A Critique of Position Statements and NFH Election Endorsements offered by the “California Cabins Yahoo Group”

The Huntington Lake Association under the leadership of Chris Oberti and the recently formed California Cabins Yahoo Group under the organizational leadership of Roy Glauthier have recently articulated position statements and candidate endorsements for the NFH election that is now underway.

Their proposed slate and their reasons suggest that voting for their endorsements is essential for: 1) the successful passage and implementation of the Cabin Fee Act (CFA); and 2) the maintenance of California’s influence in NFH, in keeping with its membership.  As a California cabin owner, I too would be very concerned if I thought CFA and our influence within NFH were threatened by this election.

However, I find their claims totally without merit, and I have selected just a few examples, among several, to illustrate my point.

  1. Doug Gann, a demonstrated leader and one of the two principal architects of the Cabin Fee Act (CFA) is not endorsed.  That’s unbelievable!Beyond his years of tireless contributions to drafting and refining the CFA, you need to know that Doug is a masterful administrator and negotiator whose collective skills have been instrumental in CFA’s successful progress to date.  Just last week Doug was in Washington meeting with key Forest Service personnel on our behalf to promote the timely passage of our legislation, and he will likely be our representative presenting testimony at the Senate’s Public Lands and Forest subcommittee hearing on S. 1906 to be held March 22, 2012.  As a candidate, there are none more qualified and prepared to serve than Doug.  He is the crème de la crème among candidates!
  2. Maintaining California’s Influence on the NFH Board in Keeping with Membership: you need to know there is no provision in the NFH bylaws or policies that stipulate the number of Board members by region or state.  However, it would seem reasonable to assume the distribution of the Board members would roughly reflect the distribution of the NFH membership.

California’s representation on the NFH Board is NOT threatened by this election!

California is reasonably represented on the Board today and will be tomorrow. The current NFH Board of Directors is composed of seven (7) California cabin owners out of 15 total, and the slate recommended by eleven (11) current Directors and past Director Pete Bailey, also a principal architect of the CFA, would again seat seven (7) California cabin owners as Directors. Further, it is important to note that while maintaining California’s representation, this slate offers the most diverse number of Board candidates by regions (5) and states (6) that we have ever had the opportunity to consider.  A comparison is provided for your review in the Election Data and Narrative Fact Sheets.

What is the number for Californian’s on the Board if seats were prorated based on membership?  NFH membership data available for 2010 indicates that number would be eight (8).

The Huntington Lake Association and California Cabin Yahoo Group’s slate would seat nine (9) California cabin owners on the Board.  Seemingly a variance of +/- one (1) from eight (8) between the two slates is acceptable.  However, you need to know if their slate were adopted, NFH would have three (3) Board members from the Huntington Lake Association (Geoff Anderson, Jim Wheary and Dennis Driggers), while Chris Oberti, their association president, also serves as the NFH Communications Committee Chair overseeing cabin owner communications via the NFH newsletter and website.

  1. 6000 Cabins Transferred to Private Ownership:  The observation tendered bythe group of 12 present and past NFH Directors that some 6000 cabins have been lost between 1965 to the present, and that NFH needs to develop a stronger political presence to sustain the recreation residence program was responded to by the Huntington Lake and Yahoo Group with the comment, “Except for a small number, those 6,000 cabins were transferred to private ownership, which should be celebrated, not mourned.”  However, Barry Davis, retired Forest Service District Ranger and Forest Supervisor disputes that assertion and documents that transfers of Forest Service lands to private ownership are and have been very rare.

I could go on, but these examples should suffice to persuade you that the positions and endorsements of the California Cabins Yahoo Group and Huntington Lake Association are poorly conceived, self-serving and lacking in substance.

As NFH members we have been presented a slate of carefully considered and vetted candidates by the Nomination Committee that now appear on the ballot.  We will be best served to vote our preferences from the choices provided.

As California cabin owners we should not employ provincial thinking in making our voting choices.  Rather, we need to select the best candidates and promote a truly nationwide organization that will endow the hybrid vigor that will benefit us intellectually and politically in meeting the challenges that lie ahead.  PLEASE VOTE and share this perspective with your fellow cabin owners.


George Cardinet III

Pinecrest California Cabin Owner

NFH Director and C2 Coordinator for Northern California

and Bay Area Congressional Districts