Friday, December 30, 2011

Ridge Trail Gains Key Northern Link

The Arcata Eye reports: The City of Arcata and Green Diamond Resource Company issued a press release today (see below) announcing closure of escrow on a key link in the Arcata Ridge Trail – the northernmost piece, which connects the Arcata Community Forest to West End Road....

That leaves just two parcels to be acquired until the 4.3 mile Ridge Trail is fully owned by the citizens of Arcata.... Read the rest.

Those wishing to contribute to the Forest Fund for creation of the Ridge Trail may find information for doing so on the trails Facebook page. ◼ Arcata Ridge Trail

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lets keep our Dune trails

We as horsemen and women have a long history of building, maintaining and riding our local trails. So why then would many of us have objections to the equestrian trail project slated for Little River State Beach? No the earth hasn’t flip its axis and Hades although getting chilly hasn’t frozen over yet.

The reason is simply that there is a perfectly fine existing trail.

In an effort to gain local equestrian support for this project we were told by State Park personnel several years ago at the onset of this project two important things that turned out to be not exactly true. One was that we were “not allowed” to ride where we have been for decades. The fact is State Parks had a no restrictions policy that did not prohibit us from enjoying our horses on long established trails. Second was that we were also led to believe that State Coastal Commission representatives stated that they would not allow horses on the existing trail slated for pedestrians only. These two misleading presentations led us to believe the only way we would be able to use our horses on this public land was to support this project. So far State Parks although asked several times, has not provided the identities of those representatives nor have the two Coastal Commission personnel recently contacted indicated there would be any problem with shared use. It would not require any new construction..

We would rather see monies directed to either replanting the area bulldozed a few years ago. Without adequate vegetation there seems to be negative effects on the breeding behavior and success of the snowy plover and has increased raven activity in the cleared area. It also has created considerable both tidal effects and wind blown sand movement that is compromising the function and size of the freshwater wetland to the east.

While this project has been billed as a restoration project it is having obvious problems living up to its permit obligations. That is something the Coastal Commission who issued the Coastal Development permit has been made aware of. Hopefully they will have enough gumption to address these serious issues.

What is disturbing about the trail part of this project is that while perfectly good, safe trails have been and are being used in this area the new trails would involve using heavy equipment to tear up undisturbed habitat. We have communicated this to the State Parks project manager and acting District Supervisor this past year with no response that addresses this. There also has been no data provided that suggests there are significant impacts from our historic trail use.

State Parks could also better direct their limited energies to keeping more of our campgrounds open that benefit local economies and give families inexpensive summer camping opportunities.

While we will support much needed horse trails in our community this project has become an example of what we don’t need with preferred trails nearby. With such limited resources we can do better for our environment and our valued recreational systems.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Equestrian Trail Access

Happy Trails: - Lost Coast Outpost

Cliff and Emily talk with Ruth Hoke, member of the board of directors of the Redwood Empire Endurance Riders about Equestrian Trail Access and how bike commuters, pedestrians and horse riders can all work together for a mutual benefit: A regional multi-use trail system. (Audio at the link)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Off-road enthusiasts ask Jerry Brown to rethink dismissal

A week after Gov. Jerry Brown dismissed Daphne Greene, deputy director of the state's off-road vehicle recreation program, the chairman of the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission today criticized the decision and urged Brown to reconsider. - Sacramento Bee

Eric Lueder told Brown in a letter that it was with "great shock and sadness" that he learned of Greene's dismissal, effective at the end of the month. Lueder said accusations that Greene catered to off-road enthusiasts at the expense of environmental concerns were unfounded.

"Ms. Greene exemplifies what is right in state government and should be held up as a model employee/manager for all others to aspire to," Lueder wrote.

Greene, a Democrat, was appointed by Brown's predecessor, former Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. She was praised by off-road enthusiasts but sometimes criticized by environmentalists.

Monday, November 28, 2011

FEDS eye wild ponies of Chincoteague...Town fears drastic new erosion rules will destroy island town, economy...

FEDS eye wild ponies of Chincoteague...
- Washington Post ◼ image source: AP

In a new plan to deal with beach erosion and prepare for sea-level rise, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed changes that the mayor, the chamber of commerce and homeowners say would eventually drive away summer tourism and drive down the economy that depends on it. Some of those changes would involve closing the beach and its parking lot, then opening a beach with parking farther away and shuttling tourists.

