Chinese Forestry Officials Visit Angeles, Ask Questions About Operations

Chinese delegates and Angeles forest reps pose for a group photo outside the Angeles headquarters.Chinese delegates and Angeles National Forest officials pose for a group photo outside the Angeles headquarters.

ARCADIA, Calif.--A distinguished group of Chinese forestry experts on a U.S. tour stopped by the Angeles National Forest recently for a fast-paced question and answer session, packing a lot in during an hour visit.

“How many fires do you have a year?” a visitor asked in his native language. Fei Zhang, an interpreter for the group, converted the words into English.

“In a 10-year average, we have about 300 fires annually,” said James Hall, acting fire management officer at the March 5 meeting. “We suppress 95 to 97 percent of them (quickly).”

Most of the 20 visitors were from China’s State Forestry Administration. The tour had been arranged by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia. The visitors had previously met with Forest Service officials in Washington D.C. and Atlanta.

Marty Dumpis, right, and James Hall of the Angeles hold up framed forest photo for Chinese visitors.James Hall, left, and Marty Dumpis show Chinese delegation a picture of downtown Los Angeles with Angeles mountains in the background.

Marty Dumpis, deputy supervisor of the Angeles, described the forest’s steep terrain and other properties.

“We have high mountains,” Dumpis said during the exchange. “The majority of the Angeles is about 70 percent slope. We have about $2 billion worth of infrastructure in the forest, and we have tremendous resource needs. We have about 23 endangered species.”

Other questions covered the structure of the forest itself, law enforcement, how the budget is approved, and numbers of Angeles employees.

In the end, came an exchange of mementos from each country, and plenty of smiles.

“The whole group thought the meeting went great and they learned a lot about the Angeles National Forest,” said Zhang afterward.

 Interpreter Fei Zhang speaks during the Chinese delegation visit.

 Interpreter Fei Zhang speaks during the recent Chinese delegation visit to the Angeles National Forest.