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.
The Malibu Adventure Games return to Malibu Creek State Park May 17 with added mountain biking activities. Along with a poker ride with two different distances, there will also be a family blackjack ride where participants can win prizes by beating the dealer at various stations. CORBA’s Mark Langton will also be providing a free skills clinic prior to the poker rides.
Also at the event will be activities for the whole family including a climbing wall, nature walks, kids XTERRA 1-mile fun run, yoga classes, and a fitness expo.
Also taking place during the event are the XTERRA 22K and 6K trail runs. Proceeds from the event go to the Malibu Creek Docents to support Malibu Creek State Park. For more information go to malibuadventuregames.com.
This past weekend, a large number of volunteers from CORBA, the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council, the Sierra Club and other organizations, and individuals gathered for the 33rd annual Santa Monica Mountains Trail Days at the Danielson campground in Pt Mugu State Park. Folks could arrive Friday evening, camp overnight, help with the trails on Saturday, enjoy the barbecue dinner prepared by park staff, win some cool swag in the prize give-away during dinner, camp overnight, help with the trails on Sunday, have lunch back at the campground, then depart for home. Of course only a few people stayed for the whole weekend, but many camped for at least one night, and most stayed for the Saturday BBQ and prize give-away.
On Saturday, there were about 110 volunteers who split into five groups. The largest groups worked on Old Boney Trail in the State Wilderness Area and Sage Trail. Others went to the top of Hidden Pond Trail and youngsters under 10 cleared small rockfalls off the Sin Nombre and Two Foxes Trails. A dozen hardy souls (with hardy soles) hiked almost three miles (and up about 1400′) carrying tools to work on the Chamberlain Trail, also in the wilderness area.
The group of about 30 volunteers who worked on Sage consisted of CORBA folks, a few geocachers, and others. The trail had just been SWECO’d (plowed by a small trail-sized bulldozer) to level the trail, smooth out the ruts, and narrow it. The trail is narrower now because it used to be the full width of a fire road, and now the travel surface is about half as wide. The SWECO is only able to get so close to the edge, so the work consisted of pulling down the berm (pile of dirt) the machine left at the outside edge of the trail, sloping the trail about 5-degrees to the outside so rainwater will run off, rather than down the middle, and removing the larger rocks.
There were also a few spots of severe erosion and rutting on the side of the trail where rain water had run off, taking some of the trail with it. In one case, the erosion extended about half-way into the trail. To prevent future rain from extending these ruts and eventually washing the trail away completely, we built rock walls down the ruts to reinforce the side next to the trail. The idea is that the water will run off the trail and down the rock wall, protecting the dirt underneath from being washed away. The rocks will also slow and disperse the water, so it doesn’t wash away the dirt below the wall and undermine it.
Overall we worked about 2300 feet of trail, from the bottom to where the now-closed Art’s Trail joins it.
We headed back to the campground at about 2:00 pm, although crew leader Virginia from the Trails Council stayed about a half hour longer, and CORBA’s Steve Messer stayed even longer. Some people just won’t quit until the job is finished!
We always have a much smaller group for the Sunday work day, so all 30 of us returned to Sage Trail to finish off the top 1700′. It only took until about noon to get this shorter section completed.
Sage Trail is a little loose after our trailwork, but it’s not too loose to ride. It should be packed down in two or three weeks, as Guadalasca Trail was after we did the same work there last spring. The trail will also regain its single-track width after enough people have ridden it to define a preferred course.
CORBA, the Trails Council, local chapters of the Sierra Club, California State Park, the National Park Service and other would like to give a tremendous Thank-You to all the volunteers who helped over the weekend, both working on the trails to keep them in top shape, and organizing and coordinating in the camping and registration area!
Please join us for the 1st annual Danusia Taber Memorial ride at MCSP (Malibu Creek State Park) at 9AM on May 31st. This ride will be to honor Danusia Taber who passed away in May of 2013 of Leimyosarcoma, a rare cancer. This is also a fund raiser ride for the Sarcoma Alliance the non profit that helped Danusia in her time of need. Please donate prior to the ride in Danusia’s Memory here: http://sarcomaalliance.org/donate/donate-now/
You can also bring cash or a check made out to The Sarcoma Alliance and turn it into me at the Memorial site at 9am.
Danusia was instrumental in getting GGR off the ground. She was there from the beginning with direction, motivation and helping with partnerships such as CORBA. She was a CORBA board member, an MBU patroller, a mentor and great friend to many. Before she passed, she approved the Danusia Bell program. These are small bells to place on your bike or pack alerting other trail users you are there. 100% of these profits also go to the Sarcoma Alliance per Danusia. You can purchase your Danusia bells here: http://www.girlzgoneriding.com/ggr_products/
or here: http://corbamtb.com/store/store.shtml.
