Support CA State Parks simplification of trail use changes- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Support CA State Parks simplification of trail use changes

    Attend the meetings if you can, send in comments regardless.
    The issue is if state parks should have to do a complete CEQA just to change designated uses on trails.

    California State Parks

    Road and Trail Change-in-Use Program

    The California State Parks proposes to use the Road and Trail Change-In-Use Program (Program) to allow the Department to add and remove official recreational uses on roads and trails in State Park units. The Program would provide an objective process to evaluate environmental impacts of recreational change-in-use. This Program would not apply to Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Park units.



    As the lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), California State Parks filed a Notice of Preparation (NOP) on September 8, 2010 to prepare a Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (Draft PEIR) to evaluate impacts caused by implementation of the Program. California State Parks is now seeking public input to further define the project, develop alternatives, and discuss potential environmental impacts and mitigations. For further information, visit www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=26278

    We want to hear from you!!! Please attend and discuss your views at either of these Public Meetings

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

    Lake Activities Building

    Lake Perris State Recreation Area

    17801 Lake Perris Drive

    Perris, CA 92571





    Saturday, September 25, 2010

    1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

    Candlestick Point State Recreation Area

    1150 Carroll Ave

    San Francisco, CA 94124

    California State Parks will provide comment cards for your use at both of these public meetings.



    The NOP is available at the following California State Park’s CEQA Notices page: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=980

    Due to time limits mandated by State law, please submit comments to the Contact below no later than October 11, 2010. Include the full name, telephone number with area code, and email address of a contact person with each submittal.

    Heidi West, California State Parks


    Fax: (916) 445-8883

    One Capitol Mall, Suite 410

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    __________________________________________________ ____________


    Program Environmental Impact Report
    Statewide Program Environmental Impact Report for Roads and Trails Change-in-Use (PEIR)


    California State Parks has developed procedures for evaluating trail use change requests that may originate from public user groups or as a trail system planning effort from within the Department (see links below).

    Changes in designated use can include changing existing roads or trails from single use to multi-use, or multi-use to single use. The Department is now ready to prepare a draft Statewide Program Environmental Impact Report to serve as a first-tier document meant to address the broad environmental effects that may be associated with existing trail/road change-in-use procedures. Further site-specific environmental review may be required for particular aspects of the program when those aspects or portions of the procedures are proposed for implementation.

    Public input is vital to the preparation of the PEIR. California State Parks held an early consultation with the public regarding the environmental effects of change-in-use procedures at the 2010 California Trails & Greenways Conference in Cambria, California on April 22, 2010. Additional opportunities for the public to comment on the PEIR will be at Public Scoping Workshops, to be held as follows:

    September 18th, 2010, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Lake Activities Building, Lake Perris State Recreation Area, 17801 Lake Perris Drive, Perris, CA 92571
    and
    September 25th, 2010, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Candlestick Point State Recreation Area,1150 Carroll Ave. San Francisco, CA 94124.

    A Notice of Preparation for the Roads and Trails Change-in-Use PEIR will be submitted to the SCH/OPR and interested persons on September 8, 2010. The NOP will also be posted on the California State Parks CEQA website at that time.

    At the scoping workshops, the Department will be asking the public for input on the PEIR as it relates to the following: range of actions, alternatives, environmental effects, methods of assessment and mitigation measures to be analyzed. To view the Public Workshop agenda, click on the following link: PROGRAM for Public Scoping Meetings - Trails CIU PEIR.pdf

    Please note that if you provide us with comments or your name, your name (but not your address) will become a part of the project’s public record.

    Public comments on the PEIR may be submitted in person at the workshops, or by either mail or email.
    Comments submitted by mail should be sent to:

    Environmental Coordinator – Trails PEIR
    1 Capitol Mall, Suite 410
    Sacramento, CA 95814

    Comments submitted by email should be sent to: [email protected]
    (Note: In the Subject Line, write: ‘Trails PEIR’)

    The deadline for receiving comments during the scoping portion of the PEIR process is October 11, 2010. Letters postmarked after October 11, 2010 may not be considered for purpose of scoping. Emails dated after October 11, 2010, may not be accepted. However, there will be opportunities to comment on the Draft Program EIR later on during the public review phase of the CEQA process.

    California State Parks Policy on Roads and Trails Change in Use: Trails Policy (25 kb .pdf)

    California State Parks Process for Trails Change in Use: Trail Use Change Process (90kb .pdf)
    Last edited by LWright; 09-07-2010 at 11:25 PM.

  2. #2
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    Three of us went through the Change of Trail Use training last April at the California Trails Conference in Cambria, CA. Simplify? It is still a 14 page process to gather and evaluate data to make unbiased changes on the decision.

    It was explained that it was developed to keep CEQA lawsuits from stopping the process, and that a State wide EIR would be done to simplify the process.

    We are in the process of logging an existing legacy trail network in Montana de Oro State Park to file a PEF to reroute about five miles of ugly trail and allow mountain bike access to these trails.

    It was interesting to be in the class of people from all jurisdictions of parks (federal, state, local city and county), as well as volunteer hiker, equestrian, and bicycle groups.

