Friday, January 11, 2008

Multiuse Trails Update

From: Multiuse Trails Coalition [mailto:] Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2008 2:15 PMTo: Multiuse Trails Coalition

If you are thinking that you didn't remember getting an emailpublicizing this meeting, you are correct. The meeting held 1/9/08 wasbetween stakeholder groups involved in the hearings over the last year.
This event was not televised. The purpose of this meeting was to review recommendations given tothe Task Force and review the process that will occur in most likely at the Feb '08 meeting. This stakeholder meeting was held at City Parks Offices and City, County, and USFS were all in attendance. Groups inattendance were: Ourselves, SBMTV, Los Padres Trail Riders(equine), Trails Council, Sierra Club, and the Los Padres Forest Association.
Just as a reminder, the TF is not able to enact, but instead onlyable to recommend actions to the City Council, and Board of Supervisors.They reviewed at this meeting what they may be recommending at the upcoming Feb meeting. They hope to establish a framework and vision forour trails. The following are parts of that framework they are readyto recommend: Ask to create a memorandum of agreement(MOA) between The City, County, and USFS. This would enable the three groups to act on trailissues without having just an advisory role. Subjects such as jurisdiction will not be as much of an issue when the MOA is established. They hope to have this sometime in the next year. Create a management plan. This would be an outline of what they hope to accomplish on the our Front Country Trails. Hire/Create a Front Country Trail Coordinator Position . A fulltime person would be hired for this position which up until now didn't exist and all trail related issues were done in the spare time by staff. Create a non-profit community organization . Because the agencieswould not be able to care for the trails alone, volunteer work is essential to accomplish this. This group which has yet to be defined, wouldalso help in planning and management of the trails. Lastly....Access . At this time the TF is unable to recommend anyaccess plans for user groups. They realize that there is a lot ofinformation needed before any decision is made. Among the information needed in this area are: classifying trails, surveying, and finding trail standards for multiuse groups. This was hotly debated by members of theSierra Club in attendance who were very much for a decision on accessimmediately. The Sierra Club members felt that our trails are not multiuse based on standards from other trail locations. Look for more on this debate at future City Council meetings and the Board of Supervisors. We felt happy with the decisions that the staff will be giving to the TF at the Feb meeting. The staff realizes that many steps need to be taken before more controversial topics are tackled. When given achance to address the TF, we felt that the assessment of applyingtrail standards from another areas to our own is far more complex than it sounds. Because our trails are governed by different agencies and theterrain is so different, a "cookie cutter " cannot be applied here. Wealso felt the continuing meetings between "stakeholder" groups to talk about planning and management of trails is essential. We feel keepingthe trail users themselves informed about upcoming decisions is the most important. Because the stakeholder groups only accounts for 20 or so people, we feel passing this info on to the trail user population has tobe done. Although there was some disagreement from certain user groups about some of the issues on the table, there seemed to be a sense that we all
need to start working together if anything is to be accomplished.
Hopefully this leads to future pleasant work sessions between groups.

Next meeting February 6th, see our website for details....-- Thank you,The Multiuse Trails Coalition Board,Dave Everett, Dorothy Littlejohn, Cort

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