WARNING THIS PAGE CONTAINS GRAPHIC PICTURES OF ABUSE OF HAT CREEK RIM - READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED

This page is not intended for the persons responsible for the abuse of Hat Creek Rim - we know you could care less about the repercussions of your actions. It's for the other 99.9% of the flying community who do not agree that the conduct and abuse shown here is "NO BIG DEAL".


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This is the aftermath of the Cloud Street Gang's Blue Balls Fly-in.


This "fly-in" IS organized and Sponsored annually by the Chico-based hang gliding club, the Cloud Street Gang

If you've been told (as Kurt Jorgensen's does below), that the Cloud Street Gang doesn't sponsor this winter event, well that might not be the truth. Check out this picture posted by proud CSG member, Bob Bay (who also denied it was a CSG event) - "The Cloud Street Gang's 20th annual Blue Balls Fly In." Man, when you peel back the layers of lies the truth is standing right in front of you...

Below are photos taken in the #1 Lz of Hat Creek Rim a week After the 2008 Blue Balls Fly-in

The photos below show the condition that this group left the LZ in. It is obviously a poor example of appropriate use of a flying site. Our flying sites are far too valuable to be abused and misused in the manner this club apparently felt completely comfortable doing. Every effort to resolve this issue privately were attempted - our concerns were ignored so we went public with this in an effort to get the misuse of a very popular site stopped.

What followed the posting of these pictures was an attempt to point blame at us for "staging" the pictures. Well, it easy to see that these pictures were not staged. But that didn't stop them from accusing us anyway. Next was a denial that they sponsored the event and they blamed someone else for starting the event. Below are public postings of the late Page Perrin and Kurt Jurgensen, see for yourself what was posted - a clear attempt to do everything but apologize and accept responsibility for this mess.

We continue to be criticized by members of this club and their friends for exposing the abuse of this LZ. A couple of years prior to the mess shown here we were called by the Forest Service to clean up the "resource damage" (those are the Forest Service's words) left from this same group. I don't know of a single club that would allow or tolerate this kind of "use" over and over again at a site that they are obligated by contract, or love of the site, to protect. The FS found the 2005 site resource damage and could have easily found the mess below.

Our Forest Service Use Permit is clear:
B. VANDALISM. "The holder shall take reasonable measures to prevent and discourage vandalism and disorderly conduct and when necessary shall contact the appropriate law enforcement officer." One single factor took this mess public - those responsible for this ignored our attempt to deal with it privately.

And last but not least, we understand that the CSG has nice members and supporters. However, whether or not something is detrimental/abusive to a flying site should not be determined based on friendships. This is extremely irresponsible behavior. The site sits on public land and has the potential to be there for the flying future for decades to come. There is just no excuse for treating a site in this manner, no matter how insignificant the sponsors believe that risk was. Look at these photos for what they are. Don't blame those of us who exposed this mess and took the time to go up and clean it up before the Forest Service found it.



More ruts
Blue Tarp and many logs left in the LZ
Deep ruts
Plastic shards and burnt plastic left in the LZ. Really???
They were dead trees!!! Well, they are now!!
Nothing says 'responsible' like leaving logs in an already small LZ
Let's have some fun and leave it for the Forest Service to find
Scattered trash was everywhere! Who would be drinking Coors? Mike!!!
Looks more like a lumber mill than a LZ
Who does this to a public flying site? The Cloud Street Gang, that's who!!
WTF?
How do you miss this and all the other debris during clean up?
A deep hole left in the LZ - looks like an ankle breaker
Another beer can
More plastic shredded from illegal IEDs
Illegal fireworks scattered about
Bottle Rocket
Dennis! Do you leave trash at Marinia Beach?
"This isn't trash" according the the CSG
So much garbage be left by a "responsible" group????
Red cup left "hiding" in plain sight
Volunteer cleaning up what the CSG didn't
Collectively, this is the bulk of the garbage and debris left by the CSG

 

Below are comments from the late Page Perrin and VP of the CSG, Kurt Jorgensen. Adding insult to the damage already caused by this annual event are the repeated attempts to deny responsibility and to sugarcoat the truth. My comments (in parentheses) are meant to clarify the misinformation found in these public postings.

