News from South OC Trail Coalition - Las Flores, Chiquita Ridge etc

Discussion in 'Trail Advocacy' started by Andy, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. Andy

    Andy Member

    Location:
    The OC, Calif
    Name:
    Andy
    Current Bike:
    Some type of Santa Cruz...
    Posted on Facebook -

    https://www.facebook.com/SouthOCTrailCoalition/posts/596941833817067

    Hi All;

    We’ve had to stay quiet here for a bit as there were some sensitive conversations going on that could have been jeopardized had the wrong information made its way to the wrong people before they were meant to hear it. That said, there’s been a lot of activity the past couple of weeks and we wanted to provide you all with an update. Before I go to far though, I’ll warn you that this is a long entry so, if you’re going to respond/comment on the substance, please take the time to read all the way through…thank you!

    Over the course of the past several weeks, we’ve started an official dialogue with OC Parks and learned a lot about what land belongs to who, as well as what can be done now and what might be able to be done in the future. That dialogue has created a high degree of optimism regarding renewed access the ability to work together with the entities involved in an effort to achieve our goals.

    What we learned through these meetings is that OC Parks actually has dominion over the vast majority of the trails in question and is very willing to work with us to help create a sustainable, well maintained trail system. Once we discovered that, a meeting was set with RMV where we met with a couple of their officials and started looking over the maps to determine what they would be open to and what they would not and here are some of the takeaways:

    1. All parties generally agree…
    a)....that the ridge (Chiquita Ridge) should be re-opened for use however; doing so is not as simple as opening the gates as the Department of Fish & Wildlife also has to give their blessing (more on that in a second).
    b)…it is important to establish a connected trail system that will allow trail users to have minimal reason to cross major roads both for safety and trail enjoyment reasons.
    c)…only trails southwest side (facing Ladera/Las Flores) are under consideration for inclusion and anything on the opposite side of the ridge (facing Tesoro) will be off limits in perpetuity.
    d)…this is not an overnight process and that we still have some, not insignificant, hoops to jump through, including getting the blessing of the Department of Fish & Wildlife and the OK from the “C suite” at RMV, to move forward and that this will require patience on the behalf of all parties.
    e)…to continue to keep each other informed.

    2. Where work still needs to be done…
    a) Identifying which trails dropping in, towards Antonio, can be used. At the moment, due to land use assessments, longevity and other issues, Backdraft is not a trail that they’ll consider. That’s not to say it will never be considered but, the habitat in that canyon is significantly more sensitive than the habitat further northeast which is where Fiery Rage (aka Las Flores) trail is. The thinking right is we may be able to re-open Chiquita Ridge, Fiery Rage and Undertaker, connecting into Waterworks, in order to create a fully connected trail system.
    b) With that in mind though, Backdraft is not being “potholed” at this time and will sit in a holding pattern. As we progress through negotiations, we’ll continue to look for ways to bring it into the fold but, for the foreseeable future, Backdraft will remain off-limits.
    c) If we do re-open Fiery Rage, there may be the possibility of re-working that trail in order to make it more fun, and more sustainable, since most of that ridgeline is made up of “non-native” grasses where the there may be more of an appetite for allowing some construction to occur as opposed to Backdraft which cuts through quite a bit of Coastal Sage.
    d) Determining what role SOCTC will play going forward. Some things they’d like to see is regular trail maintenance, participation in habitat restoration, representative attendance at quarterly Reserve trail volunteer meetings (the representative would not have to become volunteers but would be there primarily to gather and disseminate information to the rest of SOCTC) and voluntary reporting of illegal trail building activity to OC Parks. Nothing has been agreed to here, but these are some of the things on the table.
    e) Grace period for enforcement action. If the officials of the organizations at the table do see illegal activity, they’ve proposed notifying us and giving us time to take corrective measures on our own before they step in and do anything. This would include deconstructing illegal jumps and trails and other such actions that are within our ability to manage.

    At the end of the day, we continue to make progress here and your continued efforts to not only stay off the affected trails while we work through this, but to educate others on what we’re trying to accomplish here is of tremendous help. As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions and I will attempt to answer as best I can.
     
    Danimal, Redman, doublewide and 15 others like this.
  2. Rumpled

    Rumpled Well-Known Member

    Location:
    OC
    Name:
    Jim Martin
    Current Bike:
    2003 Giant Rainier
    Thanks for the update. Even though I've been out there, I don't recognize those trails just by name. Anyone got a marked up map?
     
    Mikie and Sasquatch9billion like this.
  3. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/MTB Addict

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Yeti ASR5c, SC Hightower
    Hey thanks for posting this Andy!
     
    Cyclotourist likes this.
  4. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Yes, a great post. Thanks for writing it as well as being part of the advocacy conversation!
     
    Mikie and ridinrox like this.
  5. mike

    mike iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    Thanks for this update, Andy. Sounds very positive from here.
     
    Mikie likes this.
  6. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    Thank you... I, for one, would love to be able to ride Chiquita Ridge. That would really open up some longer loops from the house.
     
    Mikie likes this.
  7. Infamous

    Infamous Newbie

    Location:
    Ladera Ranch
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Transition
    Just now saw this - thank you for posting! As a Ladera resident, I'm very interested and willing to help. Any updates?
     
    Mikie likes this.
  8. Andy

    Andy Member

    Location:
    The OC, Calif
    Name:
    Andy
    Current Bike:
    Some type of Santa Cruz...
    Only just saw this - meeting TONIGHT!

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016, 6:30pm

    Selma's Pizza, Ladera Ranch
    27702 Crown Valley Pkwy
    Ladera Ranch, CA - California 92694

    full details - https://www.facebook.com/SouthOCTrailCoalition/
     
    Mikie and Cyclotourist like this.
  9. Infamous

    Infamous Newbie

    Location:
    Ladera Ranch
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Transition
    Thanks for posting! Saw it just a bit too late last night, but at least I'm getting closer. Going to join the FB page and get there next time!
     
    Mikie likes this.
  10. Andy

    Andy Member

    Location:
    The OC, Calif
    Name:
    Andy
    Current Bike:
    Some type of Santa Cruz...
    This just in...

     
    Infamous, kioti, StrandLeper and 7 others like this.
  11. StrandLeper

    StrandLeper Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Timothy M. Ryan
    Current Bike:
    SC Bronson 1x/Pivot 429 1x xtr
    @Andy and all others who are taking your time and efforts to represent the MTB community's interest in these discussions-- THANKS!

    Sorry that I was not aware of the meeting and did not attend.

    SL
     
    Infamous likes this.
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