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April 30 2019 Trail Fire Closures Update for the Santa Monica Mountains

March 2nd, 2019

This article has been updated since it was originally posted on January 4th:

– January 12: The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) opened most of their open space areas

– March 2: The Backbone Trail between Kanan Road west to Yerba Buena Road has been opened.

– March 25: All COSCA trails in Thousand Oaks except the Hill Canyon Bridge are now open.

– April 30: The Backbone Trail fromYerba Buena Road west to the Mishe Mokwa trailhead is open

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

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! Also, watch for new hazards on the trails such as large ruts, debris slides, washouts and fallen trees.

The March 2019 eTerraTimes newsletter was posted February 28

March 1st, 2019

CORBA’s eTerraTimes newsletter for March was posted today, February 28th. If you don’t get it by email, you can view the online version on our website.

CORBA Annual Update

February 27th, 2019

We’ve been overdue for an update, and as President of CORBA, I have to apologize for the lapse in communication as to our many ongoing efforts over these past few months. For me personally, it has been a challenging year, but the one thing that has not lapsed is CORBA’s dedication to improving trails and mountain biking opportunities in and around Los Angeles.

Over the past year, CORBA has seen many successes, and just as many challenges. CORBA members and all SoCal mountain bikers have a lot to celebrate about 2018. Here are some notable moments:

  • Restoration and re-opening of the Gabrielino National Recreation Trail trail after nine years of closure
  • Partnering with the US Forest Service to conduct a high-level, four-day Trail Stewardship Summit
  • Opening of Sapwi Bike Park in Thousand Oaks with the first public pump track in the area (phase one).
  • Volunteer construction and opening of 3+ miles of new multi-use singletrack trail at East Walker Ranch, City of Santa Clarita.
  • Acquisition of funding for tools to equip the SCV Trail crew
  • Completion of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Management Plan, with significant review and input from mountain bikers through our participation on the SGM Community Collaborative.
  • A new cost-share partnership agreement with the Forest Service for future trail maintenance and volunteer training
  • Adoption of a bike-friendly Santa Susana Mountains Trail Master Plan, Phase 2 by Los Angeles County with input from CORBA and our SCV Trail Users committee
  • Ongoing maintenance of dozens of miles of multi-use trails in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Conejo Open Space and Angeles National Forest
  • Installation of bench seats at Brown Mountain Saddle, Angeles National Forest
  • 11 free Skills Clinics held at Malibu Creek State Park. (For the first time in more than 20 years, we had to cancel a clinic due to the Woolsey Fire).
  • Continued support of the Mountain Bike Unit in patrolling the Santa Monica Mountains, a CORBA-initiated program
  • Repairs, updates and maintenance on our fleet of 40 Youth Adventures bicycles
  • Approximately 18 Youth Adventures trips, taking at-risk youth on interpretive mountain bike rides
  • Represented mountain biking interests at numerous public meetings, scoping meetings, and planning sessions
  • Monitored and responded to legislation affecting bicycling on our public lands.

Challenges

However, even with all these successes, CORBA’s biggest challenge is that our membership numbers have declined by 40% since December 2017.

While we have been highly successful in our grant applications, receiving almost $85,000 in grants that have supported Sapwi Bike Park, new trail construction in Santa Clarita, restoration of Station Fire damaged trails, tool purchases, and our Youth Adventures program, all of those funds are allocated to their respective projects, not to CORBA’s operating expenses or advocacy efforts.

Our board of directors has continued to work tirelessly on behalf of mountain bikers throughout the greater Los Angeles area. There are only five of us, and we’re all at capacity. As unpaid volunteers, we can only give so much of our time. It’s your memberships and donations that keep us going.

However, with several ongoing projects, including trail maintenance, Woolsey fire recovery, efforts to complete Sapwi Bike Park, create a new bike park in the City of Los Angeles, plans to develop much-needed mountain-bike optimized trails, preventing trail closures due to Wilderness, and helping form a state-wide California Mountain Biking advocacy group, our plates are already full.

In 2019 we’re looking to expand our Board of directors. We need additional support in communications and branding (including social media), accounting and fundraising. With an estimated

Regardless, our past successes and your enjoyment of them is what drives us to continue to work and advocate for mountain bikers in and around Los Angeles.

CORBA Membership Update – We Need Your Support

February 27th, 2019

CORBA is only as strong as its members. Join us!

CORBA has recently changed our relationship with IMBA. As an IMBA Chapter, all memberships were joint CORBA/IMBA memberships with the membership dues being split equally between CORBA and IMBA.

Entering 2019, CORBA is no longer a Chapter of IMBA. We are now a co-branded Affiliate under the new IMBA Local program. IMBA, in the wake of their financial troubles, has restructured and are no longer a “membership-based” organization. Your membership is now with CORBA, not IMBA, unlike the previous arrangement under which you were joining both organizations.  IMBA now provides membership management and other services to organizations like CORBA for a much lower fixed cost per member. This greatly benefits CORBA, as the vast majority of your membership dollars now stay local, instead of just 50%.

