Citizens Group Aims To End Bungee Jumping From 'Bridge To Nowhere' Citing Environmental Concerns
Since 1989, thrill-seekers have bungee jumped off the 120-foot "Bridge to Nowhere" — located on privately owned land — over the San Gabriel River in the Angeles National Forest.
Now, a volunteer citizens group is aiming to stop the operation — at least until an environmental analysis is done.
Attorney Mitchell Tsai filed a lawsuit against L.A. County last Friday on behalf of the Save the East Fork Association. The organization says they are concerned about the environmental impacts of increased tourism and also potential safety hazards.
"[There's] increased traffic and parking congestion due to the amount of people who are coming in to bungee jump, the operation of a helicopter that they use to facilitate their operations, as well as the discharge of waste from an un-permitted bathroom from the site," said Tsai.
Ben White, the president of the Save the East Fork Association, also said his group has serious concerns about safety in the event of a natural disaster.
"It's a 5-mile walk in and a 5-mile walk out," White said. "If there were a fire or flood or even an earthquake which you know, that dislodges rocks, there's lots of narrow places and such that you have to traverse. How are people going to get out of there in an emergency?"
At Issue: A Special Waiver
The group is asking for a court order directing the Department of Regional Planning to withdraw the waiver granted to Bungee America to operate on the site which is surrounded by the Angeles National Forest, Sheep Mountain Wilderness and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.
According to the filing, a special waiver was granted in 2018 to allow the company to operate while the department processed its application for proper permits. Bungee America, on its website, states it has a "perfect safety record."
LAist reached out to a representative for the county Board of Supervisors, which is also named in the suit, for comment, but did not hear back.
In a promotional video on Bungee America's website , founder Ron Jones, says people "keep coming back to Bungee American because it's a full day, guided, back country adventure."
The company advertises packages "starting at $99" and adds: "All year long, we witness people change their lives at the Bridge to Nowhere, and have the most fun while doing it!"
A call to Bungee America was not immediately returned.