Archive for the ‘Advocacy’ Category

Jan 12th 2019 Trail Fire Closures Update for the Santa Monica Mountains

Friday, January 4th, 2019

(The original post from January 4th was updated on January 12th when the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) opened most of their open space areas.)

South of the 101 Freeway, the Woolsey Fire completely decimated most of the open space between Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Road on the east and Point Mugu State Park (Sycamore Canyon) on the west. North of the 101, most of the open space south of Simi Valley and between Valley Circle on the east and Erbes Road to the west was destroyed.

With the recent rains, the regeneration process has begun and new growth can be seen on the burned hillsides.

Nevertheless, many of the trails are still closed until they are assessed for damage, and repaired as necessary. In addition, heavy rains my result in mudslides that may damage sections of the trail that survived the fire.

The good news is that many of the trails are now open to use. The bad news is that during the Federal Government partial shutdown, the National Park Service is not able to work on their trails, prolonging the time that they will be closed.

The following list is not exhaustive – there are many smaller trails not listed that may be open or closed. If you see that a trail is marked as closed or cordoned off, please stay off it.

Areas that are open

Areas that are still closed

  • The entire Backbone Trail between Malibu Creek State Park and Point Mugu State Park. This includes the popular sections
    • Encinal Canyon Road to the Mishe Mokwa trailhead
    • Trancas Canyon (Encinal Canyon Rd to Zuma Ridge Motorway)
    • Kanan Road west to Zuma Ridge Motorway
    • Kanan Road east to Corral Canyon Rd
  • Zuma Ridge Motorway
  • Charmlee Wilderness Park

For your own safety and to protect the plants and creatures that live in the open space, please stay off closed trails completely, and where the trails are open to use, please stay on the trails!

Santa Susana Mountains Trail Master Plan, Phase 2, Released

Monday, December 10th, 2018

Los Angeles County recently released the final Santa Susana Mountains Trail Master Plan, Phase 2.  CORBA and our friends a the Santa Clarita Valley Trail Users, as well as many local mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians, all gave input on the plan at a series of public meetings in 2016. The plan covers areas east of the I5 in Santa Clarita, including Towsley Canyon and other open spaces, some yet to be developed.

This is the third such trail master plan completed by the County in recent years. Previously, CORBA and SCVTU gave significant input on both the Castaic Area Trail Master Plan and the Santa Susana Mountains Trail Master Plan, Phase 1 and were happy to support both. We’re equally excited about the new plan. 

The plan reflects the comments the County heard from the public, what is feasible (or may be) under current zoning and land ownership, and what makes sense for current growth projections. The final plan has now been released. https://trails.lacounty.gov/Documents  It includes many elements about which we are particularly excited, including two potential bike skills park locations.  

CORBA’s SCVTU committee has submitted a letter of support for the plan, as has the CORBA Board of Directors. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors will vote to adopt this trail master plan as a component of the County General Plan on December 11, 2018. 

While we’re really encouraged by the plans, we realize that this is an aspirational document. It will be many years before being fully realized, if ever. The plan, if completed, would provide great connectivity, much improved recreational access to public lands. But realistically, it will take public support, partnerships and funding opportunities to see any of the plan complete.

CORBA, and our SCVTU Committee are ready and willing to help move elements of the trail master plan forward, such as the Bike Skills Park. 

The County will be moving forward with future trail master plans, which we’ll be sure to announce and advocate for more mountain biking opportunities and more trails for everyone. 

The Plan can be found among the County’s Trail Documents at https://trails.lacounty.gov/Files/Documents/137/SSMTMP-PII%20Final%20Trails%20Master%20Plan_December2018_web.pdf

Santa Clarita Valley Trail Users Letter of Support

CORBA Letter of support

______________________________________________________________________________

Update 12/11/2019, 11 a.m. The County Board of Supervisors today adopted the plan. 

Woolsey and Hill Fire Closures (Updated 12/21)

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

This past week has been devastating. Our hearts go out to all those who were impacted by the Woolsey Fire and the Hill Fire, which have ravaged our local mountains. We know that a good portion of CORBA’s membership are in areas affected by the fire. A few lost homes and property. CORBA’s storage shed near Malibu Creek State Park survived, though we weren’t able to confirm so until after Thanksgiving. We truly appreciate the firefighters and first responders who put themselves at incredible risk to battle these fires and save as much as they could.

