Reserve Use Guidelines

Access to the reserve is by permission only. This policy protects reserve resources and helps staff manage use. The reserve is fully fenced and the gates are always locked. To use the James Reserve for research or teaching, you must submit a use application in advance. Fees are incurred with use.

We welcome qualified users to the James Reserve and the Oasis de los Osos. All use must be consistent with the mission of the University of California Natural Reserve System.

The leader of each group is responsible for ensuring that each participant is aware of Reserve policies and rules, listed on the application and below, as well as compliance with these rules.

Reserve policies and rules

First aid kits, epipens, and AED are in the bottom left cabinet as you enter the kitchen of the Trailfinders Lodge

Fire extinguishers are stocked inside all buildings. There are also more in the following locations:

  • by the picnic shed in front of the main entrance
  • north side of the building by the office entrance
  • parking lot by the firewood shed
  • wall of the cooking shed in the campground.

Do not leave food in your vehicles or outside to discourage bears.  When not in the Lodge, please close all windows and doors.

  • All individuals must print and sign a Waiver prior to entering the Reserve. Waivers can be emailed before the visit or delivered to staff upon entering the Reserve.
  • Smoking is prohibited on the Reserve
  • Leave gates as you find them
  • Vehicles may be parked only in the lower parking lot except when loading and unloading.
  • Off-road vehicle travel is prohibited
  • Pets are not allowed
  • Friends and family are not permitted at the Reserve unless they are directly involved with the proposed use that is approved in your application.
  • All trash must be removed from the Reserve. Under no circumstances should any trash be left, buried or burned on the Reserve. You may not leave trash at Lake Fulmor.
  • Use of the kitchen implies that pots, dishes, stove, and counters must be cleaned as soon as possible. Failing to do so will attract ants. Staff are vigilant about enforcing this policy.
  • Collecting is permitted only with written permission of the Reserve Director and appropriate collecting permits from state and federal agencies
  • Approved Animal Care Protocols from the applicant’s home institution are required to work with animals on the Reserve.
  • Viable seed cannot be used as bait for live trapping.
  • A $50 cleaning fee will be applied to all overnight stays. This fee will be removed from the invoice if users leave their accommodations clean to hotel standards (Refer to Cleaning section below).
  • Do not disturb research plots or subjects
  • Research plots should be clearly marked and identified with the name of the researcher and the date
  • At the conclusion of the project, markers and equipment will be removed by the user
  • No collecting or trapping is allowed without approval of the appropriate use application.
  • Users will familiarize themselves with “House Rules” posted at Reserve facilities
  • Camping is only allowed in the campground across the creek from the lower parking lot
  • Check out time is noon, unless prior arrangements have been made with the Reserve Director
  • Conserve electricity and turn off all lights when not in use, especially in bathrooms. The entire Reserve is off the grid, and relies on solar power.
  • Minimize use of water. Reserve water comes from our own well, and requires electricity to pump.
  • Use of the following (and similar) appliances is forbidden due to power restrictions: coffeemakers, toasters, electric skillets, hairdryers, curling irons, etc.
  • Please leave the doors to the the buildings closed when not in use. We have inquisitive wildlife and need to keep them out of the building
  • Open fires are generally not allowed. They may be allowed during exceptional conditions of cold and wet weather WITH explicit authorization by Reserve staff. Barbecues are generally allowed if there is no wind and if supervised by responsible people. The Reserve is surrounded by thousands of acres of U.S. Forest Service land and we have a responsibility to keep the surrounding forest and community safe. Most wildfires in the San Bernardino National Forest are caused by humans. Wildfire suppression is extremely expensive. Forest use restrictions are in place to protect the public and natural resources and the Reserve follows these regulations.
  • Do not bring firewood. Non-local firewood may be infested with Goldspotted oak borers, which cause mortality to oak trees.
  • If you use the museum study collections, please be very careful with specimens as many are old and fragile. Specimens should be replaced where they were found. Make sure specimen case doors are fully closed and latched when not in use.
  • Do not touch any electronic equipment located outdoors in the Reserve, including cameras, weather stations, solar power arrays, antennas, etc.
  • Playing Frisbee or ball is only permitted in the parking lot area.

