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CORBA eTerraTimes for June 2010

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The popular Art's Trail has been closed in Pt. Mugu State Park (Sycamore Canyon). Photo courtesy of Dennis Dolinar, District Maintenance Chief, Angeles District, Californa State Parks. See Story and President's Message...

A Message from CORBA's President

By Mark Langton

More trails, this time in Point Mugu State Park, have been deemed unauthorized and marked with signs and fencing designating them as closed (View our earlier article on Malibu Creek State Park). One trail, known as “Art’s Trail,” connects Sage Trail and Sin Nombre, paralleling the paved road that leads to Wood Canyon. Two other shorter trails connect to the paved road farther to the west. Here is the narrative and explanation given for these actions from  Dennis Dolinar, District Maintenance Chief, Angeles District, California State Parks:

Last weekend, I participated in a project with a group of local boy scouts from Newbury Park to erect a combination of both fences and barriers on the four entry points to a set of unauthorized trails that lie in the backcountry of Point Mugu SP. I had become aware of these specific trails a couple of months ago while working with others on a new official trail map for the park. After discussions with our both our Senior Environmental Scientist, Suzanne Goode, and our District Archeologist, Barbara Tejada, I decided to take the steps necessary to close this set of trails until such time as they can be fully evaluated in terms of both user safety and possible resource damage.

The trails in question are totally unofficial and, as such, they probably go by various names in the hiking, biking and equestrian communities. A private website known as Ventura County Trails uses the following names to describe the trails in question. The main segment that travels roughly parallel to Ranch Center Road from Sin Nombre Trail to Sage Trail is been labeled by them as being ”Art’s Trail”. In addition, there’s two short connector trails that go up to the paved road that have been given the names “Kubler” and “Clark”. It appears quite possible to me that these routes started out as little more than game trails that skirted the large, fragile meadow but, with repeated use by those park visitors who somehow knew that they existed ( they do not appear on any official state park maps ), they have become more obvious over time. Attached you will find a location map of the closed trails.

At this point in time, the trail entrances have been closed by use of simple barriers and fences but there are no immediate plans to destroy the trails themselves. The hope is that we can stop and/or minimize the use of this set of trails until such time as staff can evaluate the park resources that are potentially effected by these types of visitor use. Many of the people I spoke with out on the trail last weekend were disappointed but seemed to understand the need for us to manage this issue.

As time and work priorities allow, I will get back to you and your organization again as to our progress on this ongoing project.

While the above explanation is not wholly acceptable, it is within their purview to undertake these actions. What is most frustrating about the above comments is that State Parks is expending resources on projects that lack more comprehensive internal, peer, and constituent review and input. CORBA is monitoring this situation closely and will have more information as we obtain it.

(photos courtesy Dennis Dolinar)

State Parks Close Another Popular Trail

Just days after we reported that a popular trail in Malibu Creek State Park has been closed for plant rehabitation, we discover that Art's Trail and its connectors in Point Mugu State Park (Sycamore Canyon) have been similarly closed. It has been completely fenced off where it joins Sin Nombre Trail so it is not accessible (see photo at the top of this newsletter). Other access points are similarly fenced off or blocked by barricades and signs.

This trail, like the one in MCSP, has seen frequent use for at least 10 years by hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers and equestrians. The trail meanders along the edge of a meadow, running roughly parallel to the paved Ranch Center Road. It is much prettier than the paved road and so it is favored by all trail users. The much gentler slope made it a popular trail for novices who take the Kubler or Clark connectors (also closed) to return to Ranch Center Road and avoid the steep section near Sage Trail. Most singletrack trails in Sycamore Canyon, and even in all of the Santa Monica Mountains, are too steep for novices to enjoy.

CORBA has contacted the relevant people in the State Parks to understand what is happening with these trails, and to urge that they be re-opened. We will post updates in our blog as we learn more, but given how thinly stretched the park service is these days, it may take awhile to get this issue resolved.

In the meantime, please respect the closure and do not contribute a poor image to mountain bikers by defacing and/or vandalizing any fences, signs or other barriers.