With so much loss, it may sound a little selfish to be concerned about trails. Being able to go for a mountain bike ride can brighten your day and bring a sense of normalcy to these tumultuous times. But with most of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area closed, where can we ride? We’ve provided a listing below, with links to each park’s web site for the latest updates. We’ll do our best to keep this information current.

Please respect trail and park closures. Our land management agencies have their hands full with fire recovery and damage assessments. Trails in burned areas can be extremely hazardous, even after the fire is “out.”  Fine particulate ash is a lung irritant and can cause severe health problems. Burned, weakened trees can fall at any time, especially in the early days after the fire, or as the ground softens with rain and no vegetation. Once our first big rains hit, trails will be heavily damaged and may become impassable. Just don’t ride closed trails.

As soon as we are able, CORBA will be scheduling trailwork events to help restore trails that will be heavily damaged this coming winter. It might be some time before we can do trailwork or ride. Watch our meetup group or Facebook page for upcoming trailwork events in the new year.

OPEN Areas (Updated Dec 21, 2018):

CLOSED Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (Facebook PageTwitter

CLOSED California State Parks (FacebookTwitter):

  • Malibu Creek State Park – closed until further notice due to the Woolsey Fire. State Parks lost some structures, such as employee residences, the historic Sepulveda Adobe, Red House, Hope Ranch also known as the White Oak Barn (including historic Adamson rowboats) and Reagan Ranch. – Update 12/21: Malibu Creek State Park is now open. Campgrounds are closed, but trails are open. Please stay on the trails!

CLOSED Conejo Open Space Areas:

CLOSED Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (FacebookTwitter):

CLOSED Roads:

Last updated: Nov 26, 2018.

Sapwi Trails and Bike Park opens on Sept 22!

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

The ribbon cutting ceremony for Sapwi Trails Community Park in Thousand Oaks will take place on Saturday, Sept 22, 2018 at 9:00 am. The celebration will continue until noon. For updates on this event, visit the Thousand Oaks Sapwi Trails web page.

The volunteers, in coordination with Bellfree Contractors (a trail building company), have been hard at work getting the bike park ready for use. The pump track is shaping up really nicely!

For updates on the bike park, visit the Sapwi Bike Park website.

Take the National State of Mountain Biking Survey

Monday, August 20th, 2018

This is an opportunity to provide concrete data on the State of Mountain biking in 2018 across the U.S.  IMBA and the Ohio University are working with the SRAM Cycling Fund to survey a large cross-section of mountain bikers. 

It also provides us an opportunity to show our feelings about bicycles in Wilderness. Several questions in the 10 minute or so survey ask about wilderness access. Our research shows that the vast majority of our members and supporters agree with CORBA’s position that mountain biking should be allowed on some wilderness trails, and those access decisions (and restrictions) should be made locally. We agree with the STC on this. Other topics covered include spending habits, mountain bike related travel, bike ownership, and electric mountain bikes. 

The survey can be taken here at Ohio University or read more about it from IMBA. All answers are anonymous, and you’ll be in the running to win a SRAM Eagle GX groupset (when you provide email on a different site after completing the survery). It’s an especially valuable opportunity

Take the survey!

Sapwi Trails Bike Park Fundraiser on Thursday June 14!

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

The Conejo Valley’s first bike park is nearly a reality. Help us with our fund raising efforts. Get your tickets (link below) to join us for a progress update on the Sapwi Bike Park, our fundraising campaign kick-off, and viewing of movie “The Moment“. The event will be held at Giant Bicycles North American Headquarters in Newbury Park.

Ticket price of $15 includes admission to movie, light snacks, and a raffle ticket! Additional raffle tickets will be available for purchase at the venue; must be present to win.

Ticket Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sapwi-bike-park-movie-night-the-moment-tickets-45814979838

CHECK-IN & MINGLE: 6:00pm
PROGRAM START: 6:45pm
Q&A plus RAFFLE: Immediately following movie

Stay up to date on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SapwiBikePark/ or our website sapwibikepark.com

Caution: SoCalGas Working in Sullivan Canyon through May

Friday, May 18th, 2018

Sullivan Canyon, Photo by Bryan Gordon

Please use caution riding or hiking Sullivan Canyon through the end of May. 

Since 1960, Southern California Gas Company (“SoCaIGas”) has owned much of the land that comprises Sullivan Canyon (more than 4 miles in length).  It’s a popular area for mountain bikers, runners and hikers, and we all appreciate being able to use the area for recreation.

