Canyon Trail and Vasquez Rocks – Meeting Thursday July 12

The County’s objective assessments of the Canyon Trail in Placerita Canyon Natural Area, and the Heritage trail in Vasquez Rocks, have been completed.  By applying the State’s Change In Use survey, objective data was gathered about these two trails.

The study concluded that Canyon Trail can be made suitable for multi-use designation including bicycles. It will require some modifications including pinch points, signage, and a designated walk-your-bike section. The trail, irregardless its potential for a multi-use designation, was found to be needing additional trailwork and restoration in several areas. We hope that the modifications needed to allow bicycles can be given priority over other needed trailwork.

Heritage trail, on the other hand, was found to be unsuitable for multi-use designation. The primary reasoning behind this finding is a lack of connectivity to other trails that allow bicycles, and the availability of an alternate route. Extensive impacts were noted from existing users (hikers and equestrians) that would require significant restoration.

While these findings might make sense if Heritage trail were the only candidate for opening to bicycles, there are many miles of trails in Vasquez Rocks. Mountain Bikers from the Santa Clarita Valley did not specifically ask for the Heritage trail to be considered for multi-use, they asked for the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area to be considered for multi-use including all its trails.

In fact, CORBA would like to know what objective data the County’s “no bicycles in Natural Areas” was based. By what process was this policy formulated?

CORBA supports the County’s assessment of the Canyon trail and the recommendation to open it to bikes. We do feel, however, that the assessment of Vasquez Rocks is incomplete as only one trail has been assessed. The fact that the only trail assessed in Vasquez Rocks has seen such significant impacts from existing users, underscores the point that all users have impacts, and bicycles in that respect are very similar to other trail users. We urge the County to complete the assessment of Vasquez Rocks’ trails and to consider future potential connectivity of all trails as a whole.

We also feel that the inclusion of State draft studies should not be cited as evidence until they are fully vetted and published, and the classification of bicycling as an incompatible “active recreation” is inaccurate.

The County will be hosting a public meeting on Thursday, July 12 to formally present the findings and take public comments. There is expected to be a large and organized opposition from other user groups present at tomorrow’s meeting, unlike the first meeting in which mountain bikers made up the vast majority of the attendees. The SCV Trail Users group did a great job of gathering and organizing local mountain bikers during the first meeting, and have continued to provide leadership on these issues, with the full support of CORBA and IMBA.

Please attend this meeting and let your voice be heard:

 

6pm, Thursday, July 12, 2012. 

William S. Hart Park – Hart Hall  (map)

24151 Newhall Ave, Newhall, CA 91321, USA

Consider RSVP’ing to the SCV Trail Users Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/246695458775275/

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