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  1. #1
    never ender
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    EBRPD really sucks

    Even beyond the whole anti-bike thing, they're really blowing it as a land management agency. I rode through Shell Ridge OS earlier today and wound up in the Diablo Foothills preserve, and the condition of the "trails" on the EBRPD side was terrible. Way too steep, eroding like crazy, covered with cattle dung and tracks.

    I've been away from the East Bay for a few years and I guess I'd forgotten how miserably EBRPD treats their land, but today's ride really bummed me out. Soil turned to dust, cattle allowed to roam freely, native grasses completely displaced which causes even more erosion...yuck. I can't get my head around why an area as environmentally-minded as the Bay keeps empowering an agency with such lousy management practices. I suspect that people in general just aren't aware of how much effort it takes to properly manage open space, especially in erosion-prone areas, and just assume that the "parks" are fine and dandy the way they are.

    Has there been any pressure to reform EBRPD, separately of the bike access issues? When the Measure WW thing was going down, I was living on the East Coast but I tried to keep current. As I remember, somebody had a website up that gave a pretty damning critique of EBRPD's management of their parks. I forwarded the link to some non-biking friends and family members in the area, and they were convinced.

    In my experience, land managers who are active in terms of restoration and trail maintenance are also the most open-minded when it comes to bike access...whereas agencies like EBRPD only seem interested in acquiring new land rather than taking care of what they already have, so issues like bike access and trail quality are just an annoyance. So maybe part of the solution is to press for a wholesale reform of EBRPD, rather than making bike access the only issue.

  2. #2
    my body breaks the falls
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    Welcome back and my condolences. I think the no on WW campaign did a great job of pinpointing the issues as not only being bike related. Take a look at the site and it's clear that "land management" is open to very broad interpretation.
    $500 million for more irresponsible EBRPD land management? No thanks.
    www.noonmeasureww.org

  3. #3
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    Hey fat weasel,

    Do you know if Ridge Line trail open to bikes?

  4. #4
    Silence! I kill you!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Biker
    Hey fat weasel,

    Do you know if Ridge Line trail open to bikes?
    Depends on who is around!
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  5. #5
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    The EBRPD likes to pull the line of the land historically being used for ranching and by continuing to allow grazing they are some how preserving the heritage. Well we had something called the gold rush as well, which cleared mountain sides of vegetation and dumbed a crap tone of silt into our states watershed. Just because it is historic doesn't mean it's appropriate for the land. Over the last month Lake Chabot has seen it's share of "trail maintenance" which has consisted of bringing there small sweco through and dozing all of the singkletrack. Out of the 4 trails only 1/2 of one trail needed such work. The rear kicker is that they didn't even fix intended problems. The berm made on the outside edge of the trail clogged a tone of the trail drainages.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgemonkey
    Depends on who is around!
    That answers my questions.

  7. #7
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    yeah, EBRPD definitely has an interesting way of doing trail "maintenance" they basically blade the entire trial, leave huge clumps of debris along the edges and turn everything else into a dust bowl....

    And after all that "maintenance" none of the ruts are out anyway so now it's loose, dusty and still rutted up....

  8. #8
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    Right. What I'm wondering is how to call more attention to these practices...I can't imagine that taxpayers at large would be happy to know what EBRPD has been doing with our money. Has EBRPD ever gotten any media attention for their poor management? Would writing lots of letters to media outlets like the Express or Chronicle be worthwhile?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fat_weasel
    Right. What I'm wondering is how to call more attention to these practices...I can't imagine that taxpayers at large would be happy to know what EBRPD has been doing with our money. Has EBRPD ever gotten any media attention for their poor management? Would writing lots of letters to media outlets like the Express or Chronicle be worthwhile?
    Here's a thought: Water quality is increasingly used as an environmental hammer. Do their grading practices negatively impact streams, lakes, or the bay? They could find themselves dealing with 3 or four gov't agencies that I can think of.

  10. #10
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    I think the pictures someone posted a while back that showed Henry Coe vs. Mission Peak (or any other EBRP really) were glaring because you're basically talking about a very similar landscape and ecosystem. However, when you see those two locations side by side you see how drastically different they look. Honestly though, I'm just not sure that your average hiker, equestrian or family out for a weekend picnic really cares about trail conditions like we do as mountain bikers.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    Here's a thought: Water quality is increasingly used as an environmental hammer. Do their grading practices negatively impact streams, lakes, or the bay? They could find themselves dealing with 3 or four gov't agencies that I can think of.
    Yeah, I've often wondered about that. As far as I know, EBRPD doesn't even file negative declarations (the opposite of an EIR) for grading projects...if somebody were to do a full water quality study in one of the parks and then file a lawsuit under CEQA, EBRPD might wind up in pretty hot water. That's a pretty lengthy and expensive process, but it's worth thinking about.

    Any environmental lawyers on this board?

