[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Changes Coming to Popular Nature Trail | 12-27-2012
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
86°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 18
1946 - Pioneering Placerita Canyon movie producer Trem Carr dies in San Diego [story]
' style=


Let's Go Outside | Commentary by Evelyne Vandersande
| Thursday, Dec 27, 2012

evelynevandersande_mugFor 40 years, the docents at Placerita Canyon Nature Center were told that the center was a “Natural Area.” Certainly the environment on the Canyon Trail, following the course of the stream, was a delicate area that needed to be preserved. It is an environment specific to certain plants not seen anywhere else in the park, and is a special area used by many animals in need of moisture. A part of it is used for educational purposes, teaching school groups.

The docents never dreamed that it could be open for mountain bike use. However, pressure was exerted by mountain bike enthusiasts who submitted a signed petition to have the trail opened for their use. After that, the county wheels were in motion and the docents’ struggle to keep mountain bikes off the trail was defeated.

Yes, the docents are concerned about the environmental impacts, but most of all they are worried about the safety of the hikers. It is an easy hike because the trail is mostly without much elevation change, and it is used by families with children who often run ahead of the parents. Many people stop to take photos of plants or animals and are not looking for traffic (as it should be while taking a stroll in Nature). The thrill of mountain bikers is to go fast on a bumpy trail.

canyontraill02Are those activities compatible? There are numerous blind spots on the narrow trail, and there have been accidents.  One that comes to mind is when a group leader sustained a concussion while protecting a group of young children from a mountain bike rider who did not even stop.

The mission statement for the docents at Placerita is “to inspire a passion, awareness and respect for the environment, and to preserve and protect for future generations the history and ecosystem of Placerita Canyon.” No wonder the docents are disappointed not to have been able to protect the Canyon Trail.

This is from a county report:

“In response to this petition and the high level of interest in opening the trail for mountain bike use, the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation contracted with The Planning Center | DC&E to complete a Trail Use Change Survey modeled after the process used by California State Parks. The consultant conducted two community meetings and solicited comments from the public as a part of the assessment process and made the Trail Assessment recommendations. The process used by the consultant and the department is similar to one developed by California State Parks, but was modified to reflect the county’s Trails Manual guidelines and classifications.

canyontraill01“The purpose of the assessment process was to evaluate the condition of the trail and the trail’s sustainability as it pertains to existing and/or proposed uses. Analysis was done and the decision was made to open the trail to mountain bikes. Those are public trails, supported by tax dollars, so they should be used by all and the park management made this decision.”

The bike riders will be required to walk on the part of the trail used by school groups. Accidents should be reported to the office and a report should be taken by a county employee. It would be helpful if photos can be taken at the site of the accident. If there are witnesses to the accident, please ask them to sign the report. Keep a copy of the report for your own records. If anybody feels threatened on the trail, they should go to the office and fill out a report. It is important that the actual results of the changed use be documented, in the event that the accident rate increases – only in that event might the change be reversed.

Let me give you some details about the scope of the work planned on the trail:

 

Start date: Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Completion: February/March 2013

Multi-use (Hike, Bike, Ride) access: March 2013

• Replacement and installation of signage

canyontraill07• Remediation of erosion and restoration of proper cross-drainage

• Removal of tree hazards

• Minor trimming of vegetation along the trail

• Leveling of portions of existing trail tread for safe footing

• Fencing and barriers along portions of the trail

• Installation of step-over(s) for the “walk zone”

• Installation of pinch points for speed reduction.

 

canyontraill05The docents were concerned about the amount of construction on the trail and tried to preserve many rare plants by tying yellow tape on them to prevent them from being removed or damaged. Some trees received the same marking treatment if they were woodpecker habitats.

In January, we will enter the “construction phase” on the Canyon Trail: Rocky ledges are going to be smoothed out, fences are going to be erected, and places where the trail is slightly sloped will be leveled flat. All of this activity will be done to accommodate the use of the trail by the mountain bikers.

The trail will be closed some days when heavy work is being done. The dates of the closure cannot be known in advance.

I recommend that you stay away from the Canyon Trail for the next three months if you want to hike in the morning and use the Waterfall Trail instead so you do not have to be inconvenienced by these closures. If you come during the weekend or in the afternoon, it should not be a problem because the crews stop working at noon.

The trail will survive and its beauty will endure. I have seen fires and El Nino doing terrible damage in Placerita, but nature is very resilient and recovers. It will just take some time.