Those who fail to follow these rules so will be suspended from future use of the James Reserve. Use of the Reserve and facilities is a privilege. Visitors are expected to leave the grounds and facilities in better shape than when they arrived. Reserve staff do not provide any cleaning or janitorial services.

Cleaning Requirements

The Reserve has only two full-time employees, and does not have the budget to hire janitors or housekeepers. This is our home, and we expect guests to behave respectfully. We rely on you to care for the James Reserve and keep it ready to receive future users. A cleaning checklist will be given to all visitors upon arrival. Failing to comply with ANY of the tasks on the list will result in a $50 cleaning fee.

Each building is provided with all of the cleaning products and tools necessary to perform the tasks below.

All lights should be turned off, all appliances unplugged, and the heat should be turned off.

All floors need to be swept and mopped, including the spaces under beds and tables.

Must be closed and the blinds pulled down.

must be washed, dried, and put away. The sink must be spotless and free of food remains. The stove, its hood, and the walls surrounding the stove must be clean and free of grease. The kitchen table, chairs, counters, and cabinet doors must be wiped clean. The interiors of cabinets must be free of crumbs, stains, or food remains. The refrigerator must be spotless inside, unplugged, and left open. Trash cans must be clean inside, and trash must be removed from the reserve by users. Please leave everything organized as you found it.

Sinks and showers must be disinfected inside and out. The toilet and toilet seat must be disinfected and perfectly clean inside and outside. The toilet bowl must be scrubbed with bowl cleaner and toilet brush. The shower mat must be shaken vigorously outside and hung back in the bathroom. The mirrors mjust be spotless. The floor must be swept and mopped carefully. The trash can must be emptied.

The beds must have their covers on and left clean. The windows must be closed and the blinds pulled down and closed. The floor must be swept and mopped, including under the beds. The bunk bed ladders must be in place.

The woodstove must be cleaned and the ashes disposed inside the metal bucket.

All trash and recycling must be packed and taken off the reserve; visitors are responsible for off-site disposal.

Safety Regulations

Use of the James Reserve, like any wild and natural area, may involve some risks. The Regents of the University of California will not accept any liability for accidents which might occur on or near the University property. Your use of the James Reserve is done strictly at your own risk! You can avoid potential problems by being aware of the following possible risks.

Never hike alone, always work with at least one other person, and make sure that your instructor knows where you are going and when to expect you back.

Rattlesnakes are common and rarely rattle, so please be alert. They will bite you if you step on them. In case of a rattlesnake bite, remain calm and find someone who can drive a vehicle to take you to medical care. Do not attempt to apply first aid methods such as snakebite kits, constriction tourniquets, or ice packs. The latest research indicates that doing nothing other than getting to a hospital is the best treatment. Do not kill a snake even if it bites you. The hospital does not need the animal in order to administer anti-venom or other treatments

The nearest paramedic is 7 miles south on Highway 243 in Pine Cove. There is a telephone in the Trailfinder Lodge. The nearest pay telephone is 2 1/2 miles south from Lake Fulmor on Highway 243 at Lawler Lodge County Park facility. Dial 911 for all emergency requests (medical, fire, criminal).

Mountain lions are common in the area. If you encounter a cat, and it is not acting aggressive, leave it alone. If it is acting aggressive, stand up straight, hold up your arms to look bigger, continue staring it in the eyes, and make lots of noise. Do not run or crouch. If injured by any wildlife, make sure that you can identify what it was and inform appropriate medical personnel.

If you smell or see smoke while working outdoors, please return to the Reserve and report it to a Reserve staff member, or call 911 and report it to the authorities.

If you are in the field and hear the emergency siren, return immediately to the Trailfinders Lodge for further instruction. If there is a need to evacuate, the parking lot is the designated gathering point.

Swimming in Lake Fulmor is strictly at your own risk. There are no lifeguards, and there may be broken glass and fishing lines under the water.

Do not handle rodents, they may carry bubonic plague. Exposure to rodent saliva, urine, blood or feces may lead to potential infection from Hantavirus. Ticks in the San Jacinto Mountains are known to carry Lyme disease.