If your membership has lapsed or expired, or if you’ve never been a member, we urge you to join or renew. For less than the cost of a good tire, you can keep us going and growing, representing and supporting mountain biking in and around Greater Los Angeles. If you prefer not to join, your tax-deductible donations are just as much appreciated and all of your donations support local trails.

Read the rest of this entry »

Edison Grant for Trail Restoration at Sturtevant Falls

February 27th, 2019

Trail Damage near Sturtevant Falls

Trail Damage near Sturtevant Falls

CORBA is once again honored and grateful to receive a grant from Southern California Edison. The $15,000 grant will cover restoration and resource damage along a section of the Gabrielino Trail near Sturtevant Falls. For the past three years, we’ve worked on reopening the western end of the trail and maintaining much of the rest.

At Sturtevant Falls, one of the most-visited waterfalls in the San Gabriel Mountains, there has been significant resource damage from people scrambling up a steep slope to get to the top of the waterfall. The erosion caused by that off-trail travel has caused a section of the Gabrielino trail to collapse. While not a popular section for mountain bikers, this is one of the most beautiful trails in the Angeles, following the watercourse with views of the waterfall.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sapwi Bike Park after the Rains

February 27th, 2019

Good News!! The Sapwi Bike Park in Thousand Oaks remains in good condition. Members of the Sapwi Bike Park Committee have been working hard to protect the pump track with tarps to help minimize the maintenance required. Please continue to not ride the track in a wet/muddy condition and respect the closures.

The committee is preparing for the second phase of the park. They hope to have the funding and plan in place soon.

It has been wonderful to see the many kids enjoying the park and learning new skills.

Trail Restoration in Malibu Creek State Park April 20th and Lunch

February 26th, 2019

Crags Road, also known as “The Rock Garden” or “The Creek of Doom,” suffered major blows this winter, first by the Woolsey Fire that decimated the hillsides, then rainstorms that tore the trail up pretty badly and covered parts with rock slides. We worked on this section not far from the M*A*S*H site in November 2017 and now we’re going back to fix it again.

Restoring Crags Road through the “Creek of Doom” in Nov 2017.

This is a combined project between California State Parks, the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council, CORBA and Girlz Gone Riding.

All tools will be provided, as well as instructions on how to use them safely and effectively, by experienced trail crew leaders. No experience needed – everyone works at a rate they’re comfortable with and takes lots of breaks. Bring a snack to eat on the trail; CORBA will provide lunch after the event for those who register online in advance to help us with planning (see below for the link to online registration).

Wear sturdy hiking boots with good lugs, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sunglasses, sunblock and a hat, and bring water, snacks. Bring work gloves if you have them. We have a few pairs we can loan to people without.

Please help us plan for the event by signing up online at https://www.meetup.com/CORBAmtb/events/259311989/ and also qualify for a lunch on CORBA. Thanks!

COSCA March Trailwork Day March 16th

February 25th, 2019

The Conejo Canyons and Western Plateau in Thousand Oaks have taken a real beating this winter, first by the Hill Fire that denuded the terrain, and then the heavy rain that resulted in ruts and washouts. We’re going to get out there to restore these trails to their original glory!

We use the Conejo Open Space trails regularly, so this is our chance to give back to the community while expanding our trail opportunities!

At noon, following the morning of trail-building, workers will be treated to a thank-you lunch while enjoying the camaraderie of fellow trail enthusiasts!

Wear protective clothing (long-legged pants, long-sleeved shirts, sunglasses), sturdy shoes, gloves, hat and sunscreen.

No experience necessary. Tools and instructions on how to use them safely and effectively will be provided. Must be 18+ years of age. As always when in the open spaces, be aware of poison oak, ticks & rattlesnakes. Everyone works at their own comfort level.

Follow instructions of park rangers and trail crew leaders at all times.

Directions: From the 101 Freeway in Newbury Park, exit at Rancho Conejo Blvd heading north. Drive 1.8 miles, almost to the end, then turn left onto Conejo Center Drive. Continue 0.3 miles then park in the dirt lot on the right or at the side of the road.

Map: Use this Google map to help you find your way http://bit.ly/UchB4u

Help us prepare for the number of volunteers who will be participating by registering on our Meetup event.

January 2019 Skills Clinic photos posted January 5

January 5th, 2019

This month we had one brave participant in the Skills Clinic. The weather was cold and overcast, but with no rain. This was the first clinic held since the Woolsey Fire swept through the park. A few photos of fire damage are included with the regular photos this month.

The Basic Skills Clinic is always held the first Saturday of the month at Malibu Creek State Park.

You can see the photos in our January photo gallery.

Santa Susana Mountains Trail Master Plan, Phase 2, Released

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. 

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