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sftrydr
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1,089 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Golden Gate National Recreation Area proposes major upgrades - SFGate

Here is a link to a petition put together by Human Recreation advo's, please follow link to comment-and/or sign:
https://www.change.org/petitions/pr...nk&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition


The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is proposing spending $150 million over the next 20 years on infrastructure, trails, historic preservation and other capital projects at Alcatraz, Muir Woods and the new park in San Mateo County called Rancho Corral de Tierra.

The improvement plan is part of the new general management blueprint for the 80,000 acres of beaches, rolling hills, stables and historic military installations that make up the sprawling Bay Area federal parkland.

The plan, which does not include the Presidio, Crissy Field and Fort Baker - all subjects of separate management plans - intends to protect resources, habitat and wildlife while allowing urban access to the park. It would create eight different activity zones - including natural, scenic and diverse usage - to guide behavior, use and infrastructure needs.

The recommendations in the voluminous report will undoubtedly mean some current recreational activities would have to be curtailed, a potentially volatile issue among dog walkers, bicyclists and horseback riders, who have historically been common targets for proposed restrictions.

Brian Aviles, the senior planner for the recreation area, said the idea behind the plan is to create guidelines that enhance the public experience.

"Our management philosophy is connecting people with the parks," said Aviles, senior planner for the GGNRA. "It's about making the parks accessible, being relevant and providing the kind of opportunities that people want in the park."
Muir Woods renovations

Aviles said about $15 million of the $150 million would be spent at Muir Woods, including $8 million or so on the entrance, parking, transportation and infrastructure to accommodate the huge crowds that now inundate the scenic valley and clog the roads on weekends.

A hugely controversial plan to build a parking area on Panoramic Highway for Muir Woods visitors is now "off the table," according to recreation area spokesman Howard Levitt, but the problem still exists and alternatives will be discussed. One possible solution, Aviles said, is a reservation parking system, which is now being studied.

The plan proposes spending about $19 million in 2009 dollars stabilizing and rehabilitating Alcatraz buildings, including the cellblock on the east side of the island, the chapel, hospital wing and administration area.

The most controversial aspect of the plan appears to be the eight zones, which some recreational users fear could be used as an excuse to ban them. The zones would include scenic, historic and interpretive areas along with a "diverse opportunities zone."

Large chunks of land, including trails and beach areas, would be designated Natural Zones, according to the plan. That would mean the natural, wild, dynamic characteristics of the area would be preserved. Some restrictions on use could be implemented, including the fencing off of sensitive areas to preserve the natural setting, according to the plan.
Dog walkers fear limits

Canine fancier groups believe the natural zone designation is an excuse by the GGNRA to ban off-leash dog walking on beaches and trails.

Huey Johnson, the founder of the Resource Renewal Institute in Mill Valley, said recreation in general is in jeopardy. He characterized the management plan as an attempt to shed the "recreation area" moniker and turn the area into a national park.

"The park service is very good at maintaining our wonderful wilderness areas, but they struggle when it comes to providing recreation to urban dwellers, which is what the GGNRA was created to do," said Johnson, who was instrumental in the creation of the GGNRA. He said the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, a partner and primary fundraiser, has been pushing an agenda that excludes many urban recreational users, including dog walkers.

Levitt denied there is some kind of scheme to get rid of recreation.

"This plan was developed with an extensive amount of public engagement," Levitt said. "Recreation is in our name, and it is in our legislation. We will continue to have arguably the broadest array of recreational activities to be found in any park in the national park system."
 

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sftrydr
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1,089 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Building alliances with the dog-horse-mt biking rec user communities in NPS governed San Mateo Co Parks properties is our best chance of ensuring NPS action is tempered....
This ain't over by a longshot...
 

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mtb'er
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Building alliances with the dog-horse-mt biking rec user communities in NPS governed San Mateo Co Parks properties is our best chance of ensuring NPS action is tempered..
While I agree with TBC, this ^ was my first thought. Can the different user communities come together on this? If successful, will they remain united, or will they go back to their selfish ways, advocating for no-anything that impacts their personal experience?
 

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formerly Gobike69
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346 Posts
I've got a bad feeling about this. Anytime the GGNRA is involved it doesn't end well for the MTB community. Hope I am wrong.
 

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sftrydr
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1,089 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Only will speak for myself,
I've had nothing but positive interaction w the dog walking and horse community over here on the San Mateo coastside.

I'll throw in w them every chance I get,

Big Daddio wrote:I've got a bad feeling about this. Anytime the GGNRA is involved it doesn't end well for the MTB community. Hope I am wrong.

The GGNRA's is the 1st National Park Service branch to allow 100% of dirt trails be open (so far) to Mt Bike riding within the Rancho Corral de Tierra park(comprised of over 4000 acres).
Keep in mind, this property includes 4 working horse ranches-stables....
NPS -GGNRA deserves credit for their policies(so far) of inclusiveness on the San Mateo coastside.

