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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Old Guard Issues in Los Penasquitos

    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

    To:
    Multi-Use Trails Coalition
    San Diego Mountain Bike Association
    The Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve CAC

    From:
    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
    gsmith@thecomputersmith.com
    858.442.1425

  2. #2
    i can't type the letter s
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    Thanks for your work Erik. I haven't seen you in awhile, hope to run into some time on the trails bud.

  3. #3
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    I too was somewhat confused by e-mail by Geoffrey. Anyways, thanks to ebasil for his dedication in helping the mountain bike cause for LPQ. It was one reason why I bought a home in the PQ area; its a wonderful place to teach my 2 boys about respecting nature and enjoying it at the same time.

  4. #4
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    Okay, sorry about that -- I should have explained why I bothered to publish Geoffrey Smith's letter. I really just wanted to set a record for the open MTB community, but I was "moving fast" and didn't bother to point out that it does read pretty much as a non sequitur: Smith addresses his own points because he was really writing that for the anti-kid/bike/family/trail access crowd, not the addressees.

    It's only a context piece, not a call to arms or big deal. But, since we're here on Peyton Place, note that Geoff does reiterate the CAC's eager vote to accept the trail as No Bikes Pending Review (one of two CAC's I 've missed in several years....nertz) when it was presented that way, but he failed to address the wacky semi-notification for a "trails committee" meeting to inspect the trail (somehow, the notifications didn't get to any cyclists but me, the meeting was set during a workday rather than the typical Saturday and then it was changed around w/o confirmation) that resulted in an attempt to present the CAC with "findings" but the committee supporting the bike ban. Smith also words his way around the fact that he was one of the primary authors of the anti-bike language in LPCP's "Master Plan", notwithstanding that the City paid a consultant $22,000.00 to type it up. The Master Plan bans dogs, too.

    Anyway, after the SDMBA republished the MTC newsletter piece back in December, it took a while but the anti-bike crowd found it and started posting it around, particularly in two equestrian newsletters, as evidence that the "bikers" are back. They also called up the Rangers. Almost inexplicably, both Ranger Washington and Thompson developed a very short-term memory in regard to the Shaw Valley Trail (constructed with $200,000.00 of taxpayers' money to connect Carmel Valley to Los Pen and intended from the outset to be closed to bikes...although it "Can Be Reviewed" ho ho) and our longterm understanding of their assurances that the citizens in Mira Mesa would be able to ride down our park trail with our kids on our bikes. Access "Pending Review" was never acceptable, or the deal, but I got quite a bit of backlash from both Rangers along the lines of "Who do you think you are, an equestrian? Be patient!" Smith's letter appears to me to be an attempt to pile on with a mischaracterization/response to a communication that was never directed at him.

    I think we're all pretty patient, but that we have a right to step up and remind the City and our fellow trail users that the largest, most active class of trail user in San Diego remains the only one that performs regular trail maintenance and that we're not going to sit still if we're treated like second class citizens. I wrote the original newsletter because my historical perspective gives me the foresight to see another round of shenanigans by the malcontents -- and I'd rather we get our act together to prevent it from having to happen.

    Who's seen the equestrian-based trail damage from the horseback riding in the preserve while it was closed the last few weeks? . Take photos, post them in emails to the Rangers with complaints.

    It looks like we've got a new rep for the MTC to replace Craig Bosworth, by the way, and if you're a resident of PQ or Scripps Ranch there is a volunteer seat open--and a byzantine maze for getting it.

  5. #5
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    Gawd that reads like a pile of crap! Anybody get to ride up/down Cobblestone after these rains and see how well that latest round of water-handling trail work did to shuttle the water off the trail in the big rains?

    We can thank Mike Maio, Darrell (_____) & Greg Bates for that work. Four hours in the mud well spent!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil
    I think we're all pretty patient, but that we have a right to step up and remind the City and our fellow trail users that the largest, most active class of trail user in San Diego remains the only one that performs regular trail maintenance and that we're not going to sit still if we're treated like second class citizens. I wrote the original newsletter because my historical perspective gives me the foresight to see another round of shenanigans by the malcontents -- and I'd rather we get our act together to prevent it from having to happen.
    Amen brotta!
    "Hesitation is the Mother of Failure!"

    ~~ 951 for Dirt & Roadster for Asphalt ~~

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil
    Gawd that reads like a pile of crap! Anybody get to ride up/down Cobblestone after these rains and see how well that latest round of water-handling trail work did to shuttle the water off the trail in the big rains?

    We can thank Mike Maio, Darrell (_____) & Greg Bates for that work. Four hours in the mud well spent!
    the area handled the rains pretty well. I rode the mesa area yesterday and the singletrack was not wet. The equestrians however ignored the trail closures and left their mark in several areas. On the three trails that head up to the mesa there are now the usual holes and hoove prints dried into the clay. The area is noticably devoid of evidence of bikes however.

  8. #8
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    is the CAC meeting at the ranch house? if not where is it? I may plan to ride with some friends on the 20th and then show up there.

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