Friends of Last Chance Canyon Message

From: "Friends of Last Chance Canyon" <>
Subject: Friends of Last Chance Canyon Message
Date: Tue Jan 13 05:39:59 2015


Greetings everyone, Merry Christmas and a joyous New Years! With this time of reflection and promise of New Year, it is also a time for reflection, and it seems pretty obvious to me that the Friends of Last Chance Canyon organization has run its course and should be dissolved. Though we’ve had achievements, the overall goal of the organization has proved to be beyond our grasp. From the FLCC Bylaws our purpose was for: 1) Preservation of historical and cultural sites within the general vicinity of the El Paso Mountains of Kern County, California 2) Cultural education of the general public through tours, lectures, activities, and writings of the area. 3) Restoration and/or aging abatement of historically significant sites and artifacts as permitted within the area. 4) Raise funds to support these activities

      Today, Bickel Camp has many supporters and has the Bickel family involved. Early memorandums between the BLM, FLCC, and the Bickel family regarding property ownership did not come to fruition. As the Bickel family are the owners of the artifacts that reside on the public land, they need to maintain and be responsible for it.That responsibility includes potential liability which is difficult for a small organization like FLCC to budget for. Subsequently, since transfer of the remaining real property to the nonprofit organization did not occur as hoped it is impossible to represent the area with a preservation plan and have an official recognition. This recognition would be within the National Register of Historic Places. Such recognition would be instrumental in validating grant applications for sustaining the camp. 
       I look back on this last year or two and see many things to be thankful for at Bickel Camp and the surrounding area there: the Chuck Goodenough memorial grill, caretaker awning, the camp visitor shaded picnic area, the caretaker shower, porta potties, public cabins in Boanaza Gulch being cleaned and painted, Burro Schmidt tunnel cleaning, wayward travelers being helped – and a clean and well-kept camp with a devoted caretaker staff and presence. 
      9 years ago Jim Kenney, Chuck Goodenough and I started Friends of Last Chance Canyon to save the last true El Paso Mountain's depression era cabin and its artifacts. We wanted to not repeat the experience of seeing Toni Seegar’s and Burro Schmidt’s cabins being destroyed. We pleaded with the BLM representatives to recognize the camp’s historic significance. Presentations were given to other organizations explaining this precious remnant of a time and way of living now gone. Gold panning for fourth graders helped educate them of our California history. For several years there really was no caretaker at the camp, and I’d worry it was all gone when I’d drive up the canyon, rounding that last bend. Then I’d worry when I’d leave, thinking it could be the last time I’d see the cabin and all.  Early on, I started giving camp tours, trying to convey the unique artifacts and history that I’d learned of.  This tradition continues I’m happy to say, people like hearing of this lost way of life and how Walt dealt with the harsh and beautiful environment there.
      That preservation effort grew to a remembrance not only of Walt but also the friends of the camp that have passed in the last 30 years: Connie Rath, Danny Papacalos, Toni Seegar, Larry O’Neil, Alex Apostildes, Karl Weiss, Lowell Greenburg, Chuck Goodenough, and caretakers Joel Nalley, and Dave Cook. These are just a few of the people who inspired us, shared our love for the area and who should not be forgotten. 
Friends of Last Chance Canyon has been graciously helped through donations by the Friends of Jawbone Canyon organization over the years, to include funds and use of an ATV. They are truly instrumental in keeping access to our public lands available for everyone. Their President, Mr. Ed Waldheim, we have great gratitude towards for his support of the FLCC organization. 
        All outstanding mining claim users agreements will be honored until their annual expiration. Remaining funds of FLCC will be spent toward maintaining the camp, and payment of any of the organization's outstanding bills, dissolution costs, etc. 
        Mary and I thank sincerely those who have helped save the history of this area. We have many fond memories of the people past and present who lived and worked and played in this beautiful area. They are the true riches of the El Paso's.  

Sorry for the long message folks. I'm sure another organization will arise from the ashes of FLCC, so please don't worry about the camp - it has plenty of supporters. Thanks for being there and seeya in the hills! Charles and Mary Hattendorf

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FLCC is devoted to sharing El Paso Mountain's unique areas and sites; trying to preserve their special nature and history while supporting public access to see and enjoy these areas. This mail list helps distribute information for members and to the interested public regarding updates to access, member activities such as FLCC meetings, dinners, and club prospecting information.
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