  12. #12
    Paper or plastic?
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    Average Joe could not care less how the park looks. They just hike up to the top of Mission Peak or walk to the picnic table and think that it's absolutely marvelous. Actually, the average Joe never sets foot in the parks to begin with.

    The real issue is not so much the grading as it is the type of trails they got. The steep fall line fireroads will always erode and therefore "require" regular grading. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the district is not too interested in replacing these fireroads by more sustainable trails.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fat_weasel
    Yeah, I've often wondered about that. As far as I know, EBRPD doesn't even file negative declarations (the opposite of an EIR) for grading projects...if somebody were to do a full water quality study in one of the parks and then file a lawsuit under CEQA, EBRPD might wind up in pretty hot water. That's a pretty lengthy and expensive process, but it's worth thinking about.

    Any environmental lawyers on this board?
    I was thinking more along the lines of citizen's complaints to the watchdog agencies. I don't know the exact process, but it is my understanding that it was pressure from both state and federal fish and game agencies that got MROSD to do trail re-alignment at El Corte Madera ( to eliminate erosion and sedimentation into potential salmon habitat).

    Like wise it is pressure from the state and feds over water quality that has changed erosion control on construction projects all over the state. I don't know if it would apply to road grading inside a park, but elsewhere, grading requires a SWPPP (pronounced swip) or stormwater pollution prevention plan. That's why you see silt fences, straw wattles, hay bale fences, gravel bags, and all that other stuff around any kind of construction site these days. Even clean dirt going into a storm drain or creek has become a big no-no.

  14. #14
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    Yeah, I was gonna say....

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    I was thinking more along the lines of citizen's complaints to the watchdog agencies. I don't know the exact process, but it is my understanding that it was pressure from both state and federal fish and game agencies that got MROSD to do trail re-alignment at El Corte Madera ( to eliminate erosion and sedimentation into potential salmon habitat).

    Like wise it is pressure from the state and feds over water quality that has changed erosion control on construction projects all over the state. I don't know if it would apply to road grading inside a park, but elsewhere, grading requires a SWPPP (pronounced swip) or stormwater pollution prevention plan. That's why you see silt fences, straw wattles, hay bale fences, gravel bags, and all that other stuff around any kind of construction site these days. Even clean dirt going into a storm drain or creek has become a big no-no.
    If Terri the trail Nazi can make Tamarancho pay for an enviro impact study on the trailsystem because of claimed damage, can't we do the same to put a damper on this dubmass trail shaving?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    I was thinking more along the lines of citizen's complaints to the watchdog agencies. I don't know the exact process, but it is my understanding that it was pressure from both state and federal fish and game agencies that got MROSD to do trail re-alignment at El Corte Madera ( to eliminate erosion and sedimentation into potential salmon habitat).

    Like wise it is pressure from the state and feds over water quality that has changed erosion control on construction projects all over the state. I don't know if it would apply to road grading inside a park, but elsewhere, grading requires a SWPPP (pronounced swip) or stormwater pollution prevention plan. That's why you see silt fences, straw wattles, hay bale fences, gravel bags, and all that other stuff around any kind of construction site these days. Even clean dirt going into a storm drain or creek has become a big no-no.
    That's an idea too.

    Here's the CalEPA environmental complaint form: http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/database/CalE...aint/index.cfm

    And here's the reporting info for the Regional Water Quality Control Board: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/sanfra..._problem.shtml

    Fill 'em out, call back a week later to bug them. Tell your friends.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fat_weasel
    Yeah, I've often wondered about that. As far as I know, EBRPD doesn't even file negative declarations (the opposite of an EIR) for grading projects...if somebody were to do a full water quality study in one of the parks and then file a lawsuit under CEQA, EBRPD might wind up in pretty hot water. That's a pretty lengthy and expensive process, but it's worth thinking about.

    Any environmental lawyers on this board?
    Sounds like a slippery slope to me. The dilemma is that this could just result in trail closures. Think of how the EBRPD has operated in the past - when all else fails, blame the bikes and close the trails. Then the ranchers can still ranch and hikers can continue to follow the cow paths.
    $500 million for more irresponsible EBRPD land management? No thanks.
    www.noonmeasureww.org

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg
    Average Joe could not care less how the park looks. They just hike up to the top of Mission Peak or walk to the picnic table and think that it's absolutely marvelous. Actually, the average Joe never sets foot in the parks to begin with.

    The real issue is not so much the grading as it is the type of trails they got. The steep fall line fireroads will always erode and therefore "require" regular grading. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the district is not too interested in replacing these fireroads by more sustainable trails.
    Bingo.

  18. #18
    Paper or plastic?
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    Quote Originally Posted by twindaddy
    Sounds like a slippery slope to me. The dilemma is that this could just result in trail closures. Think of how the EBRPD has operated in the past - when all else fails, blame the bikes and close the trails. Then the ranchers can still ranch and hikers can continue to follow the cow paths.
    TD is absolutely right. We should focus our efforts on supporting new single track at Pleasanton Ridge rather than complaining about the grading, which won't go away anyhow.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

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