Who am I? I'm a H-5 pilot who gives a shit about the Hat Creek Rim flying site. I started flying in '74 and earned my H-5 in '84. I've been part of our club's efforts to develop the site from 1975 thru the current level of development there today. Combined, our club has thousands of volunteer hours, and thousands of dollars caring and developing the Rim. For myself, and the rest of the Hat Creek Committee, we believe firmly, and have conducted ourselves accordingly, that all decisions and actions at the site should have the wellbeing of the site and the flying community foremost. I believe that our history has shown that's exactly what we've done. I currently fly a Sport 163 and a 220 Freedom and have over 300 flights at this site. - Phil Sergent

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Dear Pilots, (story by Page Perrin) Posted on OZ Report.

Since there are always two sides to every story I feel compelled to write this post to state a different side to the recent Hat Creek Rim rant and pictures posted by Phil Sergent.

Phil has an intense dislike for some members of the Cloud Street Gang and his posts reflect that hatred. His purpose of getting the flying community stirred up against the Cloud Street Gang has certainly worked. Just look at your responses. They sound like a lynch mob.
(those negative responses represent the outrage for the actions of a handful of pilots misusing a public flying site. I do have a dislike for the condition the LZ was left in so do a lot of other pilots)

The CSG did not "trash" the LZ. The few items left were an oversight, not a uncaring act of a bunch of slobs. They would have been picked up the next time one of us went into the LZ and if it wasn't for Phil showing up to take staged pictures nobody would have seen any of it anyway. It's the members of the CSG who are mainly responsible for keeping the Rim site clean. Picking up after the beer drinkers leave cases of cans on launch and in the LZs is done by the people who regularly use the site, not by people who show up two or three times a year and then make a big deal about it on their web site. We clear the brush off the launch ramp and hand pull the star thistle from the set up area. We pick up the trash on the road to launch. I make the windsocks and put them up, contrary to what Phil's web site would claim to the contrary. We just don't make a big deal out of it. I hope the irony of the fact that the people who are accused of trashing the place are in fact the ones who keep it spotless, isn't lost on you.
-(Didn't trash the LZ? Few items left over? Hardly! There are logs laying in the LZ, exploded and blackened ground, shards of twisted plastic, a huge hole in the ground, etc., etc.? This is hardly a few items!! As far as real maintenance to the site readers only need to go here to see who is doing the tough job of keeping this site "nice". ANY windsocks placed at the site are there because there is a use permit at the site. Without that permit no permanent windsocks would be allowed. BTW, there have never been windsocks replaced in the #3 LZ except by us and any windsocks missing anywhere else are replaced by us in April or any other time we are at the site)-

Cutting downed dead trees for our campfire isn't illegal and I'm not sure what "resources" were supposedly damaged. As to ruts, as you can see by the pictures when the ground thaws is turns into the consistency of loose pudding. Although the LZ is a dry lakebed in summer, in the winter and spring it fills up with water from snowmelt and rain. This turns the ground into runny slop and any ruts or other imperfections tend to smooth out by themselves. It's how the LZ got to be flat in the first place. Any ruts you may see in summer are the result of jerks who like to drive into the LZ and do donuts around the windsock before its has a chance to fully dry out.
-(so when others leave ruts they're jerks but when a group of pilots leave deep ruts they just disappear - wow. I'd be willing to bet that most of the trees were not down until someone cut them down and they have no business being left in a public LZ for a pilot to HIT!!)-

Yes, in 2005 the Forest Service did have a problem and we easily corrected it to their satisfaction. Since that time we've held camping to another part of the LZ and there hasn't been any more complaints.
-(You're right, in 2005 the FS did have problems WITH RUTS!!! We were called to repair the resource damage because we hold the permit!! I don't recall even seeing Page when we cleaned up that mess)-.