Also of note,
Horse stables staff and clients, for the most part, have been very supportive of maintaining multi/use designation for trails they have used for decades.
Believe me when I say that the Equestrian community very easily could have gone the opposite direction and rallied against our(mb riders) inclusion when trails use guidelines were being proposed after the GGNRA purchased these lands.
But they didn't.
Why?
Efforts by a few dedicated coastside MB riders played huge part.
We committed to educate our own, consistently showing up at trails use mtngs,advocating for increased lines of sight, showing up for brushing parties, working with stables owners to ease the transition into publicly held lands.
Horse-bike-dog walkers can coexist, even flourish by working together rather than against one another.
 

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Medium?
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6,725 Posts
The GGNRA's is the 1st National Park Service branch to allow 100% of dirt trails be open (so far) to Mt Bike riding within the Rancho Corral de Tierra park(comprised of over 4000 acres).
Keep in mind, this property includes 4 working horse ranches-stables....
Quoted for posterity.
 

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I'm really diggin it!
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3,078 Posts
IDK Jim. I got really excited about the trails down that way. Visited once and won't be back. Any trail dead ending into a stable with parking issues honestly shouldn't be used by mountain bikers. Not because it isn't a suitable trail, it is a powder keg of potential conflict. It just took one incident in Marin to keep bikes from having any meaningful input or access for the future.
 

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sftrydr
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1,089 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I don't know the specifics of the Marin incident, other than what I read here.
My take:
When Horse+rider venture out on trails in full expectation of encountering others, this helps the trails mixing formula in our highly populated urban fringe.
In general,the Marin Eq crowd seems to duck this sensibility entirely,which contributes greatly to the acrimonious climate prevalent up that way.
We here all know the spiel, horses have been trained to be ridden into battle,used for riotous crowd control,etc, they can get used to people on bicycles wearing goofy outfits(tic)

We on the San Mateo coast are trying , in cahoots w the local Eq users,to further this tact.

Many MB riders between Half Moon Bay-Marin have been ranging on these Cali coastal lands for decades, are well versed in trails etiquette expectations.(slow down or stop,talk nicely to horse-rider,ask when it's OK to move on)
We have lots of fun,but we'd rather chew on barbed wire than put other trails users at risk(as do most MB riders).

Couple things we have done w the stables , this last April, we(MB riders-Equestrians) held 2 clinics to get to know each other, practice safe passing, familiarize the attending horses w the bicycle being a non threatening presence.We are talking about staging this type of in-service 1x every year.
Working on higher visibility parking signage w NPS staff will help reduce parking confusion x Ember Ridge-Spine tr.
Stables owners chastised their own for the need to play nice w folks ranging through the stables area.

The onus to engage w one another on furthering these M/U trails rather than lock horns in a fruitless waste of energies is paramount with all our efforts.

I ramble, but MB riders can help make these efforts work, time will tell.

Lastly,

Being an Irish lout myself and holding on to grudges way too long, I'm reaching out to you, Davey, to get your stubborn azz back down this way and ride some of the trails w me-us.

2nd chances are a way of the world, you may just find yourself rolling back down this way a helluva lot more often.
 

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Davey there is WAY more to the area the the one trail you rode, I don't even ride the one you rode and I ride over there frequently.
 

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sftrydr
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1,089 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
This just in,
Looks like Cave trail, Wicklow(Gods) trail bike access are on the chopping block,
NPS PEPC - Rancho Interim Trail Plan

I'll be posting comment(s) on this thread for comment to NPS via this link,
National Park Service - PEPC - Rancho Interim Trail Plan -Submit Comments

Rough draft:
Alta Vista(Cave) trail is identified as sub standard for M/U designation.
If this stretch of trail, currently the ONLY link at altitude between McNee Ranch and RCdT, is sub standard, why are any users allowed to use it?
Rather than shutting Alta Vista down to cyclists (essentially the only user group currently using this trail), how about reaching out to interested stakeholders for input-assistance in re-routing trail to meet M/U standard?


Wicklow trail provides the only link between Quarry Park-Wicklow property and RCdT(all parks trails that enter-exit the Wicklow fire road are M/U .
The Spine trail will eventually intersect via the Gregerson property w the Wicklow trail,(if-when the Gregerson property is purchased-incorporated into NPS lands) .
Allowing for this connectivity is important for valuable trails route options in the future.
Why is the Wicklow trail being proposed for bicycle ban?

There is a fire road just west of the proposed to be closed to bikes Ember Ridge trail.
This fire road should be marked as M/U, as it provides bicycle riders an option to access either to or from the Spine Trail-Farmers Daughter trail from San Vicente trail w/o having to go almost all the way to Etheldore st to do so.
 

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More pie please
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Ugh!

Here is the Interim Trail Plan map:





The no-bikes "Wicklow Fire Road" ("El Granada Boulevard" on google maps) is actually paved, on the right in this photo:






NPS text:

Rancho Corral de Tierra Interim Trail Plan

Introduction

The National Park Service (NPS) is developing an Interim Trail Plan for Rancho Corral de Tierra (Rancho) in San Mateo County, which is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). The 3,800-acre property was acquired by the National Park Service in December 2011 from the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST). Rancho is home to many informal trails that have evolved over time, prior to NPS acquisition of the property. Rancho is rich in natural resources and ideally situated to provide a variety of recreational opportunities.

