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ADVOCACY – What We Do

Advocate:

  1. Somebody who supports or speaks in favor of something;
  2. Somebody who acts or intercedes on behalf of another.

CORBA advocates for the local mountain biking community to maintain trail access and create new trail riding opportunities, and we also advocate for the general public for public access to public lands.

How We Do it – Advocate – Collaborate – Create

Advocate – Mountain Bike Access – Tapia Spur Trail: Completing the Loop

Up until 2003, the Tapia Spur Trail at Malibu Creek State Park was not open to bicyclists. Tapia Spur is an important link that completes the popular Bulldog-Backbone Trail loop. Without the Tapia Spur Trail, mountain bikers were forced to ride on Las Virgenes Road (Malibu Canyon Rd), a major canyon arterial road between the beach and Valley areas. Now, bicyclists enjoy a complete backcountry loop, with the exception of a 100-foot segment on the road. CORBA worked hard and fought project opponents while working with park management and other multi-use proponents for several years to open this section of trail. Our efforts included planning, letter-writing campaigns, participating in meetings and speaking at public hearings, and conducting trail maintenance work. Finally, in 2003, State Parks designated the trail as multi-use, which brought mountain bicyclists in from the roadway to the backcountry. Today, CORBA’s efforts are enjoyed by countless individuals and the trail experience is safer and more enjoyable. CORBA maintains its commitment to the Tapia Spur Trail by deploying our Trail Crew to conduct trail maintenance and keep it in good shape. CORBA has helped to open many other trails to mountain bikes.


Las Virgenes Rd between Tapia and Malibu Creek State Park


The Tapia Spur Trailhead


Riding the Tapia Spur Trail

Collaborate – The Double-Header to Keep Canyonback Trail Open to the Public

The Canyonback Trail connects LA’s Westside to Dirt Mulholland and the San Fernando Valley, with many nice trails along the way. The southeastern trailhead is at N. Kenter Avenue in the community of Brentwood, and the trail meanders up to Mulholland with a 3/4-mile segment running through a city street in the Mountaingate community high above the 405 freeway in the Sepulveda Pass.

Photo from the Canyon Back AllianceThreat #1: The Gates - In 2004, street construction activity and the rise of gate structures appeared on Canyonback Road in Mountaingate. This alarmed local trail users and CORBA who pursued the activity. It turned out that in July 2004, the City of Los Angeles issued a revocable permit authorizing the Crown Homeowners Association to construct a gate that would restrict public access on Canyonback Road and essentially cut-off this important multi-use link between the Westside and Valley. The gates would have impacted mountain bikers, trail runners, hikers, and tourists as well. A long battle began with CORBA’s initial protest letter setting the stage and baseline arguments for what turned out to be a major year-and-a half long collaborative effort to prevent the gating and privatization of the public street. The following organizations worked together to win this battle to keep the trail open: the Canyonback Alliance and City Project (formerly Center for Law in the Public Interest) were the key legal team and MVP’s, Brentwood Hills Homeowners Association, Citizens for a Safe Sepulveda, International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), LA Leggers, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, Mandeville Canyon Association, Sierra Club Santa Monica Mountains Task Force, Trail Runners Club, Upper Mandeville Canyon Association and Councilman Bill Rosendahl, as well as many mountain bikers who signed our petitions to stop the gates.

Threat #2: The Mountaingate Development – In the midst of the battle of the gates, a new threat to the Canyonback Trail surfaced. The City of Los Angeles approved a new development comprised of a gated enclave of multi-million dollar homes to be located directly on the trail, cutting off public access. This battle was more complex than the gates and involved CORBA, the Canyonback Alliance, City Project and the groups listed above in addition to Save Our Mountains, Inc. (SOMI), the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and ultimately, Nancy and Dick Riordan (former Mayor of Los Angeles) who facilitated negotiations with developer, Castle & Cooke. In the end, the plans of the development were adjusted to maintain the historical alignment of the Canyonback Trail and keep the trail outside of the development. Additionally, the Mount St. Mary’s Trail, previously cut-off from the trail system, will once again connect to the system via the Nancy and Dick Riordan Trail. This is a new trail that will bi-pass the developments and travel from Mount St. Mary’s College through Bundy Canyon and up to the Canyonback Trail. As of March 2008, 1.6 miles of the 2.6-mile trail has been cut, and the rest is anticipated to be completed by November 2008 following construction activities by Castle & Cooke. This was a tough battle fought, and ultimately it ended with a favorable outcome for all parties and 2.6 miles of new trails.

Create - Proactively Creating New Trail Opportunities and Building Trails


First work on the new
Reino Trail in 2005

CORBA works to create new trail opportunities for all types of trail users. In 2007, CORBA worked with the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA) to complete construction of the Reino Trail in the Thousand Oaks area. COSCA and CORBA worked together for two years and built approximately 1.25 miles of trail for the enjoyment of the multi-use trail community. In addition, CORBA’s efforts include working with land management agencies to create mountain biking opportunities. For example, we consulted with the City of Glendale in the development of its trails master plan, which includes new trails and the development of a bike park. And, we worked with the U.S. Forest Service and gained approval to build a new one-mile loop trail on Mount Hillyer and add technical trail features to the existing Mount Hillyer Trail in the San Gabriel Mountains. This trail will be a technical trail with freeriding and skills development opportunities, and it links to the larger trail system for everyone’s riding pleasure.

However, CORBA offers more than advocacy. We back up our efforts with hands-on labor. Our Trail Maintenance Crew has been going strong since 1989 putting words into action. CORBA owns equipment necessary to maintain existing trails and build new trails. In 2008, CORBA is embarking on several projects including bike parks and new trails for the community to enjoy. CORBA’s new professional trail crew will supplement our volunteer Trail Crew in building new trails. To volunteer, send an email to trailwork@corbamtb.com.
 


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