 

Evelyne Vandersande has been a docent at Placerita Canyon Nature Center for 27 years. She lives in Newhall.

 

 

 

canyontraill08 canyontraill06 canyontraill04 canyontraill03 canyontraill18 canyontraill17 canyontraill16 canyontraill15 canyontraill14 canyontraill13 canyontraill12 canyontraill11 canyontraill10 canyontraill09

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

2 Comments

  1. This makes me so sad. An extreme, fast sport like mountain biking does not belong where people (especially children), and horses are. Having suffered an injury from two speeding mountain bikers who did not even stop gives me personal knowledge of this. No matter what changes the county makes, they cannot make the mountain bikers obey rules such as a slower, safe speed.

  2. Vanessa says:

    What a nightmare.. I walked along these trails as a child with Frank Hovore learning about insects on the stream and in the plants. How will future generations of children have that same experience when bikers are zipping around them, distracting and potentially injuring them? In light of recent events, how can the county support a choice that trades the safety of children for the ‘rights’ of mountain bikers? How many children will be injured? Shame on the county! Shame on them!! I am disgusted.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Related Content
RECENT COMMENTARY
Tuesday, Aug 15, 2017
If left uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to some really bad outcomes, including kidney problems, glaucoma and other eye disorders, foot ulcers, amputation of feet or legs, stroke, diabetic coma, and even death.
Friday, Aug 11, 2017
There is no doubt the vast majority of Democrats and liberals loathe Trump. Certainly all of the leftists thoroughly hate him, and they have some company. They’re called Republicans.
Wednesday, Aug 2, 2017
In his August message to the community, Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin details the city's emergency preparedness resources.
Tuesday, Aug 1, 2017
As our first president George Washington said, “We must consult our means rather than our wishes.”
Sunday, Jul 30, 2017
Many shocking surprises have shown up around the world as the ice melts. We’ve found a perfectly preserved baby woolly mammoth, a field of dead reindeer that died of anthrax, and then last year, infected people in Russia, and in Alaska, an Air Force plane that disappeared was finally found in the Colony Glacier. It had crashed in 1952, killing everyone on board.
Wednesday, Jul 26, 2017
When President Donald Trump ordered Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to review the status of 27 national monuments created by three former presidents, many across the nation took it as a call to action to advocate on behalf of the monuments closest to their homes, and their hearts.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Western singer and songwriter John Zipperer headlines the next episode of "SCVTV Presents The OutWest Concert Series" at The MAIN in Old Town Newhall the evening of Friday, August 25.
August 25: John Zipperer Toplines ‘SCVTV Presents The OutWest Concert Series’
Habitat for Humanity SFV/SCV is honored to have received a $25,000 grant from the Disabled Veterans National Foundation, which will fund trauma workshops.
Habitat for Humanity Receives $25K Grant from Disabled Veterans
Two local environmental groups filed a complaint in L.A. Superior Court Thursday regarding the approved plan to provide water to the Newhall Ranch development, set to break ground in 2018.
Environmental Groups File Complaint Against Newhall Ranch Water Plan
Here are agenda highlights for the next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, set for Tuesday, August 22, starting at 9:30 a.m..
August 22: Board of Supervisors Meeting Agenda
Ashley Olivier, a student worker at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, summited Mt. Whitney with her dad, a lieutenant at LASD's Monterey Park station.
SCV Sheriff’s Station Student Worker, LASD Dad Top Mt. Whitney
Looking to enter the win column for the first time in 2017 on day two of the Summer Slam volleyball tournament, the TMU Mustangs squared off against 11th-ranked Eastern Oregon but lost in straight sets.
Mountaineers Spike Mustangs at Summer Slam
The Master’s University women’s soccer team soared to a 7-0 victory over the visiting Eagles from Sierra Nevada College Thursday.
Lady Mustangs Soccer Win Opener 7-0
The Master’s University women's volleyball team concluded their first day of HIU Summer Slam tournament play with a five-set thriller against the Southern Oregon University Raiders on Wednesday evening, dropping the fifth set 15-9.
Lady Mustangs Fall in 5 to Raiders at HIU
A federal judge on Wednesday ruled against claims by a state workers’ union that California’s pension system unfairly changed the terms of a pre-existing collective bargaining agreement.
Court Upholds Increase in CalPERS Retirement Age
Friday's alert from the South Coast Air Quality Management District that air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley has been extended through Saturday.
