The latest news from Mike Harriel of So Cal Gas regarding construction as they move closer to the mandated test on its pipelines in Sullivan Canyon.
Beginning July 8th
· We will conduct a bird survey to determine if any nesting birds are in the area of our work. If there are, the project will be delayed.
· If all is well with the nesting birds, we will work with a certified arborist to trim trees that could sustain damaged by construction equipment. The trimming will occur at the direction of the arborist and only the minimum necessary.
· An active beehive will have to be removed for the safety of our employees and users of the canyon.
Beginning July 14th
· Construction mobilization will occur. You will notice the moving in of water tanks and other construction equipment. Tanks and equipment will be staged away from the trail. All soil will be returned to the excavation it is removed from.
· A fire prevention plan is in effect to protect the canyon.
As mentioned previously, the canyon trail will remain open. Signs will provide advance notice when the canyon is closed for hydro testing, which will occur over the course of one day. Signs will also be posted at the drop-in trails. For safety reasons, we don’t want any members of the public dropping in to the canyon during the test, so please abide by the posted closing.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Public Affairs Manager
Office: 213 244-4633
On Monday, June 9, 2014, CORBA’s board of directors unanimously approved the addition of Wendy Engelberg to the board. We’re more than excited to have her “on board” (pun intended).
Wendy’s life was forever changed when she attended CORBA’s Fat Tire Fest at Malibu Creek State Park in 2005. It was her first introduction to mountain biking, and the start of an incredible life journey for her. She was instantly hooked on mountain biking, and before long was encouraging her friends to get involved. She began riding with the Dirt Chix and the North Ranch Riders mountain bike club soon thereafter, finding her place within the mountain biking community of which we’re all a part.
She became an avid CORBA volunteer, always there to lend a hand at CORBA events and fundraisers. In late 2011, looking for ways to get more women involved in mountain biking, Wendy co-founded Girlz Gone Riding (GGR), an all-female mountain bike club. GGR holds skills clinics, group rides, workshops, day trips, road trips, social gatherings, and an annual fundraiser and CORBA/GGR Membership Drive every October. GGR is non-competitive, and provides a very welcoming and supportive environment for new riders.
What Wendy has accomplished with GGR, all the while supporting CORBA’s efforts, is nothing short of impressive. We know she’ll continue to impress us with her energy, her drive, and her willingness to go above and beyond. She will get more people — and especially more women — out on mountain bikes. We’re also looking forward to working even more closely with GGR to expand our outreach and education efforts.
Also noteworthy is that the addition of Wendy brings CORBA’s board up to fifty percent women.
Social media is one of the tools that Wendy has used with great success to build up and engage the GGR membership. You can follow her on twitter @WendyEngelberg, or on Facebook.
Wendy’s first love is the Santa Monica Mountains, but you’ll often ﬁnd her in Big Bear during the hot LA. summer.
Guest photographer Graham Martin filled in for Steve this month who was leading another event to commemorate National Trails Day. As always, there was a good group at Malibu Creek State Park for the Skills Clinic. The weather started out cloudy but cleared by the end of the class. You can see the June photos in the June 2014 photo gallery.
It has been almost five years since the Station Fire was set by arsonists along Highway 2 near the base of Mount Lukens. I was there on August 26, 2009 when it started. I was also there last week when the Station Fire General Closure Order expired. This opened up Strawberry Peak loop, a trail system that has been the focus of several different groups for the past eighteen months. Though it’s a significant milestone, there is much more to be done.
This takes me back to a June 2010 Mountain Bike Magazine article about the Station Fire. While the magazine is no longer published, a copy of the story is archived on our web site. Reading it will help you realize what has been accomplished since.
We all wish that things could have happened faster, but the assumptions of the article have held up. Matt Lay/Mount Wilson Bicycling Association (MWBA), and I were featured in the article as mountain bikers on a mission to help restore the trails. Both CORBA and the MWBA have lived up to that promise, with many trails affected by the fire now open due (at least in part) to our efforts. We have to thank our volunteers, our members, and REI for their generous support, all of whom helped make it possible.
