lack of access to the landscape. The vision we are proposing would likely involve the decommissioning of a small amount of remote forest service roads that were built for timber extraction and now have no budget for maintenance while they erode into the salmon bearing streams below, but all major and even most minor routes would remain open and accessible throughout the area. Hunting, fishing, and other outdoors activities would all continue to be allowed.

I hope this helps clarify things a bit, and I would be happy to answer further questions or hear your concerns if you have them.

Thanks and take care,


Remembering Happy Campers

Today  I was just going back and re-reading some stories on Happy Camp News, and I happened on the Letters to the Editor page. I found the letter I wrote to the entire town two years ago and it is still as true as it was when I wrote it. My wife and I have run off to be with our other children and to be closer to family during our time of loss. However, we have not found any more support here than we had from our good neighbors and friends in Happy Camp. Happy Camp is a place that will stay in my heart always and I am still just as grateful to all the wonderful people who live there as I was when I wrote that letter in the first place.

Someday the world will know about Happy Camp and realize that despite it’s problems, it has a wonderful and pure heart. God bless all of you. My family and myself send our love.

Bob (JavaBob) Schmalzbach

Memories of Happy Camp


It sometimes seems like a dream but it really happened! I had the most incredible place on earth to go through my youth, the beautiful mountains and clear creeks of Happy Camp. It has been 22 years since my parents dragged me kicking and screaming away from my childhood friends. I was 15 then. Idaho is nice but it was no replacement for what Happy Camp had to offer a boy in his youth.

When the movie “A River Runs Through it” came out I couldn’t help but be reminded of my own childhood. Thanks to my many friends, Eric Hokanson, Rusty Crocker, Tony Titus, Mouse (Wayne) Card, Lance Works, Ronnie White, Richie Bridenstein and many more, I have some of the most incredible memories. Anyone that can go a few yards from their home and have mountain creek swimming, a mountain for a play ground, and unlimited fishing holes knows how difficult it must have been to leave it all behind!

Every memory of growing up in Happy Camp brings a smile to my face. Everything from Kathy Burr giving me a bloody nose in 4th grade to teasing the bears with Eric Hokanson at the landfill. Nothing can replace the memory of playing flag football in the Crockers yard or floating tubes from our home on Indian creek to the Hokanson’s A frame. Few experiences in life have matched exploring the mountains or panning for gold on the banks of the Klamath. Where else can you be picking black berries and discover that a black bear is picking just on the other side of the bush! I have seen many logging trucks since I moved but never one that had a one log load! I have come to learn that there is nothing like a small home town football game. And Big Foot days, how could you replace that!

Thanks to the incredible aspects of Happy Camp and the wonderful people that I grew up with my childhood was like a dream. I often wonder about my old classmates and reminisce of old times. Too many times we allow life to run us over and we fail to do the really important things. Therefore, I thank you for the opportunity to avoid that mistake by expressing my sincere appreciation and love for my hometown and it’s good people.

My beautiful wife, 5 daughters and I will return to visit one day. Until then, may God bless you and find you all happy and well. Don’t take for granted what many people will never have the privilege of experiencing.

Mike Landrum
Layton, Utah

How Happy Camp Got Its Name

To: Linda Martin

Thank you for your new e-publishing venture with Happy Camp focus!

I had to miss the Bigfoot Byway Dedication due to driving a car full of teenagers to San Francisco for Acquire the Fire at the Cow Palace. I was very glad to read Debbie’s remarks.

The only problem with John Titus’ account of how Happy Camp got its name is that our town was called Happy Camp nearly a decade before the incident in John Titus’ story. No doubt the name Happy Camp intrigued the Camp brothers (John and Heil) to come here and they did build the brick building for their business in partnership with John Titus about 1858.

Before the prospectors that settled the town renamed it Happy Camp in July of 1851 it was called “Murderer’s Bar.” So glad they changed it! There was a news item in the Alta newspaper of San Francisco as Mr. Roach sent them correspondence about news of the gold rush activities and so there is solid proof of the earlier naming of the town.

Looking forward to seeing more of your Happy Camp News!

Judy Bushy