State Parks Programatic EIR Public Hearing

This Saturday, November 13, California State Parks will be hosting the final public hearing on their Draft Programatic EIR.

Bicycle access to trails in the Santa Monica Mountains and many other areas will be directly affected by the final version of this document, so it is important to ensure that mountain bikers are fully engaged in this process. CORBA and IMBA representatives will be attending, and we urge everyone who would like to see more trails opened for bicycles in State Parks to attend and make comments.

What is a Programatic EIR?  This is an effort to streamline the process of converting trails from one designation, such as hiker-only, to another designation, such as multi-use. This is good for mountain biking.  According to IMBA:

California State Park’s Director Ruth Coleman has embraced a statewide Programatic Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) that will improve the process to convert trails to shared-use status. “This will lay the groundwork for the efficient conversion of trails that IMBA California and clubs have been requesting for some time,” says IMBA California’s Tom Ward. This bodes well for efforts to open Bill’s Trail in Marin, as well as numerous trails in Santa Cruz and Humboldt counties, Mt Diablo State Park, Folsom State Recreation Area, Donor Lake State Park, various Sonoma County parks and miles of trails in the Los Angeles basin. According to Ward, park managers have often shown support for improved mountain bike access — but each time they attempt implementation they are threatened with lawsuits from opposing forces. “The intent of PEIR is to curtail the legal challenges to each trail conversion project,” says Ward. He adds, “This is a major milestone for IMBA’s efforts to increase mountain bike access in state parks.”

The meeting will take place from:

1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, November 13
Lake Activities Building,Lake Perris State Recreation Area,
17801 Lake Perris Drive,
Perris, CA 92571 [map].

The Notice of Preparation for the draft PEIR can be found at http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=980. Public comments are being accepted through November 30. Comments on the PEIR may be submitted in person at the workshops, or by either mail to:

Environmental Coordinator – Trails PEIR
1 Capitol Mall, Suite 410
Sacramento, CA  95814

Or by email to:  ceqansc@parks.ca.gov
(Note:  In the Subject Line, write:  ‘Trails PEIR’)

Comments can also be submitted by Fax to: (916) 445-8883;  Please address faxes to: Environmental Coordinator – Trails PEIR

We’ll have more details and a more thorough report after Saturday’s presentation and hearing.

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