It is likely that most people on Passion will never ride in this park but for many, the May By The Bay series has been a draw annually to many out-of-state MTBR friends. Rockville has been a featured park in the series for many of the MBTB series.

If you ride Rockville Hills in Fairfield, you may have noticed that there have been an abundance of fences put in. These fences have been installed by a contractor of a nearby housing development as their way of trying to “restore habitat.” At any rate, the fencing and other construction damage is causing aesthetic damage to the park and negatively impacting the experience of park users.<O</O</O
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There is something you can do about it and I urge that you do.

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Please support the Restore Rockville Committee. You can email [email protected] for more information or join their yahoo group by going to this link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/restorerockville/.<O</O
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The first thing that is being asked is to write letters and emails and make phone calls to the City of Fairfield officials (listed below). The second thing is to attend a City Council meeting next Tuesday, November 21 at 7:00. It is being held at 1000 Webster Street, <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comFairfield, CA</st1:City>, you may have noticed that there have been an abundance of fences put in. These fences have been installed by a contractor of a nearby housing development as their way of trying to “restore habitat.” At any rate, the fencing and other construction damage is causing aesthetic damage to the park and negatively impacting the experience of park users.<OFairfield</st1:City> officials (listed below). The second thing is to attend a City Council meeting n[FONT=/><st1:address w:st=][SIZE=1><FONT][COLOR=#333333><FONT]<ST1Fairfield</st1:City></st1<st1:Street w:st=" /><st1:City w:st="on">Fairfield</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">California</st1:State> <st1:PostalCode w:st="on">94533</st1:PostalCode>. Phone: (707) 428-7400.
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The plan includes a single continuous unobtrusive flat-wire wood post fence enclosing both lakes set back from the trails "with pedestrian and bicycle gates as needed tp maintain the current level of recreational use."

We demand removal of the additional unauthorized fences, restoring the trails to their traditional routes, returning the meadows that have been bulldozed and dug up to their previous flat contours (the wildflower beds may have been lost forever already).

As mentioned in the phase II plan, the long term effectiveness of cattle grazing for managing fuel load should be re-examined. We believe it is ineffective and causes more damage to oak regeneration, degraded slopes, trails, streams, and park aesthetics (by requiring fences, water troughs, and causing increased fly swarms, and 'patties', pollution, etc.) In grazed areas, there are no seedlings to replace the mature trees that are being lost each year.

Points and Questions to consider as you visit <ST1<st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Rockville</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Hills</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Park</st1:PlaceType>:
1. The city leases land in the park for cattle grazing from about November to April. The city claims that this is necessary to reduce summer fire danger. While in the park, compare areas near the lakes with the southern and eastern sections that have never been grazed.
• Is there a difference in the amount of combustible material? Does it appear that cattle grazing has achieved any significant reduction in fuel load?
• Count young oak seedlings growing in grazed areas? Do you think that grazing is a good or bad long-term strategy for a healthy regenerative park?
2. A considerable sum of money (estimated to be well over $100,000) has been spent building fences, bulldozing meadow flowerbeds and planting tufts of grass inside the enclosures for what has been called “restoration”. Take note of how many plantings have survived. Consider whether the barbed wire enclosures with dead plants and grasses enhance your park experience, and whether there are other more beneficial ways this money could have been better spent to improve the park.
• Have the “restoration” efforts been successful or a waste of money?
• Has the “restoration” provided any benefit to park visitors to offset its considerable negative impact on the natural park experience?
• What other improvements might have been a higher priority or a better use of these funds?
3. The city says the barbed wire fences are to keep the cattle out of the lakes and from eating the dead “restoration” plantings. Without cattle grazing, fences would not be needed.
• Why do you think the fences are being installed?
• Do you think the fences will keep the cattle out?
• Notice the cemented gate posts and corner posts. Do you think the fences are permanent or temporary?
• What is the future of grazing in the park, and when are the fences expected to be removed?
4. The Management Plan for the park that was adopted by the city shows a single fence set back from trails with no trail rerouting, and with access gates for bicycles and hikers. The fencing installed so far bears little resemblance to the approved plan and far exceeds what was authorized by the City Council. As you visit, count the number of fences you see in the park.
• How many fences have been added so far?
• Does the fencing appear to have been intelligently planned and laid out to minimize impact on park visitors?
5. Take note of the new fire roads, and evaluate whether these have been dug responsibly and carefully, and whether the bulldozing has improved the fire roads. In some areas there are multiple routes that look like mistakes or changes of plan.
• Does it appear that the grading has been done with the intent of minimizing damage to the park and the vision of preserving the natural wildlands experience intended for the park?
• Are the fire roads too narrow, just right or too wide?
• Emergency vehicles are designed to drive where there are no roads, on hillsides, through fields, etc. Do you think the fire road grading was necessary and prudent?
How would you rate the overall management of <ST1<st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Rockville</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Hills</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Park</st1:PlaceType> (poor, fair or good)?