SoCalGas is planning to conduct yearly maintenance activities trimming overgrown vegetation in Sullivan Canyon, starting next Wednesday, May 23rd.  The work should not take longer than 8 days. Work hours are 7 AM to 2 PM.

There will be Bio-monitors on site with the workers. A “Bird Survey” assessment will be performed prior to starting the work.  SoCalGas has a current programmatic permit in place to cover this environmental work.

All trails will remain open to pedestrians and bikers, but please use caution. Watch for changed conditions, workers and equipment. They will have 2 people dedicated to trail user safety. They are there to help keep the area open for the week the work is conducted, so please follow their direction.

 

2018 Angeles National Forest Trail Stewardship Summit Report

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

This past weekend we had an amazing four days at the 2018 Angeles National Forest Trail Stewardship Summit. In the days prior to the summit, we showed some of our trails, our previous trailwork, and our current Gabrielino trail restoration project to Regional forest service staff, and trail construction experts.

The Angeles National Forest was selected as one of fifteen priority sites for trail maintenance under the National Forest Trail Stewardship Act of 2016. As a priority site, the goal is to double the number of trail miles maintained on the Angeles.

We held a series of discussions with Forest Service Region 5 about our trail system and Station Fire recovery efforts. CORBA has received $35,000 in grants from REI and Southern California Edison, for the Gabrielino Trail restoration. CORBA and MWBA’s awesome volunteers have contributed over 2500 hours of volunteer labor at a value of over $56,000.

Some great news has come out of the summit. Using the above contributions as a match, the regional office of the Forest Service has allocated $100,000 to restore and improve the Gabrielino National Recreation Trail. We’re in the process of writing up a formal cost-share partnership agreement with the Forest Service to manage that investment into our local trails.

At the summit, partners, volunteers and Forest Service staff brainstormed on how to remove bottlenecks to getting things done. We discussed how to make it easier for volunteers to do the necessary paperwork by moving to an online system, minimizing shuffling paper and lengthy email chains. We talked about how to get better information on trails and their conditions for the public, as well as how to better coordinate efforts between volunteer groups. Good things are in the works and potential solutions to both of these shortfalls are being explored right now.

CORBA President Steve Messer spoke about the San Gabriel Mountains Community Collaborative (video here), and on how volunteers and NGO’s like  CORBA and MWBA, and the partnerships we have with the Forest Service are a vital component of sustainability of our trails (video here).  Other presentations from LA County, Equestrian trail patroller, Jim Lesh, IMBA Trail Solutions, MWBA, and regional Forest Service Trails Coordinator Garrett Villanueva helped guide the breakout sessions exploring how to achieve some of these goals.

We then spent two days learning about and refining our trail maintenance skills on Sunset Ridge Trail, where volunteers and trail crew leaders learned updated techniques to managing water on trails, minimizing erosion, and decreasing future maintenance needs. We learned from some of the most knowledgeable trailbuilders from IMBA Trail Solutions and the Forest Service. Sunset Ridge trail received some treatments to help improve water control.

It was an extremely positive summit with lots of productive exchange and a path to move forward. We thank the Forest Service and their Regional staff, IMBA Trail Solutions, MWBA, the National Forest Foundation, and all the other volunteers and partners from around the region who participated.

 

IMBA Uprising Women’s Summit

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

I was thrilled and honored that CORBA sent me to the very first IMBA Uprising women’s summit in Bentonville, AR. It was held at The Record from March 22nd-March 25th and was the brain child of Aimee Ross.

What is Uprising?
“IMBA’s UPRISING is a two-and-a-half day, hands-on, collaborative summit among female mountain bike leaders from all across the U.S.

This event is for women who want to make change in their communities by getting more women involved in mountain biking. This event is also for women who want to be on the forefront of shaping IMBA’s community outreach and organizing efforts in this space. We want to be an aggregator of the best information, resources and inspiration to engage more women in mountain biking, and we want to hear from those already doing it and those who want to. Help us shape our efforts in the best possible way to affect positive change.

The event will highlight the best women’s riding efforts happening across the country. UPRISING is centered around four guiding principles: Build, Ride, Learn and Engage. Come to learn best practices, get inspired, gather resources and network with the women who are influencing the mountain bike evolution.” (from the IMBA Uprising website: IMBA Uprising)

And true to it’s definition it was. WHAT an inspiring 3 days of amazing community leaders and aspiring leaders across the US.