When NPS acquired Rancho, trail use designations were established per current use of the park taking into consideration a variety of factors related to the presence of sensitive resources, safety, and existing conditions of the rails. These uses have been in place since December 2011. This project will establish the official Interim Trail Plan for Rancho until a Long-Range Trail Master Plan is completed in the next three to five years. GGNRA will conduct environmental compliance for the Interim Trail Plan, which will confirm uses including hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding, for the designated network of existing trails. This will include a public review and comment period. The Interim Trail Plan does not address or regulate dog walking activities and defers to the Dog Management Plan.

Once the Interim Trail Plan is established, NPS will begin to develop a more comprehensive Long-Range Trail Master Plan, which will build upon the Interim Trail Plan, identify opportunities for new trail connections and networks within the property and with adjacent lands, and reevaluate permitted recreational uses for each trail segment. The Long-Range Trail Master Plan will include extensive public outreach, coordination with partner agencies, and long term visioning for future uses of this property. NPS intends to prepare this document in the next three to five years. In addition, NPS will begin environmental compliance on two new trail head locations to provide public access to Rancho. The proposed trail heads will be incorporated into the Long-Range Trail Master Plan but will be standalone projects with their own public outreach schedule.

Purpose

The purpose of the proposed plan is to confirm a well-functioning network of trails, identify which trails will be maintained by the NPS, minimize use of and establishment of social trails, and to enhance experience of Rancho while preserving the area’s resources. These goals are in line with the 2014 General Master Plan (GMP), which stresses the importance of providing diverse recreational opportunities heavily reliant on a system of trails (GMP, 1:S-ii). The Interim Trail Plan would also provide guidance for the management of trails in Rancho until the LongRange Trail Master Plan is completed. For the Interim Trail Plan to be successful, it must meet the following objectives:

• Improve the efficiency of trail management by identifying and designating official trails for use by visitors and maintenance by the NPS.
• Establish official trails names to aid park visitors and improve management.
• Assign acceptable uses for trails to avoid conflicting uses or improper use of park land.

Need

Present conditions include a vast network of informal trails that receive frequent use by the local community as well as a growing number of new users. The Rancho trail network is an inherited system of informal trails that were not planned and received minimal maintenance prior to NPS management. Many of the trails are steep and eroding, and in need of improvements and/or realignment. The Interim Trail Plan proposes to recognize 16 miles of trails that will be maintained at Rancho which will allow for strategic trail management. Prior to becoming part of the GGNRA, Rancho was managed by POST, which maintained use restrictions but was unable to enforce compliance. This resulted in conflicting trail uses within the park in an unmanaged capacity. This plan will help mitigate these conflicts by establishing accepted trail uses (bicycle, pedestrian, and equestrian use).

Project Objectives

The Interim Trail Plan is intended to serve as the approved plan for the property for the next three to five years. Once completed, the Long-Range Trail Master Plan will replace the Interim Trail Plan. The management objectives for the plan are intended to:

• Build public awareness on the appropriate use of the site, and protect habitat from unauthorized and/or destructive use.
• Build public awareness on the unique values and recreational opportunities.
• Reduce conflict and safety concerns raised by shared use of trails.
• Ensure access throughout the site without compromising slope stability or sensitive habitat.
• Establish trail names to be recorded on trail maps, brochures, and websites.
• Establish trail network to be maintained by the NPS trail crew.

In developing this plan, the NPS has gathered public input on trail locations, names, and uses during a public open house and informal neighborhood gatherings, and continues to seek public input on the Rancho Interim Trail Plan through June 14. The proposed trail locations, names, and permitted uses account for a variety of trail experiences while protecting park resources. Your input is requested on the following:

• Trail network to be maintained by the NPS. Do the maps accurately reflect the trails most used by visitors? Are there additional trails not shown on these maps that are frequently used?

• Designated trail names to be recorded on maps, brochures, and websites. Are the proposed trail names consistent with local designations? Are there alternate names that are used, or proposed names that should be considered?

• Proposed permitted use. Please review the attached map, and provide specific feedback on the range of trail uses. Some trails are proposed to be multi-use (bicycle, pedestrian, and equestrian), while others would restrict bicycle use (pedestrian and equestrian only) because of safety, user conflicts, and access.
 

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sftrydr
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1,089 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanx for the precise info Charlie.
While the Wicklow fire road, in and of itself holds little value for MB riders.
It provides the only connection from RCdT to Wicklow property(Xterra tr) and Quarry Park
The MB riders that inhabit El Granada would do well step up and voice their opinion on this, otherwise they will be landlocked out of their upper access to RCdT, eventually risking a $$ citation for using a paved fire road......
 

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The statement about how when post owned it they were unable to enforce restrictions which led to conflicting uses... Is this speculation by the nps or does post agree with that? We're there confirmed conflicts?
Thanks,
John
 

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What I wonder is in what sort of a backroom process such plans come to life, out of thin air. Who decided that to eliminate "conflict" it is the biking that needs to be restricted, not the dangerous, unpredictable slave animals?

Are stable owners counting on using this land for commercial rides and renting?
 
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