Some of the local ranchers and their families show up to enjoy the campfire and to shoot off the fireworks they've brought also. The locals enjoy coming and it helps maintain the excellent relationship we have with them and promotes their continuing support of our flying at the Rim. While it may be technically illegal, shooting off fireworks in an open field in the dead of winter hardly constitutes a danger to the forest.
As to the logs we left, they're slated to be either flattened to make benches for the LZ or cut up into firewood for warming fires for the pilots to stand around while they discuss that day's glass-off flight. We do this every year. Making big heavy benches keeps the party animals from using them for firewood when they have their beer fests. Since nobody flies the Rim in winter anyway, they pose no safety hazard and would be long gone by the end of May when the winds stop blowing over the back. If it wasn't for the call to the Forest Service they would never have been involved. All they care about is if there's a porta-potty on launch and the place is clean. All it did was bring a negative light to pilots in general. Believe it or not the public just lumps us all together. Using the internet to pursue one's own vendetta is underhanded at best.
-(We arrived a week after the event, on a weekend. There was no one there cleaning up the mess as you imply would have happened. Also, had the FS found the mess, as they did in 2005, we would have been called again to clean up this mess. Page is right about one thing, we are all lumped together by the public and Forest Service - the condition of the LZ is not something most of us want to be associated with. And I just love how Page makes up his own rules - If the forest won't burn, the laws are void, geez!! As far as leaving logs in the LZ for any amount of time, that's not subject to one individual's discretion. The LZ shall remain safe for landing year 'round per the Use Permit. The idea that the wind blows down at the Rim until May is ridiculous. There can and have been soaring flights at the Rim every month of the year!!!)
-

I sure hope seeing another side to all this lets you make a more informed decision about what went on and who the CSG really is. We take great pride in the Rim and it's unique flying conditions. No member of our club ever has or ever would do anything to jeopardize the flying at the Rim. Because most of the CSG lives close enough to drive up and catch a glass-off after work we fly the site regularly. No other club does. The flying is why I moved here when I retired instead of to the Owens Valley or Telluride. I would encourage you to come up and see for yourselves what the site has to offer and what a non-impact our activities have. While I mostly like to boat around in the glass-off, I did manage to crack off a 33 miler at Lakeview last August, so you could say I'm a fairly active pilot. I usually get 40 to 60 hours of airtime per year, mostly here at the Rim. It's that good. I think I saw Phil fly here once last year. I'm not a site guide, I just live here, so please don't call me asking what the flying has been like or if it's gonna be soarable on Aug. 24th when you're going to be here. You can check the soarcast.com web site like I do. But, if you'd like to discuss this thread feel free to give me a call. Best of lift to you always,
-(don't call me about conditions at the site I live at but do call me so I can explain how the pictures of a trashed LZ and illegal activity are all OK. And while I'm at it I can tell you all about what assholes those permit holders are!! Chico is a 2 and a half hour drive from the Rim and Page says they use the site after work?!?! Considering 5 hours of drive time round trip, setup, breakdown and flight time that would be a full 8 hours of time "after work" to use the site - seems like a stretch of the truth, again. To leave an LZ in this condition and to misuse the site does jeopardize the site and gives us all a bad name!!! I sure do see the other side of things and it's as disgusting as the trashed LZ)
-

Page Perrin

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Kurt's post was originally posted on the Wings of Rogallo web site on 1/30/08; Here's part of that post.

Kurt wrote:

I have read many of the posts here and elsewhere with increasing disbelief and alarm.  I and others in our HG/PG club, the Cloud Street Gang, feel wounded and hurt by the words written in this thread or emailed directly to us.  I hope the damage done not just to us, but to the increasingly small HG/PG community, is not long-lasting and permanent.
 
I am the Vice-President of the CSG; I was elected in 2007 to that position and re-elected in 2008.  Glenn Rose is our President, not Bob Bay.
 
I’ll bet by writing this I and my fellow local pilots are in for more abuse, but I just can’t help but try to clarify a few misconceptions and falsehoods, and attest to the character of several who have become the undeserving targets of slander and pettiness.
 
First of all, I was not at the “Blue Balls” Campout, nor have I ever attended one.  Maybe that was sheer luck, because I would have been there had it not been for my 3 boys’ typical Saturday wrestling tournament endure-thons that consume my winter weekends.
 
Here are some things to consider before you pass judgment on your fellow pilots residing in the North State (not just Chico):

 
1. The Blue Balls Campout was started and named 24 years ago by Phil Sergent.  Having fashioned the activities (large fire pit near LZ-1, fireworks, social drinking, sled ride flight from launch) for many years following he participated in the event and its activities were acceptable to him.  At some point, due at least in some part to personal conflicts, he stopped attending.
-(Kurt, you need to get your stories straight. Even after Bob posts the truth about the event above, you never did go to the flying community and tell them the truth. I had nothing to do with the creations of this event and only found out about it years after it had been going on. I did attend a few of the campouts but quit going in 1996 when the site started operating under a Special Use Permit.)-
 
