Report on the ‘Creek of Doom’ trail restoration in MCSP on November 11th

November 14th, 2017

Over 20 volunteers, including 9 from CORBA, 8 from Girlz Gone Riding and 6 from the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council, worked for four hours this past Saturday morning to fix up a seriously degraded part of Crags Road in Malibu Creek State Park. This section, just before the M*A*S*H site, is fondly known at the ‘Creek of Doom’ or the ‘Rock Garden’ because of the rocky and narrow nature of the trail, going along the edge, and then the middle, of the dry creek bed. This trail has not seen any work on it for years and had become very overgrown and eroded. As a result of the rains last winter, several trees had fallen on the trail and now were lying at the side, their branches still poking into the trail itself.

Under the guidance of experience trail crew leaders, mostly from the Trails Council but also from CORBA, the volunteers split into several groups, most of which focused on clearing back the fallen trees and other brush, with the rest focusing on fixing the trail tread.

Before, during and after photos of one section of the trail that was restored.

Overall, almost a half mile of trail was restored. This included about 100′ of narrow, rocky and off-camber trail where very large rocks were dug out and the tread made more smooth and level. The large rocks were used to build up a section about 20′ long that had almost completely disappeared into the creek. (See photos above.)

Lunch at the Urbane Cafe afterwards to thank all the volunteers who did such a great job!

After the work ended, CORBA treated the volunteers to a lunch at the Urbane Cafe and the Habit Hamburger Grill.

You can see more pictures of the trailwork in CORBA’s photo gallery.

November Skills Clinic photos posted November 7th

November 7th, 2017

This month we had only 8 riders on a sunny day in the park. A couple of the riders didn’t participate in many of the skills. Again we rode through the creek, which is completely dry, but we did not go down the steps. And again, Graham was covering for Steve who’s bike was temporarily out of commission.

The Basic Skills Clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month at Malibu Creek State Park.

You can see the photos in our November photo gallery.

Santa Susana Mountains Trails Master Plan Draft Released

November 2nd, 2017

The Draft Santa Susana Mountains Trails Master Plan and Initial Study/Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration are available for public review beginning today (November 2, 2017) at http://www. santasusanatrailsplan.org/

Project Location: The SSMTMP-PII area encompasses approximately 24 square miles in the unincorporated territory of the northwestern portion of the County of Los Angeles, immediately east of the boundary with Ventura County, located entirely within the 5th Supervisorial District. The SSMTMP-PII area is comprised of an approximately 22-square-mile area located in the north-facing slopes of the Santa Susana Mountains and the Santa Clarita Valley (Phase II.a) and an approximately 2-square-mile area located in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, including Bell Canyon, Dayton Canyon, and Woolsey Canyon, west of the San Fernando Valley (Phase II.b). The Phase II.a area is composed of generally mountainous and valley terrain that abuts Henry Mayo Drive (State Route [SR] 126) to the north, the Interstate-5 freeway to the east, the southern edge of the Santa Clarita Valley Area Plan area to the south, and the Newhall Ranch Specific Plan Area to the west. Similarly, Phase II.b area, is composed of generally mountainous and valley terrain that abuts Ventura County to the north and west and the City of Los Angeles to the east and south.

Project Description:

The proposed project includes approximately 70 miles of proposed multi-use (hiking, mountain biking, equestrian) trails and related staging areas, bike skills parks, parking areas, and other supporting trail facilities in the Santa Clarita Valley Planning Area and San Fernando Valley Planning Area. The proposed trails would provide connections to parks and open spaces, a large commercial district, seven schools, numerous natural features, Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park, the proposed Rim of the Valley trail corridor alignment (RIVA), and existing trails in the Cities of Los Angeles and Santa Clarita, and in the Newhall Ranch Specific Plan area, as well as trails within other jurisdictions as identified in the Trails Master Plan. The trails would be multi-use and range from 3 to 12 feet wide based on site conditions, with adequate space for combined pedestrian, equestrian, and mountain biking use, in accordance with the County of Los Angeles Trails Manual guidelines (County Trails Manual). The proposed project would develop a complete multi-use trail system connecting user groups and local populations to desired recreation destinations and experiences, with unified transition to the trails of adjacent jurisdictions, compatibility with adjacent land uses and environmental resources, and incorporate a sustainable design consistent with the County Trails Manual. The plan would recommend conditions for improvement of unmet local recreation demands in the County’s Fifth Supervisorial District.

Comments

Written comments will be accepted via email or at the following street address:

County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation
Planning Division
Attn: Julie Yom, Park Planner
510 South Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90020
Email: jyom@parks.lacounty.gov

The public comment period will end on Saturday, December 16, 2017.

