Friends of Cougar

Email msg from Hoodoo

Cougar Hot Springs: Paradise Promised


Here's an email received from Chuck Shepard, owner of Hoodoo 4/8/05 3:46pm

Dear Cal:      
       Thank you for your thoughtful email. I am not sure what gave you the idea that Hoodoo's management would change things for the worse at the springs. Remember, we are only taking over management. We are not purchasing Terwilliger. While it is true that the management may be more intense than that of the USFS, it is partially for that purpose that we have been asked to manage. The feeling has been that the area needs to be a little more secure with more hands on management. HOWEVER, that in no way means paved pools or anything like that. I don't think that it means more gravel on the paths either unless a lot of users and the USFS request it. (A percentage of the fees charged will go toward upkeep above daily maintenance.) Regardless, I have not heard them even mention anything like that. As far as the sale of juice is concerned, I am assuming that this is just a symbolic point. It is possible that things that are normally sold at the campgrounds could also be sold at the small attendant kiosk at the head of the path at the road. So far, however, that only means firewood or ice. Right now we do not have plans to sell either one at Terwilliger since it would work better to continue to sell them at the campgrounds instead. If we had a strong demand for that sort of thing, it probably would be considered, but that is not part of our operating plan, so even if the demand were strong, you wouldn't see anything like that soon. (also remember no glass is allowed)
       Finally, as to what I think you feel is your most important point, that of being able to continue the outdoor experience with or without clothes, I don't think that you will have a problem with Hoodoo. You stress that you are not a hippie. I assume that you feel OK about anyone, because I was a hippie in the 60s and early 70s and continued to live on a commune for many years. Unfortunately, I had to grow up and finally move away after I started my family, but my many years of rural living with the understanding that we are best off if we live and let live, is still with me. When my community would go outside our boundaries to places like Terwilliger we would normally not wear clothes. We did nothing immoral, it was only a lifestyle. However, we did understand the concerns of others and that is a request we will make of all those at the pools. If a family with kids is there and after being asked, they say they would hope that you keep your clothes on until after they leave, I hope that you would do so. I don't really think that it would be appropriate if they asked you to put on clothes if you were there first though.
       The signs saying that clothes are optional will stay up, and perhaps be made more noticeable. We will not enforce any clothing codes at all though. If you go naked in front of people who do not like it, that is up to you. I don't think that it is nice, but people will be warned that clothing is optional. I am also not comfortable about people taking pictures there without express permission, and I would probably ask our attendants to talk with those picture takers, but again, that is really not our job.
       Our job is to keep the place free of liter, clean the CXT toilets including having them pumped, and clean and turn the compost toilets. We are also charged with trying to be a source of security, although we are not a police agency. Finally, the cost of upkeep at the springs is surprisingly high. The USFS has lost a lot of money taking care of it, so our job will be to collect the fees, a portion of which will go back into improvements here and in the surrounding area.
       It is easy to contact me if you have any problems. I will try to be present for up to a day a week for the first month or so. Later I will drop in to make sure that things are going well and I will always try to be aware of what is going on. It is very easy to contact me at this email address. My email address is also listed on our webpage at (check Chuck's Page or Chuck's Picks) Please feel free to email me about any concerns or information. In fact I would really appreciate it if you would and I would also appreciate it if you would let others know that I am available.
Chuck Shepard, President of Hoodoo Family Recreation


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