CORBA Meets With State Parks Superintendents

On November 22 CORBA Board of Directors members Mark Langton, Hans Keifer, Danusia Bennett-Taber, and Steve Messer, along with IMBA representative Jim Hasenauer, met with Topanga Sector Superintendent Lynette Brody and Acting Angeles District Superintendent Craig Sap. The specific purpose of the meeting was to update Superintendent Sap on CORBA’s programs as well as to review the trail conversion request made by CORBA more than two years ago as part of a state-wide process.

Several key points were brought up during this meeting:

-CORBA programs (trail work and maintenance, Youth Adventures and CORBA Kids Club, Skills Classes) and their positive value and impact on the trail user community.

-Mountain bikers, despite representing a large percentage of overall trail users, have the fewest miles of singletrack trails available. Mountain bikers, based on numbers and skill levels, deserve a diversity of experiences (beginner, intermediate, advanced) the same way that hikers have access to a wide variety of trails, as well as equity of experience that our numbers justify. We also stressed connectivity as there are many missing links and places where bicyclists are cut off from important destinations.

-Trails currently closed that should be designated as shared use: Backbone Trail segments of Musch, Topanga to Malibu Creek, Ray Miller, Paramount to Malibu Creek (Lookout or Yearling, Topanga SP to Temescal Gateway Park, Temescal to Rogers State Historic Park; other trails currently closed to mountain biking including Rustic Canyon from Mulholland and from Rogers Road, Los Liones, Bent Arrow, and Garapito trails in Topanga SP, Nicholas Flats Trail in Leo Carillo SP, Hidden Pond and Coyote trails in Point Mugu SP.

-We were frustrated at recent actions that seemingly ignored our concerns while almost concurrently created diminished opportunities and conditions for not only mountain bikers, but all trail users.

-Current status of the trail conversion process in the Angeles District.

While this meeting was in some respects a new beginning with State Parks leadership, Superintendents Brody and Sap were both very familiar with CORBA in general, and there was certainly an air of cooperation that we have not experienced in several years. Said Superintendent Sap in a follow-up email response, “I feel yesterday’s meeting was very productive. I came away with a greater appreciation of CORBA and feel encouraged that we can move forward with a renewed atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding.” CORBA’s feeling is that there is an improved sense of commitment and enthusiasm from State Parks management, and that they comprehended our points about equity, diversity, and increased opportunities. In particular, we were assured that direction by trails experts at the State level will be weighted heavily in the conversion process, and that the public will have opportunities to submit input. We were also told that management recognized that recent actions that effected trail conditions and access were not handled appropriately in respect to informing the public, and that greater efforts would be made to fully educate the trail user community of impending actions moving forward.

The current status of the conversion process is ongoing, with trails in Topanga State Park taking priority as part of the current development of a trail plan in that park. On December 15 the use status of Musch, Lookout, Yearling, and Deerleg Trails will be discussed by State Park personnel and an announcement will follow shortly.

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One Response to “CORBA Meets With State Parks Superintendents”

  1. Anyone interested in trail access at Malibu Creek State Park should visit http://www.savethemeadow.com

    An RV park is planned for a historic site that will impact Yearling trail. RV Park officially known as the Ronald Reagan Equestrian Campground.

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