About California Pines

California Pines is a developemnt created in the late '60s and may have been the first to be marketed through infomercials. It's in the middle of nowhere (more specifically: in Modoc County, Northern California with parts in the Modoc National Forest). There are about 15,000 one-acre lots divided between nine (?) "units", many (perhaps most) of which are up for sale, or have been sold through, Modoc County tax sales. Which is to say, that most owners have decided it wasn't worth paying the property taxes. That might tell you something about this development.

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Our little slice of... heaven?

The Official California Pines

Well huzzah! I checked on May 18, 2013 and it looks like the POA has a new web site (or two): the Official Online Home and a Facebook page. Unlike every other site concerning this development, both are upbeat and cheery.

The POA also sends out a newsletter (in actual paper!), the last edition of which is the Summer of 2013 (as of Nov 2012); I think this is the second one I've seen, but at least in theory they've been published since at least 2002.

According to this newsletter:

Mailing address

California Pines POA
HC 4 Box 45010
Alturas, CA 96010

  • Cal Pines Offices233-5842
  • President Jim Perry
  • Vice President Dale Hadley
  • Vice President Jodi Frey
  • Vice President James Niemiec
  • Treasurer Joe Munoz
  • Board Member Ron Brack
  • Secretary and On-Site Admin Richard Mund
  • Office Manager Karen Hallman

Mailing address

California Pines POA
HC 4 Box 45010
Alturas, CA 96010

  • POA 530-233-4801
  • Cal Pines Offices 233-5842
  • POA Admin 233-5747
  • POA FAX 530-233-1186

The next board meeting will be on June 12, 2013, held on-site at the Cal Pines Lodge from 1:00 to 4:00pm. Annual meetings (and elections) are held in March. In the past, they've been held at the Peppermill in Reno, Nevada.

The newsletter contains an article on page 14 from the On-Site Admin entitled "Many improvements taking place" that concerns itself with improvements to the Lodge and RV park. I'm sure that the owners of lots in the other units will be thrilled.

The newsletter also notes that if you're planning to build, call the office at 530-233-4801 or stop by the CP-POA Admin office. (Editor's note: wherever that is; no address was given.)

California Pines is in District 4 of Modoc County, represented by Jim Wills (cell phone: 530-640-1963). See the Official Site for the County of Modoc.

Some General Inforation


Modoc County is a very low-population county in the Northeast corner of California.

The Modoc National Forest is kind of cool place if you're into lava-related geology.

News related to California Pines comes up in the Modoc Independent News blog. There is a newspaper in Modoc County, The Modoc County Record but it doesn't seem very useful for current California Pines property owners.

If you're interested in buying some land, you might want to get a copy of the CC&Rs. Good luck getting them from the Property Owners Association. Maybe you can find them here at Auction.com. Also, be sure to check with local (that would be in Alturas) realtors about how buildable the lots are (they're really not unless you want to sink a heap o' money into them).

Selling the Land

This is one of the many developments sold by National Recreational Properties, Inc., based in Irvine, California. The properties sold for somewhere between $15 and $30 grand (with "easy" down and monthly payments). Currently you can pick up lots for less than $2k and often less than $1k at the tax auctions.

I hope this story from Ripoff Report isn't true for most people, but I suspect it might be.

And another entitled Is NRPI Legit or a Scam?. If you read it, you might conclude that it's the later.

And the list goes on.... from Scams, Shams & More Flim_flams. It's just getting depressing.

Most buyers were probably sucked in by informertials like these still found at Informercial Hell.

An 2005 article entitled AP Story Casts Dim Light on Cal Pines sales from the Modoc Record on January 6, 2005 cites "a recent Associated Press" story that stops just short of calling it illegal. I'm guessing that the story that they referred to was one by Brian Melley of the Associated Press. The only copy I found was published in the Houston Chronicle on January 10, 2005 entitled "With Land Deals Come Regrets". This story deals with NRPI with some examples of California Pines.


Most unofficial information and opinion about California Pines stopped in late 2010, but you can still find lots of good, if dated, info and opinion.

There seems to have been many instances of somebody coming into possession of a California Pines lot, being outraged, starting a web site, then disappearing. Some of the links below will be no good by the time you read this.

Michael Janzen, who brings us Tiny House Design and is a proponent of "attainable and sustainable" housing, brings some excellent information about California Pines:

Possibly the most useful information comes by way of his web page on Dissolving Your HOA/POA and the provided links.


Tiny House Loophole at California Pines

Rainwater Collection

There is an unoffical website for the California Pines Property Owners which also doesn't seem to have been updated since 2010. It has some relation to the also not-maintained (since 2009) Calfiornia Pines Lodge page. Amongst the more interesting things you find is a picture of the lake which is no longer there.

A more recent site was http://www.california-pines.net : What's Happening at California Pines the answer to which seems to be "nothing new". Google as identified this site as a malware site so I've removed the link, but left the address so that you can copy into your browser and be infected by a trojan.

Best viewed in pretty much anything other than Internet Explorer (which bites)