Posts Tagged ‘Advocacy’

Action Alert! Protect Mountain Bike Access

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

From our Friends to the north, Santa Clarita Valley Trail Users:

Dear Friends,

Congressman “Buck” McKeon is holding a Town Hall meeting to discuss a proposal to designate approximately 40,000 acres just north of Castaic Lake as a federally protected Wilderness area.  This proposed Wilderness area could potentially include the Fish Canyon, Salt Creek, Elderberry Canyon, Tule and Red Mountain areas on the northeast side of Castaic Lake.  All of these areas are very close to Tapia Canyon where the majority of mountain biking occurs in Santa Clarita AND which will likely be lost to development in the not too distant future.

Even though many of us would support the protection and preservation of our public lands, it is important to note that the Wilderness designation severely limits recreation on such lands.  Specifically, cycling or mountain biking is prohibited in Wilderness areas because they are “mechanized”.  Access is only allowed on foot or horseback.

Already, the federal government has set aside very large Wilderness areas near Santa Clarita including the Magic Mountain Wilderness (just south of the 14 Freeway near Canyon Country), the Sespe Wilderness (just north of Fillmore and Santa Paula), and the San Rafael Wilderness (just east of Ventura and Santa Barbara).  This is why you can’t ride a mountain bike in the mountains above Fillmore and why there are so few mountain bike trails in the Ventura/Santa Barbara area.  We think these three Wilderness areas near Santa Clarita are more than enough.

For this reason, we encourage you to attend next week’s Town Hall meeting to let Congressman McKeon know that you object to the Wilderness designation of these additional areas near Castaic Lake because it would permanently prohibit mountain biking.  The current designation of Backcountry – Non-motorized or something else more protective (such as a Special Conservation Area) would be preferred so long as mountain biking continues to be allowed.

Here are the details of the Town Hall meeting:

Date:  Tuesday, August 19

Time:  10:30AM

Where: Santa Clarita City Hall, Century Room

Address:  23920 Valencia Boulevard, Santa Clarita, CA  91355

Thank you for your continued support.

SCV Trail Users

Safe and Equal Access for All Trail Users

SCVTrailUsers@gmail.com

Ride And Mingle Prizes Announced!

Thursday, December 26th, 2013
AIR9_TamaleRed

You could win a new Niner frameset at this Saturday’s Ride and Mingle. (Frame model subject to availability)

In addition to a chance to win two cash prizes of $250 each, attendees at this Saturday’s Ride and Mingle 2 will have a chance to win a new Niner frameset, courtesy of Niner bikes.

Attendees will also pose for this year’s portrait with the 2013 Mountain Bike Hall of Fame award, given to CORBA earlier in the year at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Las Vegas.

HOF award

Meet at The Hub in Topanga State Park on Saturday December 28 at 10am. Please come out and make the event one to remember! Click here for more info.

What CORBA Does

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

By Mark Langton

Bikes, horses, hikers and runners

Bikes, horses, hikers and runners. We all love trails.

Recently a bicycle club-team representative  contacted CORBA wanting to see what more they could do to get more of the trails that are currently closed to bicycles opened up to shared use. A couple of comments from the correspondence were that they thought that showing up in larger numbers to public meetings would help, and that they thought the main reason that trails were closed were because of an influential public anti-bicycle lobby.

I wrote back to the person who contacted me, and in doing so came up with what I think is a good overview of what CORBA has been doing for the past 26 years, and continues to do on behalf of all public backcountry trail users (see below). Yes, CORBA is a mountain bike organization, but we are more than that, and here’s why: We believe that shared use works better because it disperses use, rather than concentrating it. When you disperse use, you reduce congestion, and when you reduce congestion, you reduce confrontation. Moreover, it has been shown that where shared use trails exist, it works. Maybe not perfectly, but certainly better than where there are restrictions to bicycles, because shared use also fosters cooperation. Bicycles do mix when operated considerately and with the safety and serenity of other trail users in mind. And that’s the crux of the issue: If bicyclists would simply slow down around others, including other bicyclists, they would be solving the problem of both dangerous speed, and the “startle factor,” or the disruption of another’s peaceful enjoyment of the backcountry.

