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RE: [RC] [RC] Trail Closures a little long but imo important to think about - Ranelle Rubin

Sheila,

I have seen alot of new single track trails crop up on the Olmstead Loop (I prefer to call it the Knickerbocker...but hey, the guy did have a heart attack!)

It seems that when the trail head started to fill up on any given weekend, there were more people cutting trail. A few weeks ago, I witnesses a group of "packer type" riders..western gear on mules..not endurance riders to be sure, cutting between the fire station and the trail just across the hill from it..Now THAT is clearly marked..I was shocked!

Ranelle Rubin
R.Rubin Consulting

raneller@xxxxxxx

916-663-4140 home office
916-718-2427 cellular
916-848-3662 fax




From: Sheila_Larsen@xxxxxxx
To: <ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>,"Barbara McCrary" <bigcreekranch@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [RC] Trail Closures a little long but imo important to think about
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2007 17:10:07 -0700



Barbara wrote: The big problem is that if the trails are closed to the vehicles that really do the damage, such as dirt bikes, the agency wants to close the trails to everyone. It's too bad that one group of users causes trouble for all groups, including horses, which are the most natural users of all.


Unfortunately, although horses may be the most natural users of all, I am increasingly concerned about the lack of concern may equestrians have with regard to trail usage. In the two main areas where I ride, the Olmsted Area (Auburn State Recreation Area) and the Cronin Ranch (owned by BLM)I am seeing a very disturbing trend. I am seeing a tremendous amount of "social trails" being created. Those are trails that go off the designated trails and create paths/single track trails. I know some of them are created by bikes and hikers, but from my observation they are primarily started by equestrians. I can tell by the hoof prints- : ) Cronin Ranch has had to put up numerous signs that says "Closed to Protect Sensitive Resources." Many people may look at that see grassland and go what sensitive resources I don't see any. Well what they may not be seeing are rare and sensitive plant populations that can't withstand the trampling of hooves or the erosion that may be caused by the now bare soils. Equestrians are not going to make themselves welcome if we partake in this behavior.

 As part of my job I have been working on a Habitat Conservation Plan in
the East Bay of San Francisco.  When this Plan finalized (hopefully in the
next month of so) over the next 30 years it has the potential to add
approximately 30,000 acres of open space that will connect several regional
parks and Mt. Diablo.  It does have a public access component, but its
primary purpose is to protect wildlife species and natural resources, it is
not intended as a regional park.  For example there maybe seasonal trail
closures for nesting golden eagles, bald eagles or other species and will
be managed for sensitive species and habitats.  Everyone that developed the
Plan wants to provide trail access and are excited about the potential
providing connector trails.

But if the public (hikers, bicyclists, equestrians) do not stay on the
trails and go off trail and cause damage to the natural resources then
those trails may need to be closed and not be available to the general
public.  No one particularly me wants to go down that path but kind of like
the  Forest Service there may not be an option.  Ok I am not one who takes
kindly to the "there are no options" mind set but the more I am dealing
with public access issues (this Plan is not the only project I am dealing
with that has public access issues)the more I see the damage that people do
and it doesn't have to be that way.

I guess I just want people to seriously consider the consequences of their
actions when they create social trails by riding/hiking/biking off trail
and perhaps help educate those that might do so on why they shouldn't. And
although Jerry Furth and I didn't always agree it is true  "All you need is
a horse and trail" but we need to stay on the trail   :  ))))

Man I am scared to hit the send button LOLOL

Sheila


A lovely horse is always an experience.... It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. ~Beryl Markham


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Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp
Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp

Ride Long and Ride Safe!!

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Replies
[RC] Trail Closures a little long but imo important to think about, Sheila_Larsen