All comments must be postmarked or emailed no later than December 16, 2017.

COMMUNITY MEETINGS:

On Thursday, November 9, 2017, the County will host a community meeting to review the project and solicit information in relation to the CEQA analysis for this project.

The meeting will be held from 6:00–8:00 pm at Stevenson Ranch Library, 25950 The Old Road, Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381.

On Thursday, November 16, 2017, the County will host a community meeting to review the project and solicit information in relation to the CEQA analysis for this project.

The meeting will be held from 6:00–8:00 pm at Chatsworth Branch Library, 21052 Devonshire Street, Chatsworth, CA 91311.

Please direct any questions regarding these meetings to Zachary Likins at (213) 351-5149 or zlikins@parks.lacounty.gov.

 

 

Public Lands Update

November 2nd, 2017

This year we have seen legislation introduced to further protect and enhance our local open spaces and public lands.

HR3039, the San Gabriel Mountains Forever Act. Judy Chu introduced this bill in June. The bill would establish two new units of Wilderness within the Angeles National Forest. CORBA worked for two years with wilderness advocates to ensure these newly-proposed designations would not impact trails used by mountain bikers. The bill establishes the Condor Peak Wilderness and Yerba Buena Wilderness units, separated by the Condor Peak Trail. Condor Peak trail and Trail Canyon trail to the waterfall and campground would remain open to bicycles under this new designation.

Rim of the Valley

Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act, S1993/HR4086.

This bill by Adam Schiff/Diane Feinstein would expand the boundary of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to include open spaces around the Conejo, Simi, San Fernando, La Crescenta and Verdugo valleys. It does not change any land ownership or management but allows the National Park Service to partner with current land managers to improve habitat, wildlife corridors, and recreational opportunities. It puts into action the findings of the Rim of the Valley Corridor Study. It does not impact bicycle access to trails and could improve recreational opportunities.

H.R. 2323: San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act. This act introduced by Judy Chu would establish the San Gabriel National Recreation Area as a unit of the National Park System. The NRA would cover river corridors and open spaces from the Angeles National Forest border through the San Gabriel Valley. It does not create any new federally-managed public land. It would allow the National Park Service to partner with existing land managers to improve habitat, biodiversity, and recreational access. It would also expand the boundary of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument to include areas of the Angeles Front Country that are currently outside the Monument.

While these bills have been introduced, it remains to be seen whether they will make it out of their respective committees.

CORBA’s mission includes the protection of the places we play. Nationally, as the current administration proposes major changes to environmental regulations, national monument boundaries (our San Gabriel Mountains National Monument is not expected to be a target of boundary reductions), forest management practices, permitted uses, we stand ready to speak up for our local public lands and the recreational opportunities they provide and we all cherish.

GGR’s 2017 Rocktober Festival & CORBA Membership Drive

November 2nd, 2017

The October 29th, 2017 GGR: Girlz Gone Riding Festival & CORBA membership drives comes to a close.

I’d first like to acknowledge and thank all the volunteers that make this 1 day festival happen. Without every single volunteer, this very special festival would not take place. So thank you volunteers!

The weekend started with our last pre ride for all the guided routes. Each ride volunteer pre rides the routes so we don’t get you lost and they know what to expect on the trails! Then it was time to head over to REI Woodland Hills for our early packet pick up. About 60 riders came to REI to receive their bike plates, goodie bags, shop and turn in their waivers so they would not have to wait in line Sunday morning to do so.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dig In for Sapwi Bike Park!

November 1st, 2017

IMBA’s Dig In campaign is live!  Our Sapwi Bike Park project is moving forward and you can help make it happen sooner. Sapwi Bike Park will be free to the public, featuring jumps, drops, pump tracks, flow lines, trails, and as much stoke factor as you can have on a bike!

We’ve received a generous grant from REI to get us going, but to make this a reality we need to raise much more.

Visit: https://win.imba.com/digin?chapter=223846 and make a donation towards building a new, free community bike park in Thousand Oaks. There are 68 projects to which you can donate, so be sure to choose CORBA’s Sapwi Bike Park.

It doesn’t matter how big or small your donation, every cent counts.

Building the first trail in the new Sapwi Trails Park on Oct 21.

October 22nd, 2017

On Saturday during the Conejo Fall Trailwork Day, a group of 193 volunteers helped build the first trail in Sapwi Trails Park. We completed 0.67 miles, about half of the new trail. Some of it was along a very steep cross-slope so we had to move a lot of dirt to establish the tread.

Much of the rest of the trail was across a gentle cross-slope, so it can be traversed even if it hasn’t been finished.

