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Please take the time to weigh in on this issue, not here but to the email addresses provided in the link.

https://www.imba.com/alert/ca-state-park-natural-resource-code

People used to ride motos in places other than Glamis.. and other far reaches of civilization (which even now are being restricted). If you think the same can't happen to MTB-ing, it can but only if the riders/shops/manufacturers let it.

Thanks for not sharing your crack-a$$ political views or similar here in this thread. I'm sorry if your health care changed, I'm not trying to take your guns or your government handouts and I don't want to evict you from your sweet spot you got on Clairemont drive in your RV because you've had it with (insert latest political party rant here).

What I would like is for you to put your keyboard to use in a positive manner politely request to the parties involved exactly what is mentioned in the bulletin.

:)
 

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Thanks for posting this up Phil!

If you like riding Cuyamaca or any other state parks please take a few minutes to write in, this change could really affect our access for no more reason than the park manager being lazy and not getting off his butt.

Here's a sample letter I put together that people can use. Just add a quick paragraph about yourself, what riding or volunteering you do in State Parks to give context why you're writing in.

Re: Comment on Proposed Amendment to CCR tit. 14, section 4360
Dear __,

[insert paragraph with a few details about you, taxpayer, how you enjoy State Parks, take your kids there, etc etc]

I am writing in regards to changes proposed by California Department of Parks and Recreation to language in the California Code of Regulations. The proposed change of most concern is in section 4360 of Title 14, Division 3, Chapter 2, and reads: "Unless designated by the Department, all trails are open to pedestrians and closed to all other uses." I have significant concern that this change will lead to reduced trail access for mountain bikers and equestrians in California State Parks.

Mountain bikers are the fastest growing user group in many areas. Mountain biking is a passive, quiet, low-impact and healthy activity that represents an appropriate and efficient means to use trails within California State Parks. Mountain bikers are responsible trail users who actively volunteer to maintain the trails they ride. State Parks has many times voiced its support for multi-use access on its trails, and for mountain biking specifically, as an appropriate use. Attendance at many State Parks has declined over time, so the Department should do whatever it can to improve access, not take actions which will reduce access.

The proposed language quoted above may in fact reduce access significantly for mountain bikers and equestrians. Trails could be closed to these users for no reason at all aside from inaction on the part of a District Superintendent. It would be much more effective to require positive action on the part of the District Superintendent to close a trail to a specific use when detailed review and analysis determine that that use is not appropriate.

Some trail users state that mountain bikes create conflict on the trails. The CA State Parks Programmatic Environmental Impact Report on changes in trail use examined trail conflicts in detail in Appendix C. The EIR concluded that this is only a perception, and that in reality reported conflicts are rare, and actual injuries and serious incidents are even rarer. There is also substantial historic research which shows that the environmental impact on trails from hikers, bikes and horses is essentially the same. Based on the above, there is no reason to limit access to mountain bikes in State Parks.

In fact, there are strong reasons to encourage more bike access. Most importantly, mountain bikers are responsible trail users who care strongly for the trails they ride, and are very active in volunteering to help maintain the trails. Locally, in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park the Cuyamaca Mountain Bike Assistance Unit and San Diego Mountain Biking Association have been leading a significant project for the past couple years to re-route the Cold Springs Trail. Mountain bikers provide significant volunteer efforts at many other Parks across the state such as San Onofre Beach Park and Crystal Cove State Park in Orange County. In an era when budgets are shrinking, mountain bikers are an important partner of State Parks in maintaining the trails, and as such should be given the opportunity to access more trails, not less.

As a mountain biker I have many other concerns about this proposed change in language:

- This proposed change sends an unwelcoming message to the public who want access to their state parks, which is contrary and inconsistent with other stated policies that stress a welcome greeting.
- It does not match with State Parks' mission, which is, in part, to create "opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation."
- It will limit future opportunities for thousands of mountain bikers because superintendents will not be required or compelled to open trails to bikes. Historically, superintendents have been reluctant to open trails to bikes under the existing policy.
- It will decrease outdoor opportunities for the public just at a time when exercise is encouraged as a way to deal with the epidemic of obesity.
- It will lead to concentrated use on a smaller number of trails which will lead to increases in trail conflicts, rather than spreading users out over the entire park.
- It will negatively impact the thousands of youths in the state who participate in school mountain bike leagues.
- It will alienate state park supporters and an entire generation of young people that want and need to access the outdoors.
- It directly contradicts efforts of the Parks Forward Committee that is studying ways to make state parks more responsive to the needs of communities.
- It ignores real-world success stories in California that demonstrate how shared trails enhance quality of life for thousands of state residents.

Trails in California State Parks are a public resource that needs to be shared by all the legitimate user groups (foot, bike, horse). State Parks policy should reflect this, and only trails which are determined to be inappropriate for a given user group based on review and analysis by the District Superintendent should be closed to that user group.

I strongly urge State Parks to abandon the language currently proposed in S. 4360 and replace it instead with the language proposed by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). Adopting IMBA's proposed language instead will promote an attitude of acceptance toward multi-use and will prove that multi-use works. On the small number of trails which are not appropriate for mountain bike or equestrian use, State Park District Superintendents will still have the option to restrict access to those users. But the majority of trails in State Parks which are appropriate for bike and equestrian use, will be open for bike use. State Parks, and the public at large, will see a huge benefit from this inclusive policy, much more so than from the exclusive policy proposed. Please reject the current wording and accept IMBA's proposed wording as follows:

§4360 - Trail Use

State park trails are open to non-motorized users including hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians unless otherwise designated. Trail use designations are established based upon user needs, visitor safety and environmental sustainability. This includes access to trails in Reserves and Preserves, as defined in PRC Sections 5019.65, 5019.71 and 5019.74, where particular emphasis will be placed upon importance of public access to the area, or desirability of providing important connections to other trails, provided impacts to special resources for which the area was established will be less than significant.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to provide input on the proposed changes, and for all the work you are putting in on streamlining the regulations concerning State Parks.

