Be careful around cornered bureaucrats

It is when you can’t tell what they are going to do that they become dangerous. The July 4 camping weekend provided a case in point.

In the camping business, July 4 is the busiest day of the year. This year, on July 3, I got a call from one of my managers saying that the County health department had tested 20 ground squirrels in the area and found one with the plague. … in the past, we have usually been required to post warnings in the area giving safety tips to campers to avoid these animals, what to do if one is bitten, etc. At the same time, we then begin a program of poisoning all the lairs we can find. … This time the health department marched out and closed the campground on July 4 weekend, kicking out campers from all 70 sites.

It is hard to imagine that, given the whole year to test, they just suddenly happened to find a problem at one of the busiest sites in the LA area on the busiest weekend of the year, particularly since they simultaneously changed their mitigation approach from notification to closure.

Well, it made a splash. A lot of families had to change their plans for a vacation weekend and a management company had a lot of unexpected work to do. But that is what happens when there is a lack of accountability and pressures to communicate. Like threating to reduce fire and police services in a budget crunch, propaganda comes in many forms.

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