    So yes, please get the information out to support this process!
    "The physician heals, Nature makes well" - real fortune cookie

    CCCMB trail work for trail access - SLO, CA

  3. #3
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    Okay, boil this down to something my addled senses can understand...plain english for us simple mountain biker folk...

    Does this mean the local parks divisions can make a declaration, based on user request/demans/opinions, that a particular trail is open/closed to a certain use without having to go through a whole bunch of red-tape, plus it keeps nuisance lawsuits from blocking said trail access changes?

  4. #4
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    Not sure how to break this down to simple english..... but i know this whole process stems from the big issues that came out of the recent Bill's Trail meetings that took place in Marin last year.... and YES this is a good thing for Mountain Bikers.


    SF Urban Riders CAN lead a group ride on 9/25 starting at Candlestick Park and riding up the legal trails on San Bruno Mtn and drop back thru McLAren Park and back out to Candlestick and the meeting.

    Would that inspire a better Saturday Turnout in San Francisco?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bokchoicowboy
    Okay, boil this down to something my addled senses can understand...plain english for us simple mountain biker folk...

    Does this mean the local parks divisions can make a declaration, based on user request/demans/opinions, that a particular trail is open/closed to a certain use without having to go through a whole bunch of red-tape, plus it keeps nuisance lawsuits from blocking said trail access changes?
    I'll try to make this simple but I can't guarantee it will work. (takes deep breath)

    Basically, there are two kinds of EIRs - program-level and project-level. A programmatic EIR attempts to address impacts that are common to all or most elements of a program - the "program", in this case, being the widespread changing of usage designations for trails on State Parks lands. A project-level EIR attempts to address impacts specific to a project - in this case, changing the specific usage designations on a particular trail. Bill's Trail in Marin County is currently the focus of a project-specific EIR.

    The point of a programmatic EIR is to make explicit certain mitigation measures that would be common to project-level EIRs, thus reducing (but NOT eliminating) the amount of project-level impact analysis that would be necessary to implement a particular project. For example, all trail usage designation changes will require that some sort of safety analysis be done to ensure that the change will not negatively impact users' safety. The procedure for this analysis can then be described in the programmatic EIR so that it's common to all projects.

    The point of the scoping meetings is to get feedback from the public about what issues the public would like to see addressed at a programmatic level (safety, geotechnical concerns, biological resources, etc.). Frankly, the state already knows 99% of what they're going to address, but for EIRs CEQA requires input from the public (1) during the scoping process, and (2) once a draft document has been produced.

    My personal feelings are that this process is only going to go one of two ways - either it will work really well and be closely integrated with the regulatory roles played by other agencies such as the Regional Water Quality Control Board, California Dept. of Fish and Game, and NOAA Fisheries, or it will be a complete waste of time because the programmatic EIR won't say anything substantial, meaning State Parks will still have to do a ton of work on a project-level (and produce either a NegDec, a Mitigated NegDec, or a project-level EIR for each trail project). I'm hoping for the former but fearing the latter. I'll most likely attend the scoping meeting in SF and will definitely need a strong drink afterwards.
    Quote Originally Posted by jbt56
    Are you a whiny Marin liberal, or a hand-wringing Berkeley liberal?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piranha426
    I'll try to make this simple but I can't guarantee it will work. (takes deep breath)

    Basically, there are two kinds of EIRs - program-level and project-level. A programmatic EIR attempts to address impacts that are common to all or most elements of a program - the "program", in this case, being the widespread changing of usage designations for trails on State Parks lands. A project-level EIR attempts to address impacts specific to a project - in this case, changing the specific usage designations on a particular trail. Bill's Trail in Marin County is currently the focus of a project-specific EIR.

    The point of a programmatic EIR is to make explicit certain mitigation measures that would be common to project-level EIRs, thus reducing (but NOT eliminating) the amount of project-level impact analysis that would be necessary to implement a particular project. For example, all trail usage designation changes will require that some sort of safety analysis be done to ensure that the change will not negatively impact users' safety. The procedure for this analysis can then be described in the programmatic EIR so that it's common to all projects.

    The point of the scoping meetings is to get feedback from the public about what issues the public would like to see addressed at a programmatic level (safety, geotechnical concerns, biological resources, etc.). Frankly, the state already knows 99% of what they're going to address, but for EIRs CEQA requires input from the public (1) during the scoping process, and (2) once a draft document has been produced.

    My personal feelings are that this process is only going to go one of two ways - either it will work really well and be closely integrated with the regulatory roles played by other agencies such as the Regional Water Quality Control Board, California Dept. of Fish and Game, and NOAA Fisheries, or it will be a complete waste of time because the programmatic EIR won't say anything substantial, meaning State Parks will still have to do a ton of work on a project-level (and produce either a NegDec, a Mitigated NegDec, or a project-level EIR for each trail project). I'm hoping for the former but fearing the latter. I'll most likely attend the scoping meeting in SF and will definitely need a strong drink afterwards.
    Thanks for explaining this. Anything that makes the EIR process for a change of use designation will help with the expansion of additional mountain bike access to the trails in our state parks.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrtoadsc
    Thanks for explaining this. Anything that makes the EIR process for a change of use designation will help with the expansion of additional mountain bike access to the trails in our state parks.
    Exactly. Though I should also point out that this process will also make it easier to remove trail usage designations, not just add them. So it does create the potential to make it easier for State Parks to remove access to places where mountain bikers can already go. Ultimately, though, I anticipate that most of their proposed projects will add user groups, not remove them.
    Quote Originally Posted by jbt56
    Are you a whiny Marin liberal, or a hand-wringing Berkeley liberal?