We will have 3 levels of rides:
• Beginner & Advanced Beginner: Riding to the dam and back: about 8 miles
• Intermediate: Short Bull dog loop & Grasslands: about 15 miles with 1500 feet of climbing
• Advanced: New Millennium Loop & Grasslands: about 19 miles with 3400 feet of climbing.
All riders will meet at the Memorial spot at 9am to have a brief revisit of Danusia’s life and why we are there for her and the fund raising efforts. If you have a story to tell about Danusia, I will open up the area to anyone who does. We would love to hear it! She was a character and we all have many great stories!
Please meet at the SOUTH end of Mott Motorway where the memorial service was held last year: http://www.venturacountytrails.org/TrailMaps/MalibuCreek/AreaTrails.htm#Map. Mott is #7 on the Map.
You can further show your support by signing up for this event on our Meetup group here http://www.meetup.com/CORBAmtb/events/153915552/ and encouraging all your friends to come along!
If you have any questions on the event or ride, please contact Wendy Engelberg: firstname.lastname@example.org
I thank you so very much in advance for supporting this event. GGR Girl and Proud CORBA member Wendy E
At the 2014 California Trails and Greenways Conference, CORBA Co-Founder Jim Hasenauer was honored with a lifetime achievement award by the Trails and Greenways Foundation.
Jim has been at the forefront of mountain bike and trail advocacy since helping CORBA get started in 1987, and IMBA in 1988. He was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 1988, and was also present at CORBA’s induction in 2013.
We’re fortunate to have such an informed, eloquent, and passionate ally, still working hard to help guide us into a better future for off-road cycling and trails. We owe him a debt of gratitude for his continued involvement in CORBA, and congratulate him on this worthy acknowledgement of his contributions to the trail community.
Watch his acceptance speech below.
The April 2014 Skills Clinic Skills Clinic at Malibu Creek State Park, on a sunny but cool day, was made up of 25 riders. There was a small amount of water in the stream crossing this month, but we didn’t ride across because of the large number of hikers wandering back and forth. Maybe they were looking for tadpoles. So we didn’t get a chance to ride through the stream yet again. You can see the April photos in the April 2014 photo gallery.
Today was the deadline for comments on the draft State Parks Rules concerning trail use. The proposed rule would hinder the process of gaining access to more trails for bicycles in State Parks.
We understand that hundreds of letters were written by our IMBA Alert recipients, for which we thank you.
Below are comments submitted by CORBA.
April 3, 2014
Alexandra Stehl, Statewide Trails Program Manager
California Department of Parks and Recreation
PO Box, 942896
Sacramento, CA 94296
Re: State Parks Proposed RuleMaking Comments
Dear Ms. Stehl,
I am submitting these comments on behalf of the Concerned Off Road Bicyclists Association (CORBA), a chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit representing offroad cyclists in the Los Angeles and Ventura County region. We have been working closely with State Parks on trailrelated issues since our founding in 1987. Our volunteer trail crews have contributed many thousands of hours of labor to trail maintenance efforts in State Parks. We serve as a bridge between land managers and the mountain biking community, educating and encouraging trail users on proper trail etiquette and responsible trail use, while at the same time advocating for protection of public lands and equitable access to the trails by which the public enjoys those resources for all trail users.
Despite comments from CORBA and many others calling for language of inclusion for § 4360 Trail Use in both the first round of private discussions and the subsequent round of public comments, we were once again dismayed to read the same policies of inequality and exclusion, favoring one group (Hikers) over two others (Equestrians and Cyclists).
We still stand by the language suggested by IMBA in the last round of comments as follows:
§ 4360 Trail Use
State park trails are open to nonmotorized users including hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians unless otherwise designated. Trail use designations are established based upon user needs, visitor safety and environmental sustainability. This includes access to trails in Reserves and Preserves, as defined in PRC Sections 5019.65, 5019.71 and 5019.74, where particular emphasis will be placed upon importance of public access to the area, or desirability of providing important connections to other trails, provided impacts to special resources for which the area was established will be less than significant.
Such a policy of inclusion would give the most welcoming signals to the broadest population; it would allow policies regarding all non-motorized trail users to be developed from an equal starting point. It would help change the perceived tone of State Parks where “NO…. “ signs sometimes seem to outnumber signs with a more positive message.
