I went to the La Honda Creek Stakeholders meeting which was well attended by mountain bikers from La Honda, and all over the bay area. It was staffed by planners Ana Ruiz and Stella Cousins. There were no board members there and no senior staff, unlike other stakeholder meetings I have been to.

As you may know, La Honda Creek was one of the 7 preserves closed in 2000 under a then new policy of setting aside 35% of all trails on District lands to hiking, or hiking and equestrian only use. Recently, the District expanded its boundaries to the Coast in San Mateo County, bought Driscoll Ranch and appended it to the bottom of the La Honda Creek OSP and restarted the planning process for that preserve, setting the process back at least a year.

There has been some opposition and unpopularity of the Coast Annexation program with coastal residents and farmers.

District planners had prepared a series of questions, presumably to help focus and direct the stakeholders meeting. The questions did a pretty good job of directing the meeting, and I hope they solicited the information they wanted from the stakeholders meeting. Towards the end of the meeting, we prioritized the items we had expressed interest in. I am not sure any new information was conveyed to the District.

I am not sure what I expected to get out of the meeting. I was a little surprised to be answering questions, especially wen our questions went largely unanswered.

After the last public meeting in La Honda in November I left with the feeling that the District was genuinely concerned with meeting the needs of its neighbors. The equestrians at that meeting had expressed that they felt La Honda creeks landscape was one compatible with multiuse trails. It seemed like the District would have no choice but to change the hiking / equestrian only designation of La Honda Creek.

Today I am not so sure. No board members of the ad hoc committee attended our stakeholder meeting. No senior management stopped by even to say hello. Other stake holder meetings I have been a part of have. It makes me wonder what is different this time? Maybe this stakeholders meeting is just lip service.

Master Plan sessions for MROSD lands seem to always bring up the same questions that the District does not seem to believe need any explicit answers. I am a little bored with attending meetings and hear the questions asked, and not have answered. I think it would be really useful to have a pamphlet or FAQ. If answers to these questions were readily available, maybe we could not waste so much time discussing these issues and move on. I personally am not critical of the Districts current policies, and believe they do an excellent job of achieving the District's mission, which is to preserve, protect, and restore open space, and provide educational and recreational opportunities to the public.

My Questions for MROSD
How was the 65% multi-use trails guideline arrived at?
Who decided it?
How would I go about changing this policy?
Why not have bike only trails, or bike and hike trails?

How were the 7 preserves picked for closure?
What was the rationale for each one?
What research or evidence is there to back up your choices?

How did the District decide that a rangers' primary role should be enforcement, rather than interpretation?

Why was the Driscoll Ranch purchase appended to La Honda Creek OSP, and not kept separate?


What questions do you have?