EDITOR: I feel the criticisms of Sheriff D’Agostini about his U.S. Forest Service policy are unjustified.
I worked for Sheriff Pacileo and Sheriff McDonald from 1976 to 1997 as both a deputy and undersheriff. Because of the foresight of these sheriffs they opted to contract for reimbursement for time and equipment used enforcing state laws instead of giving state law enforcement powers to the U.S. Forest Service rangers because of the potential issues our current sheriff is currently facing.
The three law enforcement rangers at the time worked as liaison with the U.S. Forest Service and local law enforcement, though they did have the authority to arrest on U.S. regulations if necessary. The U.S. Magistrate authorized sheriff deputies to cite for violation of U.S. regulations directly to his court. This policy worked well for both the county and the Forest Service.
I believe Sheriff D’Agostini is taking the correct action in protecting the liabilities of the citizens of El Dorado County.