Gross inequities still exist in the allocation of singletrack trails to shared use including bicycles vs. trails open to equestrians and hikers. It has been clearly stated that whatever the outcome of this rulemaking, nothing on the ground will change without going through the already approved formal Change in Use process. It would, however, help guide us into a more equitable future.
If fact, the CIU-PEIR Appendices have the most clear and current research on user conflict, finding that perceived conflict is relatively rare, and actual confict rarer still. Other research shows that the trail impacts of bicycles is similar to that of hikers, and less than that of equestrians. If protection of the resources are a priority, it makes little sense to allow a user group that has a greater impact on trails than one with a lesser impact.
The former director of State Parks once stated that “we need to engage our youth and get them excited about our parks.” Consider the phenomenal growth of the High School Mountain Bike League. There are now well over 1000 high school students, and now Middle School students (pilot program), who are participating in competitive cross country mountain bike races on school-based teams in California. The Southern California League started 6 years ago with about 70 high school students racing. This year there are over 500 students registered in the league from more than 40 teams. A very large proportion of these student-athletes are mountain biking for the first time when they start riding with their school team. These students have taken to mountain biking, and many will continue to enjoy the great outdoors by bicycle far beyond their school years. The high school league promotes stewardship, encouraging their student-athletes to give back to the trails in the form of volunteer trailwork. Most teams have done so. The proposed rule sends the wrong message to these kids, that they are not welcome at State Parks with their bicycles. Is this policy of exclusion how the agency can best engage a new generation of State Park visitors, our upcoming stewards of the land?
As a group we advocate for shareduse trails, and feel that the message sent by the proposed exclusionary and negative language sends the wrong message to State Park unit superintendents and managers. It sets the wrong example for other land management agencies who may be influenced by State Park rules and policies.
State Parks now has a policy favoring multi-use trails over single or dual-use. The mission of State Parks includes “creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation.” This policy is not supported by the proposed rule.
This policy is also in direct opposition to the findings and efforts of the Parks Forward Committee. Responsiveness to community needs is one of the goals of that committee. Clearly, when cyclists comprise a large proportion of trail users (on the trails they are permitted), and the gross inequities in trails open to bicycles still exist, that is not meeting community needs.
While some user groups have complained about the “excessive” number of bicycles on some trails, increasing perceived conflict, a rule and policy allowing access to a greater range of trails will help disperse cyclists across more trails, reducing the social impacts on any particular trail.
Those who would rather use trails where bicycles are prohibited still have many trails to choose from, including all of those in designated State wildernesses, the Pacific Crest trail, and many other City trails (here in Los Angeles).
The proposed language has the potential to further and compound perceived user conflict by giving one user group a sense of “superiority” over other user groups; it legitimizes and reinforces this perceived conflict, and discourages the sharing of multiuse trails. As outlined in the State Parks Trail Change In Use PEIR, Appendix A, even perceived conflict is rare, and actual incidents are rarer still. The language we are proposing will help promote a sense of community, sharing of trails, and is in line with State Parks’ stated goals of providing more trail opportunities to offroad cyclists.
Again, we encourage you to consider the language proposed by IMBA, or some variation that indicates trails are open to all users, unless they have been ordered closed.
Minimum Tool Use
We understand the intent of the term “non-mechanized” as used in the Minimum Tool use for Preserves and Reeserves is to apply to tool use only, and not to trail users. However, the perception by anyone familiar with the Wilderness Act is that bicycles are not permitted. The context in which it is used fails to clearly indicate that this does not mean bicycles are prohibited from preserves and reserves. A cursory reading by a State Park employee might lead to that wrong conclusion. It certainly does that to the public, again creating an unwelcoming message to bicyclists.
Language from the Wilderness Act is specific to the management of wilderness. Park units that are managed under a different desgination and for different purpose to Wilderness should have language specific to that designation. How can a cultural preserve, whose mission is to preserve and protect man-made historically significant artifacts or structures, be managed in the same way as Wilderness, whose mission is to preserve and protect pristine habitats? So once again, we would like to see language other than “non-mechanized” used in this context for Preserves and Reserves.
For Minimum Tool use we might suggest the following language, or something similar: “using the tools and methods with the least resource impacts possible to get the task done, and excluding motorized or mechanized equipment.”
If you have any questions about the above suggestions and comments, please feel free to contact me. I urge and look forward to another round of drafts for public review.
President, Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association
CC: Major General Anthony Jackson, Director, California State Parks
John Laird, Secretary, Natural Resources Agency
Lousi Nastro, Assistant to the California State Park and Recreation Commission
Fran Pavley, District 27 State Senator
Matthew Dababneh, District 45 Assembly Member
About CORBA: The Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association (CORBA) is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and a chapter of the International Mountain Bicyclists Association (IMBA). Formed in 1987, CORBA works with land managers and the off-road cycling community at large to foster off-road cycling as a healthy, sustainable outdoor recreation in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. CORBA is dedicated to preserving open space, maintaining public access to public lands, and creating more trail opportunities for all to enjoy. CORBA works with California State Parks, National Park Service, National Forest Service, Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority, Conejo Open Space Agency, as well as other local City and County government agencies. Our Volunteer Trail Crew, Youth Adventures, Free Skills Clinics, CORBA Kids Club and other programs promote off-road cycling recreation, and the responsible use and stewardship of our trails and open spaces.
Strawberry Peak is one of the most loved areas in the Angeles National Forest. It suffered devastating damage during the El Niño storms following the Station Fire. After the fire the trail was impassable and has remained closed to all users, even as much of the surrounding burn areas have opened up.
The Strawberry Peak and Colby Canyon trails together comprise the classic Strawberry Peak Loop. CORBA and the Boy Scouts have worked to restore the Gabrielino trail, the third leg of the classic loop, over several trailwork days since the Station Fire. It is open and in good shape.
During our initial surveys of Strawberry Peak trail, it became clear that one particularly problematic section of the trail could benefit from a complete re-route. This section, where the Strawberry Peak trail leaves the old Barley Flats fire road, is a fall-line rocky chute that was difficult to ride even before the fire. After the fire, it became a 4′ deep rocky rut for most of its length. Trail users (who should not be in the closed area) have been steadily widening this section of trail as they go around the ruts and rocks.
CORBA planned the re-route during our IMBA Trail Care Crew visit in 2012. About 30 class attendees and volunteers worked on the trail and learned how to flag out and prepare a new trail route. The re-route plans were submitted to the Forest Service for environmental review. The review process took about six months. We were required to power wash tools, among other things, to avoid spread of invasives. (CORBA’s tools are used in many different jurisdictions in Southern California).
In late 2012, CORBA received an REI grant of $10,000 for the restoration of the Strawberry Peak loop. We purchased some new tools, and fed volunteers on our trailwork days, and sought professional help. The National Forest Foundation funded the Los Angeles Conservation Corps for this and several other Station Fire damaged trails. Together, we solicited the services of Bellfree Contractors, a professional trailbuilding company, to restore many of the larger slide areas, burned sutter walls and downed trees. CORBA also paid over $2500 of our discretionary funds for professional trailbuilding services. We coordinated with the Sierra Club volunteer trail crew who also worked on the Strawberry Peak and Colby Canyon trails.
On February 16, CORBA had 22 volunteers come out for trailwork. We rode or hiked in the 3 miles to the Strawberry-Lawlor saddle, and worked on the trail as far down as Strawberry Springs. Those who rode or hiked in were very happy to be back on the closed trail. We accomplished a lot, clearing about .6 miles of trail, building three rock retaining walls at drainages, cutting and widening the trail bench, and removing slough.
The LACC and Bellfree Contractors had cleared and restored much of the Colby Canyon trail from Josephine Saddle to the Strawberry Potrero. After their work, it was in better shape than before the fire.
On March 16 we returned with about 17 CORBA and MWBA volunteers. We rode in 2.5 with Bob trailers about 2.5 miles, and restored the trail all the way to Strawberry-Lawlor saddle. With the re-route completed, the ride in was much better. There was poodle dog to remove, and slough from the one big winter storm of 2014.
We will return to the trail during May, date TBD. There is still work to be done, including the repair of composite retaining walls, brushing and the ongoing need for routine maintenance.
With CORBA, Mount Wilson Bicycling Association, Sierra Club, Los Angeles Conservation Corps, National Forest Foundation and a professional contractor working together, the Strawberry Peak loop restoration has been progressing nicely.
The Station Fire Closure order is in effect until May 24, 2014. The Forest Service is assessing the burn area and the trails to determine whether to renew the closure order, modify it, or let it expire. The section of the Strawberry Peak trail north to Upper Big Tujunga Canyon needs a substantial re-route, planning for which has begun. Even if the Forest Service lifts the closure, we expect the Strawberry Peak trail from the junction with Colby Canyon trail north to Upper Big Tujunga to remain closed, or be subject to a seasonal or temporary closure. Because of the need for a re-route, this section of the trail has not yet been worked on.
CORBA would like to thank all the volunteers who came out to our trailwork days; to REI for their generous grant that made the restoration and professional help possible; to the Sierra Club, National Forest Foundation and Los Angeles Conservation Corps for their efforts, and to Bellfree Contractors for their professional assistance.