Here’s what I wrote to that bicycle club team member:

This year CORBA celebrated its 26th anniversary. In that time we have made many strides to opening trails to shared use (hiking, equestrian, bicycle) in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Angeles National Forest, Los Angeles County, and Eastern Ventura County. We have participated in hundreds of public meetings with land managers over the years. Land managers recognize and continue to adapt to the growing bicycle population and changing demographic profile of the trail user community. They are certainly aware of the needs and desires of the mountain biking community through CORBA’s efforts, which include quarterly meetings with principal agency managers (National Park Service, State Parks, Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority). We are also in constant communication with these agencies and/or when the need arises to address a specific issue. CORBA also works closely with the Mountain Bike Unit which aids the rangers and community with safety and education. CORBA also schedules and organizes regular trail maintenance work days s in conjunction with the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council and Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency. CORBA is also heavily involved with the Angeles National Forest with trail maintenance and volunteer patrol participation. Due to CORBA’s efforts, most of the singletrack trails built in the last 25 years are shared use (not to mention a lot of the singletrack that already existed not getting shut down).

 As you can see, there is more to getting involved than just showing up at meetings in large numbers. The issue of bikes not being allowed on trails is more than just politically active opponents to bicycles; it is mired in an outdated management policy of restriction that is predicated to a large degree on ignorance and a status quo mentality. Within the last few years there has been a systemic change for adopting shared use as the overriding management strategy. It is a slow moving process but we do see a very strong indication that within the next few years we will see many more trails opening to shared use on a statewide basis than currently exists. This change comes from consistent efforts not only by CORBA, but mountain bike advocates all over the state, with assistance from the International Mountain Bicycle Association (of which CORBA was a founding club in 1988).

 The one concern that is always at the forefront of managers’ minds is safety. It is agreed by everyone that bicycles are an acceptable form of public open space trail recreation. However, it is when riders go too fast around other users as to make it an unsafe or even just an unpleasant experience that gets mountain bikers a bad reputation, and gets the managers to thinking about restricting bicycles. If everyone would just slow down when passing others, and slow down into corners so they don’t scare others on the other side, we would pretty much solve the problem. I am not saying you shouldn’t go fast, I’m just saying do it when conditions are safe. 

It Takes a Village…Of Mountain Bikers

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

By Mark Langton

DSC01405

CORBA founders/Steering Committee/Board of Directors accepting the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame award for 2013. From left to right: Kurt Loheit, Peter Heumann, Jeff Klinger, Michael Goodman, Jim Hasenauer, Jennifer Klausner, Mark Langton, Steve Messer (not pictured, Hans Keifer).

Last week on September 18, CORBA was officially inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame during the Interbike Trade Show in Las Vegas. Several CORBA founding members, past and current board members, and VIPs attended the event. Also inducted were professional racers Marla Streb and Nicolas Vouilloz, Rim Cyclery (Moab, Utah) founders Robin and Bill Groff, and photographer David Epperson. Click here for more information on this year’s inductees.

In the weeks leading up to the event, I was tasked with compiling and editing a list comprised of founders, Steering Committee and Board of Directors members, and friends and significant contributors to CORBA, first provided by CORBA’s unofficial archivist Jim Hasenauer. It’s still a work in progress, but I believe it is fairly comprehensive (see below). The most noteworthy impression I get when looking at the list is that CORBA’s success in getting and keeping trails open to bicycles in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and greater Los Angeles County and Eastern Ventura County is due to a team effort.

In 26 years more than 30 people have joined CORBA’s Steering Committee/Board of Directors. They have all made significant contributions to keeping CORBA on the high road of advocacy. The list of significant friends and volunteers is made up of people who have in one way or another gone above and beyond to help guide and bolster CORBA’s efforts, such as organizing events, providing mentoring and guidance,  volunteering incredible amounts of time, and so much more. Their contributions are far too lengthy and complex to list here, but it is one thing I am endeavoring to do as well. To be sure, if their name is on the list, they have done something significant to keep CORBA moving forward (including some land management agency folks who certainly took their fair share of heat for siding with CORBA; of course, they were visionaries). If you see someone missing who you feel should be on the list, please send their name and description to me at mark@corbamtb.com. Thanks!

Steering Committee/Board of Directors (chronological)
Jim Hasenauer
Kurt Loheit
Mark Langton
Matt Landis
Peter Heumann
Ross Blasman
Lou Pescarmona
Dan Bernstein
Callie Courtis
Michael Goodman
Lawana Godwin
Mike Roth
Jim Walters
Gary Stevens
John Christ
Ken Rodriguez
Laura O’Neal
David Grey
Mark Fingerman
Frank Still
Ed Dee
Reuben Finkelstein
Louisa Bonnie
Greg Scarich
Hans Keifer
Jeff Klinger
Sonia Ottusch
Danusia Bennett Taber
Mark Langton
Steve Messer
Jennifer Klausner
Friends of CORBA and Significant Volunteers (alphabetical by first name)
Aaron Hanson
Al Farrell
Alan Yoshida
Alex Baum
Bannar Moffat
Bart Allen
Bill Foster
Bob Pugsley
Bonnie Baskin
Brian Hemsworth
Brian Simms
Bryan Gordon
Burt Elliott
Carol Gray
Carola Lindquist
Charlie and Mary Litsky
Christine Blasman
Clay Clymore
Danny Ybarra
Darryl Gray
Dave Dwyer
Dave Mummert
David Ross