Of course, mountain bikers were not alone in the effort to restore trails. Many nonprofit groups, trail user groups, and individual volunteers continue to make significant contributions to restoration and maintenance. Professional crews including Bellfree Contractors and the LA Conservation Corps have also been involved.
As mentioned, the work is not yet done. The general closure expired and was replaced by a much more manageable list of closed trails. Among them are several fire roads and at least two local mountain biking favorites: a section of the Gabrielino Trail and the Ken Burton Trail. CORBA and the MWBA have pending work plans for both trails, and the Forest Service is working to reopen the fire roads. Stay tuned.
And there will always be a need to do trail maintenance, above and beyond restoration efforts.
Trails don’t maintain themselves. Join us.
- Steve Messer
Last weekend, on the May 31st one-year anniversary of Danusia Bennett-Tabor’s passing, an informal memorial service/ride was held at Malibu Creek State Park. It was a solemn but cheerful event, organized by Wendy Engelberg and the Girlz Gone Riding volunteers, a group that started with Kim Cofield, Wendy and Danusia. Wendy also wrote a wonderful report about the memorial ride with photos by Jesse Ettinger and others. Read it on the GGR blog.
There were many cheerful moments, interspersed with a few tears, as friends told stories about their wonderful experiences with Danusia. Steve Messer made sure everyone appreciated how much she did for CORBA, and how her work continues to guide us.
Recently, CBS did a special report on the cancer and procedures that ultimately took Danusia’s life. Her husband Don told her story in the CBS report on Leiomyosarcoma. Almost $1000 in donations were accepted on behalf of the Sarcoma Alliance, followed by the real celebration: riding.
Thanks to everyone who came to Malibu Creek to remember Danusia.
Please keep an eye out for GGR’s new website that will be up in the next few weeks! The website will have the Google calendar of events that matches the Facebook events, the entire line of GGR cycling clothes to purchase, blog, an email sign up to keep up with announcements and events, and the MOST important a FORUM! GGR’s Face Book page is so busy that we needed to create a forum so posts won’t get lost. The forum will be open to all GGR members to post and respond. Threads can be relative to cycling, fitness, nutrition, etc.
The Wenches with Wrenches workshop scheduled THIS Sunday is now cancelled due to Vince from JRA Bikes & Brew breaking his ankle. JRA was hosting the workshop. We wish him a speedy recovery! This workshop will be rescheduled at a later date.
Please sign up for our quarterly ride in Reseda June 21st! ALL LEVELS WELCOMED! Sign up here: https://www.facebook.com/events/682243968509473/
Submitted by Wendy Engelberg, http://www.girlzgoneriding.com/
Since 1960, Southern California Gas Company (“SoCaIGas”) has owned much of the land that comprises Sullivan Canyon (more than 4 miles in length). This property is used as a corridor for two transmission pipelines that provide Los Angeles residents with a safe and reliable supply of natural gas. Periodically, SoCalGas must perform maintenance on these pipelines. The purpose of this letter is to provide information on pipeline maintenance and repair work that will occur in the coming weeks.
SoCalGas will conduct a hydrostatic pressure test on a segment of one of our natural gas transmission pipelines in Sullivan Canyon. Hydrostatic pressure testing is a process that uses water to exert pressure on a pipeline at levels greater than its usual operating pressure to assess its soundness, often referred to as its integrity.
This test involves digging around the underground pipeline and safely venting natural gas from the pipeline. We will then fill the pipeline with water, and increase the pressure to a level that is higher than the pipeline’s normal operating pressure. If the pipe holds the pressure without any leaks, it will be put back in service. If the pipeline leaks during the test, SoCalGas will repair the pipeline and retest it, or replace it with new, pre-tested pipeline.
What to expect
The construction work will take place at several locations starting west of the Sullivan Canyon trailhead at the end of Queensferry Road and about a quarter-mile northwest of the trailhead. Work will begin in June 2014, and last about four to six weeks, although weather and other factors affecting safe working conditions could change the schedule. Normal work days will be Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., however, some activities may extend the hours.
