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.