Town leaders say vacationers won’t board shuttles with all their beach stuff — umbrellas, chairs and food. They’ll bypass Chincoteague for Ocean City, where hotels sit near the water....

Chincoteague doesn’t control its beach. It’s part of the Assateague Island National Seashore, run by the federal National Park Service, and sits within the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, controlled by the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Charged with protecting endangered animals and managing the refuge on a shrinking budget, the Fish and Wildlife Service ar­gued in a 15-year comprehensive refuge plan that it can’t save the beach and its parking lot from the unrelenting forces of nature.

More than 100 yards of shoreline has been lost to the Atlantic Ocean since the mid-1960s, said Louis Hinds, the refuge manager. A federal visitors center has been moved twice from rising waters. And if cars didn’t occupy the 8.5-acre parking lot, piping plovers, an endangered shorebird the refuge protects, would nest there.

The changes facing Chincoteague are coming to coastal communities across the nation. In Hampton Roads, planning commissions are preparing for the day, 30 to 50 years from now, when sea-level rise reshapes the coast, and a few landowners are resisting.

At the core of the debate in Chincoteague are questions of fairness....

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Oregon Sheriff Gil Gilbertson Continues Stand Against U.S. Forest Service - Sarah Foster, News With Views

Josephine County, Ore. -- Two months ago Gil Gilbertson, the sheriff of this rural county in southern Oregon, drafted a 10-page report exploring the origins and extent of federal power within a state and emailed his findings to various parties, asking for comment.

Since the report was in rough-draft form he was somewhatsurprised that it went viral, but it shows there are a lot of people hungry for information about how much power (particularly law-enforcement power) the federal government actually wields within a state, where that power comes from, and the limits to that power.

Gilbertson continued his research and recently completed a 13-page revised and updated version, retitled: Unraveling Federal Jurisdiction within a State. It is highly footnoted with references to statutes and court decisions.

This a “must read” for anyone concerned about infringements against the 10th Amendment and federal encroachments in general – like road closures, Wild Lands and Monument designations, mining and other resource uses. In other words, this is for anyone and everybody with an interest – no matter how casual -- in accessing the public lands, either as a “resource user” (a rancher or miner) or simply a casual vacationer who enjoys weekend camping. Read The Rest...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Dispersed use of dune trails

Dispersed use of dune trails a viable option - Uri Driscoll/My Word

Local government agencies and land managers are currently involved in developing recommendations for managing our coastal dunes and beaches. The publication of their white paper, due out this summer, is to reflect these recommendations. Representatives of these agencies have put out to the public the desire for dialog, but so far it has been difficult for some of us to get meaningful (if any) responses from them. There is growing concern over the massive expense, negative effects, and even effectiveness of the European beach grass removal. However, also at stake is the traditional enjoyment of these special environments, because beach grass removal seems to precede trail removal.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

                            .   .   .        Angela Burgess

Monday, July 11, 2011

Humboldt Beacon: Railbanking poll

The Humboldt Beacon invites readers to send in their comments on the entire railbanking issue as it concerns the Eel River Valley. Write to --- Email: to express your views in a Letter to the Editor. For background information on the subject, contact:
◼ North Coast Rail Authority:
◼ Federal Railroad Administration:
◼ National Trails System:
◼ Eel River Trails Association: --- Email:

Clam and Moonstone Beach County Parks Access Management Master Plan)

Clam and Moonstone Beach County Parks Access Management Master Plan

State: CA OHV Commission Sends Letter to Congress on Clear Creek

CA OHV Commission Sends Letter to Congress on Clear Creek GR HQ

Restoration equals Restrictions

There is no doubt we have out our backdoor some of the most spectacular coastline in the world. Still the dunes and the beaches are rarely very crowded. Of course there are the days when it seems that we are all on them at the same time and still there is space between us. Or as Daniel Boone liked to say “elbow room.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Symbolic fence or fiasco

The recent reluctance of the Board of Supervisors to re-install the symbolic fence at Clam Beach is fortunately starting to shed light on the unnecessary hazard this represents.

The story of the young boy getting chased through the fence while riding is but one reason this fence should not even be considered. Fortunately, he was just a little roughed up. Little cowboys are pretty tough. Add the fact that this fence has been proven ineffective for the last four years -- along with the Fish and Wildlife Service reluctantly demanding its reinstallment -- one can't help but start scratching one's head in wonder. Professor Colwell himself recommended against it this year.