Trail Changes in Malibu Creek State Park

The Grasslands Trail in Malibu Creek State Park between Mulholland Highway and Crags Road Trail has undergone grading and widening to allow ranger and emergency vehicle access. Also, the renegade trails that lead down to Crags Road from Grasslands Trail have been posted as “area closed due to plant rehabilitation.”  See the full story in our blog entry...

Sullivan Canyon to Experience More Closures

The Southern California Gas Company is closing Sullivan Canyon for about three weeks, starting May 24, for more work on their road. They will also close it for 3 - 4 months, possibly starting as early as mid-June. See our blog entry from more details.


Fat Tire Fest 2010 Update

We have made a short video highlighting some of the action of our Fat Tire Fest. This year's event will be on Sunday, October 17th at the Castaic Lake State Recreation Area. Here's a link to the video on YouTube.

Upcoming and Recent Trailwork

June 5: National Trails Day in the Angeles National Forest

Join the US Forest Service, CORBA and several other trail user groups for a day of trail maintenance on the trails on and near Mount Wilson in the Angeles National Forest. Note: Angeles Crest Highway is closed! See our calendar entry for more details.

June 5: National Trails Day at Malibu Creek State Park

This is a great event with many groups and individuals participating. See our calendar entry for more details.

April 23-25: Santa Monica Mountains Trails Days

Over twenty mountain bikers joined the CORBA Trail Crew for Santa Monica Trails Days on April 24th in Point Mugu State Park. They came to give something back to the trails they love to ride. See the full story and photos in our blog entry.

Why do Trailwork? If you've ever wondered this, take a look at this article in the Summer 2008 issue of Terra Times to learn more about why it's important. Visit the CORBA Trail Crew page for more information and links to photos of past events.


General News

CORBA has adopted the Los Robles Trail - West (Space Mountain) in Thouasand Oaks

CORBA is proud to announce our adoption of the Los Robles Trail West (aka Space Mountain to Potrero Rd.) under COSCA’s Adopt-a-Trail program. Adopters agree to provide maintenance for their selected trails on a quarterly basis, as well as regularly monitor conditions on the trail. This is a favorite of mountain bikers locally and from all over Southern California. For the full story, see our blog entry...

CORBA Members Get Discounts at Local Shops

We would like to remind you that CORBA members get discounts at many local bike shops when they purchase parts, accessories, clothing, complete bikes, and/or have service performed. The discounts are typically 10 - 15% and vary by store. You can check our Membership Benefits Page to see the details. If your favorite bike shop isn't listed, urge them to contact us about our Retail Partner Program!

New on the CORBA Website


Recreational Rides

For a list of upcoming recreational rides, please visit the CORBA Calendar.

CORBA’s Recreational Rides calendar provides a full monthly schedule of mountain bike rides for all skill levels. Mountain bike rides are organized by CORBA member clubs and lead by experienced and knowledgeable guides. Recreational rides are a fun and social way to experience a variety of trails in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and beyond.


Free Mountain Biking Skills Clinic

Saturday June 5th is the next skills clinic.

The CORBA free skills clinic is held on the first Saturday of every month at Malibu Creek State Park.

Mountain biking is a lot like tennis or skiing. Just a few minor adjustments in technique can make a huge difference in your control and proficiency. If you want to get better faster, you need to know the fundamentals of mountain biking technique. Whether you're just  getting into mountain biking or have been riding for years, you'll learn some valuable tips from our Introduction to Mountain Biking  skills class that is offered each month. Check out our Skills Clinic web page for all the information. After the clinic, see photos of your new skills on the CORBA web site that you can share with your family and friends!


Follow CORBA on Twitter and Facebook

We have set up an account with Twitter to help keep people informed of the latest developments in our trail advocacy, recreational rides and trailwork days. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CORBAmtb and Facebook at facebook.com/CORBAMTB.


Support CORBA

Join or Renew your membership today on our membership web page.

Join Our Team! Do you have any ideas about mountain biking recreation in the L.A. region? Would you like to apply your skills and manage projects that contribute to the sport and lifestyle that you love? Is there an advocate in you? We are recruiting motivated individuals who work well with others. Send an email to info@corbamtb.com or come to a monthly Members Meeting to find out more about what we do and how you can help. Check the calendar for the next meeting.

Other simple ways to support CORBA

(Click on the links above to get more details!)


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