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Lilia Luciano

ABC 10 questions

Answers prepared by Chief Ranger Michael Doane


2-18-2019

There was a six-fold increase in homeless camps cleared, when you compare January
2018 and January 2019? Why is that? What do Park Rangers attribute that increase to?

There are many factors that cause fluctuations in the number of camps cleared and removed
by Regional Park staff. Specifically dealing with the increase of camps cleared in January
2019 to January 2018 would be staffing levels. During the first part of 2018 Parks was in
process of hiring staff to fill the Park Resource teams, which are park rangers and
maintenance staff assigned to clear camps. In January 2019 staffing contingents for both
rangers and maintenance are full; therefore, staff can respond to and clear more camps.

It should also be noted that other situations may cause a diversion of staff from homeless
camp clean ups which will reduce the number of camps cleaned. For example, the month
of February has 10 days left and our staff has cleared and removed 200 camps. That is a
significant decrease from January; however, our staff has been dealing with flooding and
other weather related situations that needed to be addressed quickly.

Lastly, there are times when you will see a spike in camps cleared and removed in a given
month, there are those times that staff has cleared an area of Regional Parks that has not
been cleared in a while and this will cause a spike.

Why have the number of citations given for “littering,” “tying ropes to trees,” and “use of
shopping cart in park tripled and quadrupled in the months that followed the U.S. Court
of Appeals ruling on Martin vs. Boise? Is there a correlation between the ban on camping
citations and the increase in other kinds of citations?

When the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rendered their decision in Martin v. Boise, Rangers
ceased to enforce the specific illegal camping ordinances within the Regional Park system.
The parkways within Regional Parks were never designed to accommodate large scale,
long term camping. There is no infrastructure in place and both parkways are subject to
flooding, which sometimes occurs very quickly. In order to fulfil our primary mandate of
providing for visitor safety, our focus has shifted to other Sacramento County ordinances
or State of California laws dealing with criminal behavior in the regional parks system for
example, littering, and removing vegetation which negatively impacts the riparian forest
and woodlands.

How many of those citations have been paid? Can you provide totals for 2018 and 2019
year?

I do not have the answer to those questions. That will have to be referred to the court
who has those records.
How many people did community service to pay for a citation?

I do not have the answer to those questions. That will have to be referred to the court
who has those records.

Where do the funds collected from these citations go?

I do not have the answer to those questions. That will have to be referred to the court
who has those records.

Sacramento County declared a homeless shelter crisis in October 2018. Did this declaration
have any impact on ranger activities?

The homeless shelter crisis declaration did not have an impact on Rangers performing our
duties and our primary mission of providing safety for our park visitors. We have three
major duties, we enforce laws to protect wildlife and lands from people, enforce laws to
protect people from wildlife and enforce laws to protect people from people. The homeless
shelter crisis declaration did not change our mission.

o Was there an instruction, mandate, advise or any kind communication made by the
County to the rangers, or from Park Ranger leadership to rangers, advising any
consideration to the fact that a crisis has been declared when citing people for
homelessness-related violations?

There has been no communications directed to Rangers regarding the declaration of a


homeless shelter crisis. The main homeless related violations were illegal camping or
camping without a permit. Those ordinances have not been enforced since the Boise
decision was made.

The other violations Ms. Luciano referenced apply to all people regardless of whether
they are experiencing homelessness. These ordinances are designed to protect the
open space and wildlife habitat

When a homeless camp is closed or cleared, where are people directed to?

We encourage them to seek and take advantage of the assistance being offered from the
County and City of Sacramento programs to help people get connected with all types of
services and housing.

Where are they expected to go?

The Ranger Division of Regional Parks does not have the answer to that question, nor is it in
our purview of responsibility.

How many referrals are made to the Department of Human Assistance?


The Park Resource Teams work with Department of Human Assistance (DHA) dealing with
individuals experiencing homelessness. In 2018, Rangers referred 32 people to DHA
programs. 12 of the 32 have been moved into permanent housing. 16 of the 32 remain in the
shelter working on housing, and four have exited the program. So far in 2019, Rangers have
referred nine individuals to DHA. At least two of those referrals have been placed in
housing. The status of the other seven individuals referred is not immediately available. The
Rangers have enjoyed a good working relationship with DHA working with the county
approved homeless initiatives.