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A memorial service will be held from 3-5 p.m. Saturday, April 16 at Friend’s Stable and Orchard, at 3468 Grand Ave. in Ojai, for Herbert London. Sandwiches, fruit and refreshments will be served. RSVP’s are appreciated by calling Aleta at (805) 646-2040 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Rock Creek office at (760) 872-8331. A luncheon and party in Herb’s honor will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 1 at the Millpond campground. RSVP’s to Rock Creek Pack Station at (760) 872-8331 are appreciated.
Born Jan. 18, 1919 in Illinois, Herb died March 31, 2011.
He spent time in Montana, and as a child grew up around Glendale in Southern California. He graduated from UCLA in 1940 with a degree in Agricultural Economics, and was then employed by American Airlines. During World War II he was active in the Military Air Transport Corps, carrying material and personnel throughout the USA.
Herb and his wife Marjorie and other partners purchased Rock Creek Pack Station in 1947. They eventually bought out the partners and continued to operate the pack station for more than 50 years. Their son Craig still runs the business. Herb loved the packing business, the wilderness, his horses and mules and, over the years provided many people with unforgettable and wonderful memories of pack trips throughout the Sierra Nevada.
Herb became very active in Inyo County government in the 1960’s, serving on the County Planning Commission and later on the Board of Supervisors. He is believed to have been the first Chairman of the Board from the northern section of the county. During his tenure on the board he was a vocal advocate for controlled growth within the County, a proponent for preserving wilderness (he opposed the construction of the Horseshoe Meadow Road), and initiated litigation with the City of Los Angeles to curtail the mining of ground water within the Owens Valley. Herb worked hard to obliterate the numerous “dumps” within the valley, feeling that a few centralized dumps were more appropriate. He was responsible for creating the Millpond Recreation Center as a county park. Herb was very involved in the formation of the National and State Wilderness Acts and attended many meetings in Washington, DC and Sacramento.
As a advocate for wilderness, Herb was also adamant that there be use of the wilderness for all types of people: those who hike and those who ride. In working with the Forest Service, he always emphasized the need to make Wilderness areas available to everyone who wanted to enjoy the natural beauty. Around the evening campfire, Herb was a story teller unequaled by any; he was funny, knowledgeable and entertaining, especially when playing his guitar.
Herb was particularly fond of his mules. He respected their attributes and would not tolerate anyone who mistreated any of his animals; horses, mules or dogs. He was a founder of Bishop Mule Days and was able to promote its successful beginning as a member of the Inyo Board of Supervisors.
Herb is survived by his wife, Aleta; son, Craig (wife Carmen); sister, Elizabeth McHale of Valley Center and his loyal Airedale Gus.
For those who wish to remember Herb, a memorial fund for trail maintenance on the Mono Pass Trail will be established in conjunction with the Sierra National Forest; or to any animal-based charity.