I arrived Thursday night, never being to Bentonville, AR. Such a tiny airport, my favorite. I knew the town was bike friendly when one of the enormous signs inside the airport was of a mountain biker riding the trails. I ran into Jill Hamilton of Petal Power and Kamala Slight our GGR SD Chapter Director also just arriving heading to baggage claim. Outside the airport, Liz Kurtz and Tamara Napier, 2 of my leadership team members were waiting to pick me up. Tam and Liz were in the middle of a huge road trip covering many states and getting in some pretty rad biking.

After settling in our house and doing a little shopping, we headed over to the Record, a beautiful venue in downtown Bentonville where the summit was being held. We signed in, went to the open bar for some vino and started mingling. The rest of the leadership team that was able to attend was already there. Doris Dunn and Susie Murphy. There were 7 of us from the GGR leadership team attending. I was so very excited to talk to women from all over the US about everything from trail building, advocacy, leading rides, how to get more women biking and much more.

Saturday!
This was the 1st full day of the summit. Aimee Ross started the day off welcoming everyone and sharing her story of her brain child….IMBA Uprising.
Then we were lucky enough to have The Queen of Pain herself speak Rebecca Rusch. Rebecca was an enormous part of the Uprising summit. She spoke, showed her movie Blood Road, road with us and answered any questions you may have had about anything!
There were many great talks throughout the day. GGR even got to speak to a room full of curious women on how to engage their community and their club. With the help of Jill Hamilton, we spoke about engagement and starting your own club in their respective communities. We were super stoked to be approached by women in Missouri, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Northern California that wanted to learn more about starting their own GGR chapter or their own club.
For all the speakers, check out the list here: IMBA Uprising Speakers

Friday late afternoon it was time to ride and check out the amazing local trails in Bentonville. Bentonville is FULL of cyclists and all about mountain biking! They LOVE cyclists there and are constantly building new trails. The trails were super flowey and well groomed. We had a blast!

Finally, Friday evening, all of us were lucky to view Blood Road. This is Rebecca Rusch’s moving about her expedition to locate where her fathers plane went down in the war. She then stayed for Q&A after. She and her riding partner rode 1200 miles on this adventure!

Saturday was my favorite day.
We had panels, interactive talks and of course got to shred some RAD flow lines in Bentonville! People for Bikes put on a Draft event after the rides. One of the events was each woman on a panel had 3 minutes to speak, then was able to take questions. These were all industry leaders that spoke about different topics.
IMBA then provided dinner! A buffet with open bar. We then said our good bye’s and walked over to the Church for drinks and chit chat. Yes Church! There is a super cool Church in town with stained glass windows that have bikes in the designs. They turned the bottom floor into a bar! So many of us checked it out and enjoyed martini’s and vino.

Sunday I decided to sleep in and do some job hunting. Tam and Liz went riding with some of the group and Susie, Jill and Kamala went to the museum. I reflected on all the empowerment I felt over the last few days and was disappointed to get on a plane and come home.

This women’s summit gave me empowerment, friendship, riding and hope for our future. I’ve been mountain biking for 13 years now. After every single ride, even after 13 years, riding still makes me feel like I can conquer anything. This is why I ride and this is why I want more women to ride.

Until the next IMBA Uprising women’s summit, let’s build more trails, attend more trail work, engage our communities and educate those on trail etiquette and what is going on with our cycling communities.

I thank IMBA, Aimee Ross and CORBA for this wonderful adventure and opportunity.

Wendy Engelberg, GGR & CORBA
GGR: Girlz Gone RidingGGR: Girlz Gone Riding

 

Trailbuilding Workshop – Save the Date: April 6-8, 2018

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

 

Learn how to build and maintain trails

The Forest Service, in partnership with CORBA, the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association, IMBA, and the National Forest Foundation will hold a three-day trail workshop.

The agenda is still being finalized, and official invitations and announcements will go out in the coming week, but you can save the dates of April 6, 7 and 8, April 2018. Details will be included with the Forest Service official announcement.

 

Friday, April 6, will be an all-day classroom session at the Altadena Community Center. This day will cover the assessment, management and planning of trails, and will be of most use to those advocating for trails, planning to build trails or land and trail managers.

Saturday April 7 will see a morning classroom session, followed by Saturday afternoon in the field, then a full day of hands-on on Sunday April 8.

There is no charge for the workshop and lunch will be provided. If you’d like to attend contact us and we’ll let you know when registration opens.