2. Blue Balls is not a CSG event.  We didn’t organize it, but some of our members participated in it.  It pre-dates the CSG (see above).  It is held on National Forest land and as such is usable by everyone.
-(Again, scroll up and see Bob's proud posting about who sponsors the event and you will again see Kurt just isn't being truthful)-

 
3. CSG members were a minority of the approximately 20 people who participated this year.  There were pilots from other clubs, as well as local community members (with their kids).
-(Really? You're going to throw the local community and other clubs under the bus for an event you are responsible for holding?)-
 

4. We have no idea why trash was left behind.  Bob Bay was the next to last person to leave.  Bob told me that he offered to grab the two buckets and trash seen in the pictures, but the last guy (who I will not identify and is neither a Chico resident nor a Cloud Street Gang member) said he would grab it.  Obviously leaving trash behind is completely unacceptable and is entirely regrettable.  I do not recall anyone in our club ever leaving trash behind anywhere we have flown.
-(Again, Kurt can't won't accept that their club was responsible for what is shown in the photos - it's always someone else's fault with this club. Even if two buckets were pulled out by Bob, why the Hell was all the other trash and resource damage left)-

 

5. The wood cut down or dragged to the bonfire was all dead wood.  It can’t be stated any plainer than that.  There is no National Forest regulation that prohibits people from collecting dead wood surrounding their camping sites and using it for a fire.  Yes, there is extra wood.  See Page’s post on the Sonoma Wings site for more explanation of that.
-(that's the freshest dead wood I've ever seen, but OK let's assume it was dead and down - WHY DRAG IT OUT IN THE LZ AND LEAVE IT???)-

 
6. The logs are not located in the LZ, but adjacent to it.  To land on it would require running into a stand of Ponderosas.  We have a video of Bob Bay landing in the LZ with the logs seen at the bottom of the screen.
-(Clearly Kurt did not know the pictures above existed. The logs are clearly shown in the landable part of an already small LZ. It's one thing to make this mess, but what shows the true character of this group in the extent to which they went to deny responsibilty and to place blame on others.)-
 

7. The ruts are not located in the LZ, but adjacent to it.  The ruts should not have been made, but at least they were not made by any CSG member.  According to Page Perrin, a pilot who lives fulltime at Hat Creek, the LZ and adjacent land is a shallow lake in the Spring.  The tracks will get flooded and will eventually disappear.
-( Funny, we have and email from a CSG member asking who got the award for the deepest ruts - like it was a task!!. There's no excuse that makes it OK to leave an LZ in that condition)-

 
Publicizing dirty laundry like this does nothing but diminish us all.  Getting the Forest Service involved is a negative for us all.  I sure hope you reading this didn’t send off some nasty note to the NFS in a fit of self-righteous rage.
-(this dirty laundry went public to get it stopped and only went public AFTER our attempts to handle it privately were ignored. On the subject of diminishing us all, how about trashing an LZ? This page and the pictures wouldn't be here had your group acted responsibly. And, as a matter of record, our permit does require we deal with vandalism and disorderly conduct!!)-
 

We must all “get along”, because there’s so few of us and flying sites are getting rarer.  You can be absolutely confident that CSG members will not allow anything like this to happen again at an event they participate in.
-(even in ending his letter, Kurt just can't admit the truth; "this will never happen again at an event they participate in." How about this never happening again at an event your club organizes and sponsors???)
-
 
Kurt Jorgensen  #85001

 

 

 

 

 

This was, until very recently, the front page of the website of the Cloud Street Gang.

C

To call Hat Creek Rim an unregulated site is misleading at best; of course the site is regulated by the Forest Service (FS). The FS requires a use permit in order for the flying community to access the site. The use permit allows for the required facilities at the site. The FS also requires liability insurance that covers the site. How is that "unregulated"? Contrary to the claims above, Forest Service policy does not allow for the public or this group to go on public land and "maintain" anything without FS permission or a Use Permit - neither of which this group has. In 2010 the FS required a million in liability insurance, we provide that thru the USHPA; it only covers USHPA members. So, what do they do, they tell the world you don't need to be a USHPA member. Hell, leave your helmet at home too. They promote that they "are dedicated to preserving and enhancing hang gliding and paragliding free flight at the Hat Creek Rim." And they call themselves "Friends of Hat Creek Rim?!?. REALLY!!! With "friends" like this the site needs no more enemies!!!!