In December 2007, the SDMBA republished a posting from the Multiuse Trails Coalition, believing that we'd all benefit from updated awareness regarding the preservation of public access to Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. It's now an article on the SDMBA site, entitled New Trails and Old Guard Issues in Los Penasquitos for 2008
The results of this part of SDMBA's ongoing efforts to keep San Diegans aware and active to preserve and maintain our trails and the community's access to them were varied. Numerous volunteers made phone calls to Councilman Brian Maienschein's office about the Camino Ruiz Connector trail to voice concern over community access. Upon learning that the decision to open the trail without bicycle access was a suggestion made by the Ranger in response to the Councilman's eagerness for the trail to be opened ASAP/before the sightline trimming for bikes was done, many volunteered time to assist with the labor -- a gesture that was met with appreciation by the Ranger (Rick Thompson, good guy). In response, the Councilman's office affirmed on Dec. 21st that the councilman fully supported full human-powered access (hike/bike) at initial opening, so long as the Ranger Thompson was able to get the work done --and that they expected us to step up and volunteer the labor we'd promised.
There has also been an upsurge in locals willing and looking to get involved to "preserve our preserve"...you know if you read in this forum.
Of course, as noted in the article published by SDMBA, the anti-bike folks also took note, but with a very different perspective. The link and various alarmed commentaries hit at least two equestrian mailing lists that Multiuse Trails Coalition members are also on (being equestrians) and the general tone was one of alarm over the perception that the public might be looking for more bike access on trails.
Last night, Geoffrey Smith, chair of the Los Pen CAC since 1992 and President of the San Diego Sierra Club 8'8-'89, issued this letter to the MTC and SDMBA.
February 27, 2008
Multi-Use Trails Coalition
San Diego Mountain Bike Association
The Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve CAC
Geoffrey Smith, Chair
The Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve Citizens Advisory Committee
Having been made aware recently of the open letter concerning multi-use trails issues at the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve from Erik Basil, posted on the SDMBA web site, 'New Trails and Old Guard Issues in Los Penasquitos for 2008' (http://sdmba.com/index.php?option=co...=79&Itemid=19), I would like to take this opportunity to respond as chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee for Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve to a number of points made in the letter:
First, your interest in the Preserve is much appreciated! Managing a 4,000+ acre habitat preserve for both environmental protection and recreation is a big job, and your participation is welcome!
Single track usage by bicyclists remains subject to the City of San Diego ordinance, which states that bicyclists may utilize single track trails only when posted 'OPEN' to bicycles by the local managing agency (City park rangers.) A number of single tracks in the Preserve are in fact open to bicycles, subject to this ordinance -- an example of the good work of our Trails Committee in working out multi-use compatibility issues in a collaborative, cooperative fashion.
Regarding the mentioned 'Outlaw Status': One is only considered acting outside the law when their actions constitute a violation of the law. By remaining on legal routes -- both double and single track -- riders avoid the outlaw distinction, as well as associated penalties.
Regarding the Camino Ruiz Connector trail, whose DEIR comment period just ended on February 2, 2008: The report presented by the City of San Diego Trails Coordinator, Mr. Rick Thompson, and accepted by the CAC, calls for the initial access to the trail by pedestrians only until such time as multiple-use compatibility by bicyclists and potentially equestrians can be thoroughly studied by park staff to evaluate safety, quality of experience, and habitat impacts (plant and animal.) At no time was a decision made by the City, CAC or any individual to permanently restrict bicyclists from use of the trail.
The Preserve Master Plan was written under contract with the City of San Diego by Van Dell and Associates, Inc., and approved by the City and County of San Diego in 1993. The preparer was a Ms. Nancy Palmer of Van Dell and Associates. To the best of my knowledge, the author was never an officer of the Sierra Club, San Diego Chapter. The subsequently published Natural Resources Management Plan, prepared by a team led by the late Ms. Robin Stribley, City of San Diego Park and Recreation Dept., further solidified the habitat protection mandate that governs Preserve operations today. Copies of these documents are available on the CAC group site (see below); I recommend that you review them. Both documents were developed with the support of the Citizens Advisory Committee, and approved by formal actions of the City of San Diego and County of San Diego in the mid-1990's.
The Citizens Advisory Committee:
Your participation in the CAC through active volunteering in education, monitoring, policy development, attendance at meetings, habitat restoration projects, trail design and maintenance, involvement on our Trails or Natural Resources Committees, or simply monitoring of meetings and on-line discussions at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lpcpcac ... is strongly encouraged! The ecological health of natural systems such as the 4,000 acre open space preserve requires the thoughtful and cooperative attention of citizens like you!
Geoffrey Smith, Chair
Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve CAC
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