David Updike

Dieter Schirrmacher
Donna Marks
Dori Friedman
Elayne Haggan
Ezra Dweck
Fran Gruchy
Frank Padilla
Fred Ansaldi
Fred Chavez
Gene Berwager
Holly Harmon
Hoyt Pemberton
Jack Dwyer
Jack Matalon
Jack Short
Jean Bray
Jeff Alexander
Jerry Cowan
Jim Shanman
Joe Dillman
Jonathan Kay
Katy Endicott
Keith Barefoot
Kellog and Andelson Accountancy Corp.
Ken Raleigh
Ken Williams, Carol Matsonaga, and Dana Supanovich attorneys at Law
Kevin Donnelly
Kevin Korenthal
Lance Bisco
Larry LaSota
Larry Marks
Liz Baumann
Loren Bain
Loren Pluth
Lynne Rubin
Mansoor Sabbagh
Matt Gunnell
MBU/Youth Adventures
Mike Poteet
Pete Warden
Randy Rogers
Rebecca Lemke
Rich Pinder
Robert Heagy
Robin and Mike McGuire
Rorie Skei
Russ Eddy
Russ Okawa
Steve Clark
Steven Weiss
Stu McNally
Stuart Ganong
Tamara Napier
Terry Harmon
Tom Robbins
Troy Braswell
Virgil Hemrick
Vondell Scharrer
Wendy Engelberg
Woody Smeck

 

 

 

Palos Verdes Volunteer Trail Patrol Needs Mountain Bikers

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

bike_group_delcerro2Rancho Palos Verdes will soon create a Volunteer Trail Patrol program. CORBA PV has recommended the formation of a trail patrol for many years. It will be similar to volunteer patrols from other open space agencies including the Santa Monica Mountains based Mountain Bike Unit. The MBU was founded by CORBA in 1988 and now works under the National Park Service, the California State Parks, and the Santa Monica Mountains MRCA (Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority).

Volunteer Trail Patrol members will assist the MRCA rangers by regularly patrolling the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve on foot, by horse or by bicycle. The goal is to educate and assist trail users, report safety hazards, maintenance needs, and regulation infractions. Volunteer Trail Patrol members will not be able to issue citations or make arrests.

It is important to have members from all three user groups on the patrol. Peer to peer communication is the most effective way to education trail users and minimize user conflicts concerns. For years CORBA PV has called on the city to collect factual on-trail information instead of relying on anecdotal comments at public meetings. Your participation will help collect accurate information and lead to impartial decisions by the city council.

The program is yet to be finalized but volunteers will undergo training and commit to four hours per month. Those who are interested can contact Barb Ailor at info@PVPLC.org. For more information go to mtbpv.org/

Town Hall 1/26 Cancelled

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we must cancel our Town Hall meeting at Paramount Ranch this Saturday January 26. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements regarding meetings to discuss shared use issues with agency representatives of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Happy Trails!

Cancelled – Town Hall Meeting This Saturday Jan. 26

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

meeting of the knobsBy Mark Langton

The trail user community, and mountain bikers in particular, have a unique opportunity to get involved with our open space trails on the ground floor this Saturday. Whether you’ve been using the trails for years or are new to our open space, you can meet the newly appointed Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) Superintendent David Szymanski and discuss with him how we can change the culture of shared use in our mountains.

An avid mountain biker who has logged hundreds of miles on SMMNRA and COSCA trails in just the few months he has been here, Szymanski has stated that mountain bikers in the SMMNRA are a integral part of the trail user community. This purpose of this meeting is to engage the mountain bike community to come together and examine the issues of our  shared use trail system.

Your attendance and participation in this meeting will speak volumes in promoting a cohesive and caring trail user community now and  for future generations.

We hope you will join CORBA in helping make this groundbreaking event a success. We need a good turnout of mountain bikers to show that we are willing to make shared use trails in the SMMNRA the most pleasant experience for everyone possible.

When: 1/26/13, 2pm

Where: Paramount Ranch Pavilion, 2903 Cornell Road, Agoura Hills, California 91301

There will be a short guided ride around the Paramount Ranch trail network following the meeting. Paramount Ranch’s trails are great for kids and new mountain bikers. Paramount Ranch is also the location of many film and television shoots over the years, and the historic Western town is interesting and educational.