  8. #8
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    I sent this email to [email protected]

    Subject: Trails PEIR - Please increase bike access on trails

    I'm glad that the California State Parks has developed procedures for evaluating trail use change requests.

    I would like to see the trail access for mountain bikes be increased significantly in the California State parks.

    Sincerely,

  9. #9
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    Back in July of 2007 the Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay formally ask Mount Diablo State Park (MDSP) to open 19 new trails to cyclists. The request was made under the California State Park Trail Conversion Project. Currently there is no safe route for bikes from the bottom of the mountain to the top, nor is the quality of the experience comparable to what other users have, as we're excluded from most of the narrow and more scenic trails. Cyclists represent a very large community of users in the park who deserve the same quality of opportunity that other users enjoy.

    After our initial request MDSP embarked on a Trail Unit Plan (TUP), which was a park wide plan that included looking at change-in-use access. Over the last several years MDSP has secured funding for the TUP, held stake holder meetings, collected user data in the park, and preformed geological and cultural resource surveys.

    In the mean time the California State Parks have embraced the need for multi-use trails and is developing a new trail policy that provides a process for the public to request trail use conversions in state parks (just like our initial request in '07). This is good news for cyclists as the piece meal approach to increased access has provided little if any new access state wide.

    The State Park Department is now ready to prepare a Statewide Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) to address the environmental effects that may be associated with change-in-use procedures. The PEIR will provide a “template” to facilitate future changes in use on specific trails. The idea is to anticipate problems, and resolve them in the PEIR to avoid all the infighting among different user groups resulting from each individual project. If it is successful, local land managers will be able to open trails with the knowledge that important parts of the work would have been done previously.

    Input from cyclists is vital to the preparation of the PEIR. Opportunities for cyclists to comment on the PEIR may be submitted by either mail or email and should be sent to:

    Environmental Coordinator – Trails PEIR
    1 Capitol Mall, Suite 410
    Sacramento, CA 95814

    Email should be sent to: [email protected] (In the Subject Line, write: ‘Trails PEIR’)

    The deadline for receiving comments is October 11. Make it clear that:

    * Multi use is a strong goal of State Parks, and that adding more opportunities for all muscle powered users is of critical importance.

    * It may be necessary to build new trails, reroute old ones, or engage in major rehabilitation of existing trails. State Parks must make it clear that this process will not mandate sticking to existing trails.

    * References to “conflicts” should have no place in an environmental document, which deals with “environmental impact.” User conflict is highly subjective, and based upon “perception” rather than science.

    * Unauthorized use of current trails should not be a basis for denying a change of use. Instead, it should be viewed as a reason to increase access, which in turn would decrease unauthorized use.

    * State Parks should make use of the body of information/research concerning relative impact of mountain bikes as compared with other users. They should also consider different management tools, such as alternating trails, one way trails, signage, and education.

    * Above all, State Parks needs to consider carefully the relative numbers of users from different groups, and reflect this in the PEIR. Mountain bikers need trails allocated to them proportional to their numbers.

  10. #10
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    This arrived today from state parks.

    Hello,



    Please see the Announcement attached to this email for complete information about the updated public meeting schedule for the Road and Trail Change-In-Use Evaluation Process. If you cannot open and view the attachment, please contact California State Parks at [email protected] (Subject Line: Change In Use). The revised schedule is also provided below.



    California State Parks

    Road and Trail Change-in-Use Evaluation Process

    Lake Perris SRA Meeting Date Re-scheduled!

    California State Parks (CSP) inadvertently scheduled the public meeting for the Road and Trail Change-In-Use Evaluation Process (Program) at Lake Perris State Recreation Area (SRA) on a religious observance day, September 18, 2010. CSP apologizes for this oversight and has cancelled the meeting on September 18 and re-scheduled it on November 13. CSP further extends its apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. The public meeting at Candlestick SRA remains unchanged. For further information about the Program, visit www.parks.ca.gov/trails/usechangepeir.



    Thank you for your interest in the Program.

    Environmental Coordinator

    California State Parks

    [email protected]

  11. #11
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    LWright you are the man!!

    There is one thing is for sure here within the ASRA. They make up there own set of rules here!! One year you can race one some single track or fire road and the next year you can't. The ASRA rules do not apply in other parks.
    The rules set by the ASRA for MTB riders do not apply with the equestrians. ASRA still allows equestrian riding on some of the trails we can not race on. Many of the trails we just raced on for the Cool MTB race and the Coolest 24 in 2010 are now not open for us to use for the 2011 season .They are still open for the equestrians to ride on!!.
    You fight the fight LWright!! I thank you for all your time that you have put in fighting for the MTB riders.

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