Test Start Location:
At Sullivan Canyon Trailhead at Queensferry Road, a test-start location will be staged just west of the trail with an excavation site, water tanks, and other equipment. This area will be closed to the public.
Test End Location:
About a quarter-mile northwest of the trailhead, a test-end location with excavation site and support equipment will be staged alongside the trail. This area will also be closed to the public.
Hikers, bikers, and others traversing the trail should use caution while passing by both test site locations. For safety reasons, Sullivan Canyon Trail will not be accessible by the public on the actual test day for the duration of the test. Check local signage with updates on construction activity.
The local community may notice truck traffic bringing test equipment and water tanks to the test sites and then removing them. Nearby residents may hear some work-related noise.
Your gas service should continue without interruption. If that changes, a SoCalGas representative will contact you.
The odor of natural gas
At times, you may smell the odor of natural gas and hear a loud, steady noise as we vent natural gas from the pipeline using safe and common techniques. Although this is normal when crews are working, we encourage anyone who has concerns about the smell of gas to call us from a safe location at 1-800-427-2200. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We apologize for any inconvenience while we’re performing this test and appreciate your patience and cooperation.
Public Affairs Manager – Southern California Gas Company
Tel: (213) 244-4633
The Station Fire burned over 250 square miles of the Angeles National Forest in 2009. The most recent Station Fire Closure Order went into effect on May 25 last year, and is in effect until May 24, 2014. The Forest Service will not be renewing the general closure order. Instead, some trails that have yet to be restored will remain closed, along with some higher elevation fireroads. This is both for public safety and additional resource protection and recovery.
The following trails will remain closed:
- Strawberry Peak Trail 12W05.1 (From the junction with Colby Canyon trail north to Upper Big Tujunga)
- Lower Gabrielino Trail 11W14 (between Bear Canyon trail junction and Paul Little Campground)
- Ken Burton Trail 12W19 (the complete trail)
- Millard Waterfall trail (a non-system user-created trail)
- Barley Flats Trail
- Santa Clara Divide Road 3N17 (between Alder Saddle westward to the intersection with the BPL road near North Fork Station)
- Axial roads that connect to the closed portion of 3N17 will also remain closed:
- 4N32 (BPL Road) between 3N17 and 4N33
- 4N33 (Moody Truck Trail) between 3N17 and 4N32
- 4N24 (Beartrap Truck Trail/SCE Service Road) between 3N17 and Aliso Canyon Road
- 3N90 (Roundtop) between 3N17 and Roundtop Peak
- 3N32 (Mendenhall Ridge Road) between 3N17 and Indian Ben Saddle
Additionally, the following campgrounds will remain closed:
- Messenger Flats Campground
- Lightning Point Campground
- Big Buck Campground
Note that some media reports have indicated that the Colby trail would be closed, without specifying which segments. Rest assured that the segments of the Colby Canyon trail that comprise the classic “Strawberry Peak Loop” will be opened. The segment of Colby Canyon trail north from Josephine Ridge to Highway 2 is still in very poor condition and not recommended for bicycles, though it will be opened.
We must acknowledge once again the generous support we received from REI to help fund the professional services of Bellfree Contractors, tools and food for volunteers, that allowed us to complete the restoration of the Strawberry Peak Trail. The restoration effort included a re-route of a particularly troublesome section, which was planned out as a part of the IMBA Trail Care Crew visit in 2012. We coordinated our efforts with The National Forest Foundation, Los Angeles Conservation Corps, and the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter trail crew. And of course, our biggest thanks go to the many volunteers who came out to our trailwork days on Strawberry Peak. We’ll be doing more trailwork there as we continue to maintain the trail in the future.
The Gabrielino Trail will be our next focus, and stay tuned for important news regarding that effort. We must emphasize that the closed segment of the Gabrielino trail is not ready for public use. At least three groups of trail users who ignored the closure have had to be extracted by Search and Rescue. Please stay off the closed trails listed above for your own safety.