Sincerely,
 

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Another letter here - this one sounds a lot more personal, feel free to mix n match http://forums.mtbr.com/california-s...ils-bill-imba-action-905517.html#post11091856

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed amended draft Department of Parks and Recreation Regulations announced on February 17, 2014.

As a mountain biker, hiker, and regular fee-paying user of the state parks and longtime financial supporter of the CSPF, I am dismayed to read the proposed new Section 4360. The proposed amended regulation would suddenly declare all trails closed to bicycles and other non-pedestrian uses, except only those trails that have been specifically designated by the DPR for bicycle or other use. My wife, two kids (daughter age 12 and son age 16, who rides on his high school cross-country mountain bike team) and I regularly ride our mountain bikes in state parks and treasure finding wonderful new trails to ride, especially in some of the less-travelled parks. We usually see no one but other mountain bikers, sometimes hikers, and on occasion an equestrian or two. Our years of experience on the trails shows that shared use works extremely well almost everywhere (the relatively rare exceptions being in those few inner-near-urban areas where one group somehow has a sense of superiority or entitlement that their rights to use the trails should trump everyone else's rights). Shared use should be the rule, not the exception.

That bikes would be, by default, prohibited everywhere unless the DPR goes through a process to specifically allow them via a designation process is exactly the opposite of the correct approach. The DPR should strive to allow everyone - especially the growing user base of mountain bikers - to be welcome in our parks. The guiding principle of trail access should beinclusive, not exclusive. We shouldn't be prohibited unless allowed; we should be allowed unless the DPR determines there is a good reason why we should be prohibited!

Currently, Section 4360 is an uncontroversial provision authorizing the prohibition of bikes and other "operator or gravity propelled devices" by order of the DPR. That should remain the default principle - trails may be closed to various uses where the DPR determines appropriate. Under the proposed new rule, however, given the reality of limited resources, it will be far too easy for nothing to happen with respect to trail designation, and that will mean restricting access to the second-largest user group for no good reason, unfairly depriving mountain bikers of trail access. As a matter of policy, it makes no sense for the DPR to create additional "designation" work for itself in this manner unless the true goal is to relegate us mountain bikers to a second-class status, a group to be kept out of everywhere unless the DPR goes through additional steps to invite us in. I can't imagine that is what DPR wants, yet that is what the proposed Section 4360 will promote if adopted.

I would think that the DPR would want to be doing everything it can to increase recreational usage, especially for such a healthy activity as mountain biking. Do we really want to tell our kids that mountain bikers are not welcome in the parks absent a bureaucratic process, and that they should go back and play video games and have some more soda and chips while waiting to see if their local trails will ever be designated for bike access? Please don't alienate our kids!

For these reasons, I respectfully urge the DPR to leave Section 4360 as is and decline to make the proposed change. Thank you for considering my comment.

Sincerely,
 

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Thanks Ev and OCD for getting this up on the forums. Letters sent.

We really do need NUMBERS on this folks. Even if you do a cut-and-paste or send something short, that is OK. We've really been hurt in the past because we haven't sent enough of these sorts of letters to let officials know that we are upset. Squeaky wheel gets the grease so please get squeaking.
 

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Cross pollination from another site, courtesy evdog.

When contacting state assembly types, the message is limited to 2000 characters.

This is an example to keep it under that limit:

I am writing to let you know of a change proposed by California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to the California Code of Regulations. DPR has proposed changing Section 4360 to read: "Unless designated by the Department, all trails are open to pedestrians and closed to all other uses." This "closed unless open" policy will lead to loss of trail access for equestrians and bicyclists. Please help us stop this!

That bikes and horses would be, by default, prohibited everywhere unless the DPR goes through a process to specifically allow them via a designation process is exactly the opposite of the correct approach. The DPR should strive to allow everyone to be welcome in our parks. The guiding principle of trail access should be inclusive, not exclusive. We shouldn't be prohibited unless allowed; we should be allowed unless the DPR determines there is a good reason why we should be prohibited!
Under the proposed new rule, however, given the reality of limited resources, it will be far too easy for nothing to happen with respect to trail designation. This will restrict trail access to many users. At a time when budget funds are scarce it makes no sense for the DPR to create additional "designation" work for itself. We all know there is a good chance it will never happen.

DPR should be doing everything it can to increase recreational usage, especially for a healthy activity such as mountain biking. Do we really want to tell our kids that mountain bikers and equestrians are not welcome in the parks absent a bureaucratic process, and that they should go back and play video games and have some more soda and chips while waiting to see if their local trails will ever be designated for bike or horse access? Please don't alienate our kids!

Maintaining an "open unless closed" policy will allow DPR to restrict use where appropriate, without alienating users or creating a bureaucratic backlog. Please contact DPR staff and urge them to adopt alternative wording proposed by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) For more info, see: https://www.imba.com/sites/default/file ... ldraft.pdf

Thank you,

Get those letters sent!!!
 

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Do it! Comments go to real inboxes so they will still see them after the deadline.

More importantly, you can still send comments to your state assembly person any time and they can put pressure on CA state parks as they see fit.
 
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