You can see photos of some of the work that was done in our photo gallery, as well as pictures of the lunch and muk-a-muks who turned out to celebrate the occasion.

Sapwi Bike Park Update

October 22nd, 2017

It was October 10, 2016, that the City of Thousand Oaks approved the Sapwi Trails Community Park master plan, including bike park amenities for which CORBA and the mountain biking community had so enthusiastically advocated.

Since that time the Conejo Recreation and Parks Department (CRPD) have been moving the project forward. They received grant funding from the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the City of Thousand Oaks and other sources for park facilities such as fencing, parking, playground, and other amenities. CRPD have awarded a construction contract, and work on the larger park facilities has begun.

Thousand Oaks Mayor Claudia Bill-de la Peña, CORBAs Sapwi Comittee at the Groundbreaking Ceremony

A ceremonial groundbreaking took place on October 21, with Thousand Oaks Mayor Claudia Bill-de la Peña, Dignitaries from the Conejo Open Space Conservation Foundation, Conejo Rec and Parks District Board, and user groups including CORBA’s Sapwi trails committee.

Earlier this year CORBA formed the Sapwi Committee to oversee the project. The committee have been meeting monthly, discussing the park, refining our vision, and strategizing our best path forward.

CORBA President Steve Messer Receives REI Grant for Sapwi Bike Park

CORBA received a grant of $15,000 from our friends at REI to get the project underway. We’re putting that seed funding to good use, enlisting the services of professional bike park design firm FlowRide Concepts to do the design. They have designed some of the most fun bike parks in the country and around the world.

Discussing our vision with Shea from FlowRide Concepts

Dirt sculptor Shea from FlowRide met with committee members in October, and spent two days assessing the site. He also had extensive discussions with CRPD, to help optimize the site and layout of the bike park. The design process is now underway.

Sapwi Trails Community Park will also include up to five miles of multi-use singletrack trails that could host cross country running meets, training rides for high school mountain bikers and cross-country runners, or even cyclocross events. Work on the first section of those trails began on October 21.

These multi-use trails will also include a number of optional skill-building features for cyclists. These “bike skill stations” will be added over time, and may include rock gardens, jumps, log skinnies or other fun and skill-building features, and will be signed one-way and bike-only.

 

While many volunteers worked on the first new trail, about 35 volunteers began work on the first of those bike skill stations, an alternate line that will include tabletop jumps, berms and rollers. See the complete report here.

You can help make Sapwi Bike park happen. Donate to the cause at https://win.imba.com/digin?chapter=223846. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and watch for volunteer work days to be scheduled over the coming months.

With your help, we hope to be riding Sapwi Bike Park’s first phase next summer.

 

 

 

 

October Skills Clinic photos posted October 7th

October 7th, 2017

This month we had 10 riders on a pleasantly warm day in the park. This month we rode through the creek, which is completely dry, but we did not go down the steps.

The Basic Skills Clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month at Malibu Creek State Park.

You can see the photos in our October photo gallery.

E-MTBs Prohibited from Malibu Creek, Point Mugu and Will Rogers State Parks

September 15th, 2017

On September 13, 2017, California State Parks Angeles District Superintendent Craig Sap issued order 915-17-02, closing all trails in the Angeles District to electric bicycles. This includes multi-use trails in Malibu Creek State Park, Topanga State Park, Will Rogers State Park, and Point Mugu State Park.

E-MTB’s such as this Specialized Turbo Levo are prohibited from Santa Monica Mountains trails

Electric mountain bikes are already prohibited from Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority and National Park Service trails.

Some trails and many popular bike routes in the Santa Monicas cross more than one of these jurisdictions. This had led to confusion as to where e-MTBs were allowed. Sap’s order states that consistency with neighboring jurisdictions is part of the justification used.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation current policy regarding e-MTBs leaves the decision at the District level, until such time as a formal state-wide policy is adopted. The order goes into effect on October 1st, 2017.

Enforcement is expected to begin then too, but we do not yet have information on how it will be enforced. As one can see in photo above, it can be extremely difficult to distinguish some e-MTbs from their non-electric brethren.

Sap’s order does appear to allow for exemptions. Law enforcement and emergency personnel may still use e-MTBs in the performance of their official duties without a prior written exemption.

Currently, Conejo Open Space trails are generally open to e-MTBs, as well as roads and trails appearing on the Angeles National Forest MVUM (Motor Vehicle Use Map).  Check the People for Bikes e-MTB Map for more information on where to legally ride electric mountain bikes.

2017-09-15 – Angeles District State Parks E-Bike Order