Shane Krogen Died Today. A Sad Day For Central Cal Climbers


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Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 14, 2013 - 12:53am PT

Shane Krogen, once owner of California Outfitters here in Fresno, died today falling out of a helicopter while on a marijuana clean up in Sequoia National Park. A real loss for so many climbers/mountaineers/outdoor enthusiasts who used to hang out at and frequent the shop. Everybody knew Shane. Really sad. Sorry to post here but I thought it fitting as he was so well known in the Central California outdoor community.

My sincere condolences,

Scott Jett

A California outdoorsman who led crews of volunteers through the Sierra Nevada mountains repairing trails and cleaning up marijuana grow sites has died after falling 50 feet from a helicopter, authorities said.

Shane Krogen was to be lowered in a harness to a remote cleanup site in Sequoia National Forest when he fell Thursday morning, said Lt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

"Everyone else had used it too," Foy said about the harness. Foy was at the scene but did not see the fall.

The helicopter was flown by the California National Guard 129th Air Rescue Wing.

Krogen, 57, of Fresno was the founder and executive director of the High Sierra Trail Crew, a group that has worked with the fish and wildlife agency since 2008 and U.S. Forest Service since 1995 to remove trash and contaminants from illegal and remote marijuana gardens.

Krogen and some of his crew were among a handful of volunteers trained to be airlifted and lowered into difficult terrain.

"They were trained by the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the military," Foy said. "We just don't know what happened yet."

Fair weather and remote terrain have lured scores of people to establish illegal marijuana grow sites across the Sierra Nevada wilderness in recent years. They dam streams and spray pesticides and rodenticides, many that are banned in the U.S. They also leave behind tons of trash from campsites that are occupied during the five-month growing season.

"Shane was passionate about the environment," said his friend and fellow trail crew volunteer Warren Sargent. "He had a vision. He knew we had to get the chemicals out of those sites before they got into the water and caused even bigger problems."

Foy and about 15 other law enforcement agents had hiked to the grow site early Thursday. At about 10 a.m., Krogen and four other cleanup volunteers were to be transported by helicopter to a spot about 100 feet away.

"We could hear on the radio that the helicopter was coming in and lowering the crew members," Foy said. "Then a call went out that somebody had been injured."

Foy's team included at least three emergency medical technicians who were at Krogan's side within two minutes despite heavy brush and steep terrain. Krogen was alive, but his breathing was shallow.

The helicopter crew lowered a stretcher and hauled Krogen back up, then notified the trauma hospital in Visalia they were on the way.

"We all hiked out. Shane was breathing when we saw him. We all thought he was going to make it," Foy said.

His death caused an outpouring of grief among his friends, and tributes from those who worked alongside him.

"Shane's dedication to California's natural resources was extraordinary," fish and wildlife assistant chief John Baker said in a statement. "He and his crew have worked tirelessly for several years to maintain access to the high Sierra for all Californians."

In 2012 Krogen received the U.S. Forest Service's Regional Forester's Volunteer of the Year Award, and in 2011 he won the Chief's Award.

"He not only engaged in the reclamation of hundreds of marijuana sites, but also cleared trails after fires," the U.S. Forest Service said in a written statement. "His commitment and passion were evident in all the work he touched."

In July Krogen was quoted in an Associated Press story about the volunteers who help the U.S. Forest Service maintain trails during tight budget times.

"Most of us sit at a desk all week and at the end of the week have no tangible outcome for our effort," he said. "Whether they are cutting out a tree or building rock steps, they have a sense of pride and ownership."


Sep 14, 2013 - 01:52am PT
sounds like a good man, unlike the scum they were cleaning up after.

Sep 14, 2013 - 03:40am PT
RIP, brother...


Big Wall climber
So Cal
Sep 14, 2013 - 09:46am PT
This is terrible news. He sounds like a wonderful person. Condolences to his family & friends.

Cleaning up illegal grow sites is a great cause and is deserving of more attention by outdoor enthusiasts.

Trad climber
Sep 14, 2013 - 09:52am PT
Very sad story, Micronut. My condolences to his family and friends.

Social climber
Sep 14, 2013 - 10:41am PT
hey there say, micronut...

oh my, this is awful... :(

i am so very sorry to hear this, and sad for the family...
i will be in their corner, at least praying...

words never seem to make these situation have the
deepness for folks, that they should... :(

thank you for sharing with everyone, so
compassion can reach out...

dear family and loved ones, to shane,
my condolences and prayers for you, as you go through this...
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Sep 14, 2013 - 12:06pm PT
Very sad.

Just another example of how, though perhaps well intentioned, the drug laws do more harm than good.

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Sep 14, 2013 - 01:05pm PT
Really Sad! Shane was a great guy and always very upbeat and suportive when we talked to him at his California Outfitters store. Sorry to hear about this. This did not happen in Sequoia National Park, it happened in the Sequoia National Forest.

Trad climber
Sierra Nevada
Sep 16, 2013 - 01:19pm PT
Formal notice to all Trail Crew Friends:

A memorial service will be held in honor of Shane Krogen on Saturday, September 21, at 10:00am. The location will be Woodward Park, 10 E. Audubon, Fresno, California. Just follow the cars to the location within the park. This will be an open air service, all are welcome. Please bring your camp chair.

Bishop, CA
Sep 16, 2013 - 02:05pm PT
My condolences to family and friends. It is so hard to lose people working for the greater good.

Trad climber
Sep 16, 2013 - 04:37pm PT
Very sad. He sold me my first set of climbing nuts and a harness. The central valley took a hit loosing him.

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Sep 16, 2013 - 04:38pm PT
I can't be there on Saturday, which is a pity because Shane was a great guy who we all will miss.

Paul Martzen

Trad climber
Sep 16, 2013 - 07:35pm PT
The marijuana clean up stuff was a small and relatively recent aspect of the work that Shane and the High Sierra Trail Crew accomplished. What Shane created is a venue for people from all over and all walks of life to do physical work that gives back to the forests. The High Sierra Trail Crew helps people connect with and give to the forests by maintaining trails and facilities through out the national forests. It is the kind of effort that will really make a difference in this world. It was Shane's dream for many years when he had his shop. He was really excited when he first started it and probably had no idea how successful it would become. I am sure that he often had no idea how to keep it going. It is like the Yosemite Facelift but ongoing in a variety of locations. Honor Shane's legacy and help out.

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