Update: Due to circumstances beyond our control, we must cancel this event. See the follow-up post on this site for more info. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

Q & A With New Nat’l Recreation Area Superintendent Jan. 26

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

David SzymanskiNewly appointed Superintendent of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) David Szymanski, along with several National Park Service and State Park representatives, will be available for a question and answer session this January 26 from 2:00-4:00pm at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills.

Presented by CORBA, this will be an opportunity to ask questions directly and discuss such issues as the future of the SMMNRA, improving user safety and minimizing conflicts, and creating a backcountry community through stewardship. This is a unique opportunity to meet our top land management representatives one-on-one and get a better sense of what the SMMNRA is going to look like in the next 10-15 years, especially on the brink of the final phases of the new Trail Management Plan.

It is important to have a strong showing from the mountain bike community to show our interest and commitment to working with land managers in the SMMNRA.

Resolve to Solve in 2013

Monday, December 10th, 2012

How many of you have New Year’s Resolutions that you are hoping to keep? There is one you can make and keep, guaranteed. It will help you, the mountain bike community, and the trail community at large. Ready? Slow down when passing others!

How many things in life can you do that actually solve a problem? On our trails, the one justifiable complaint about mountain bikers is that they sometimes go too fast when passing others, which can be scary and upsetting,even to other cyclists. So all you have to do is slow down when passing, and you SOLVE THE PROBLEM!

Slowing down while passing others on our shared-use trails is a pure win-win proposition. The people who you pass feel good about mountain bikers. WIN! You feel good because you didn’t scare anyone, and everyone has a pleasant exchange. WIN!

Here’s a suggestion: Treat others you are passing on the trail as if you are holding the door open for them. That brief pause is a show of consideration, courtesy, and humanity that will come back to you and the mountain bike community in many positive ways.

It’s up to you. Would you rather finish your ride knowing you did something positive for mountain bikers and trails users, or that you made it worse for yourself and the mountain bike community? You CAN make a difference. And all it takes is slowing down when passing other users!

 

Sullivan Canyon Closed to Public Until End of December

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

The Southern California Gas Company recently released information regarding the closing of Sullivan Canyon to the public (see below for the press release).

A comment was made on our blog alleging that the area had been closed due to an incident involving a mountain biker  being seriously injured. According to Public Affairs Manager Krista Phipps, the area was not closed as a direct result of the incident, but in response to several factors. “I was told by the Project Manager that [the incident which caused injury to the mountain biker] did not occur at the construction site.  However, it was serious and required the person to be airlifted out of the canyon.  Overall, there have been a series of close calls in and around the construction site and we just do not want to risk injury to the public or our employees,” said Phipps.

Please note that Sullivan Canyon is NOT public property. It is owned and operated by the Southern California Gas Company which maintains it as open to the public unless work to the gas line is necessary. The Gas Co. can rescind permission to access Sullivan Canyon at any time. In this case, many users will be effected, not just mountain bikers. This surely will come down to a blame game with mountain bikers bearing the brunt of criticism, and to a large degree rightly so. All we can ask is that you ride safely for the conditions, and remember that your actions represent the entire mountain bike community.

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October 29, 2012

RE: Sullivan Canyon Closure – Southern California Gas Company Pipeline Protection Project

Dear Neighbor:

In follow up to the notice of September 17, 2012 regarding the Sullivan Canyon Maintenance Project, this correspondence is to inform you that in spite of our efforts to complete the project without impeding public access, we have determined that in order to maintain public safety, Sullivan Canyon will be closed to the public during the hours of 6am to 6pm Monday thru Saturday, effective immediately. This schedule will be maintained throughout the duration of the project to ensure safe operation of two high-pressure transmission pipelines located in the canyon. The project is expected to be completed by December 31, 2012. Please note that this completion date is an approximation and may change due to the needs of the project.

Additional closures and/or further restrictions will be posted on the gate at Queensferry Road and at the entrance to the property off of Mulholland Drive in advance, to the extent feasible. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by this necessary work to ensure pipeline safety and maintenance of a reliable natural gas supply to the Los Angeles basin area. SoCal Gas appreciates your understanding of the need for this maintenance work and temporary disruption of canyon access. It is our goal to keep disruptions to a minimum and we regret temporary inconveniences.

Safety is our first priority. We appreciate customers and members of the community keeping us informed on conditions surrounding our facilities. Please feel free to share this notice with your networks which have an interest in the canyon.

Thank you for your understanding while we perform this necessary maintenance and repair work. Should you have any questions, please call me at (323) 371-0011 or email me at kphipps@semprautilities.com.