Updated: SCV Air Quality Unhealthy Saturday
Four annual crime reports, which provide law enforcement agencies and the public with statewide data on crime statistics, were released Friday by California's Attorney General.
AG Releases 4 California Crime Reports for 2016
The Master’s University women’s volleyball team lost their 2017 season opener Wednesday at the HIU Summer Slam in straight sets against the Warriors from national powerhouse Corban University (OR).
Warriors Drop TMU Lady Mustangs in Straight Sets
Here's the Castaic/Val Verde (Zone 2) Crime Information and Public Safety Report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for the week of August 7 to August 13.
Crime Blotter: Assault, Theft in Castaic-Val Verde
Two Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station employees will be recognized at the City Council meeting to be held on August 22 at 6 p.m.
City Council to Honor 2 SCV Sheriff’s Station Employees
The Santa Clarita Public Library invites residents to celebrate the upcoming total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21 with two free events at the Old Town Newhall Library.
August 18 & 21: Solar Eclipse Events at Newhall Library
The city of Santa Clarita’s Youth Sports program has seen measured success thus far in 2017.
Santa Clarita Youth Sports Sees Spike in Participation
The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center’s new building campaign now only has $1.3 million remaining to raise before groundbreaking on the site can begin.
New SCV Senior Center Needs $1.3M to Break Ground
Sacramento County sued the California Department of Water Resources on Thursday over DWR's certification of the California 'WaterFix' delta tunnels project’s “dizzying” and “shifting” environmental review.
Sacramento County Sues to Freeze California ‘WaterFix’
1946 - Pioneering Placerita Canyon movie producer Trem Carr dies in San Diego [story]
' style=
The storewide remodel of the Walmart Supercenter at 26471 Carl Boyer Drive is complete and, in addition to the many physical changes inside, Santa Clarita residents now have access to Online Grocery Pickup.
Walmart on Carl Boyer Drive Celebrates Grand Reopening Friday
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, two people have been hospitalized after a major collision. Plus, an acquisition of land near the 14. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Thursday August 17, 2017
Le Chene French Cuisine, a long-time Santa Clarita local favorite restaurant along Sierra Highway, has announced that they will be hosting a thrilling Murder Mystery Dinner on Saturday, November 4th, 2017.
Nov. 4: Le Chene Murder Mystery Dinner
Senator Scott Wilk, R- Antelope Valley, today announces that he is one of the 2017 inductees into the Antelope Valley High School Alumni Hall of Fame.
Sept. 22: Wilk to be Inducted into AV High School Hall of Fame
Signups are under way for the Santa Clarita Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which offers participants an opportunity to take a healthy stroll, experience outstanding live entertainment, honor loved ones who have been affected by Alzheimer’s and raise funds to battle the debilitating disease.
Oct. 7: Walk to End Alzheimer’s; Signups Under Way
Trammell Crow Company (TCC) andand Clarion Partners are pleased to announce the acquisition of 54 acres of land for the development of The Center at Needham Ranch, a state-of-the-art business park in the city of Santa Clarita, CA.
TCC, Clarion Partners Acquire More Than 50 Acres of SCV Real Estate
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration is hosting what will be a highly educational and informative (and free) Tax Seminar for Nonprofits and Exempt Organizations.
Sept. 6: Tax Seminar for Non-Profits and Exempt Organizations
For the first time in 99 years, a total eclipse of the sun will pass over the continental United States on August 21, and Princess Cruises guests sailing on six cruise ships in Alaska will be invited to special viewing parties as part of the cruise line’s exclusive Stargazing with Discovery at Sea program.
Princess Cruises to Host On-Board Viewing Parties for Solar Eclipse
Two people have been hospitalized with major injuries after a collision on San Francisquito Wednesday night.
San Francisquito Road Collision Leads to Major Injuries
Caltrans today announced that 32 major “fix-it-first” transportation projects can be accelerated a year earlier than planned thanks to anticipated funding from Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.
More Than 30 Caltrans “Fix-it-First” Projects Accelerated by SB 1
Statement from CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison on Recent Events in Charlottesville, Virginia
CSUN President Releases Statement on Charlottesville
The Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to a traffic collision at Bouquet Canyon and Plum Canyon Roads early Thursday morning.
Firefighters Extricate Trapped Person After Early Morning Collision
Brandon Gold allowed a tie-breaking home run in the sixth inning and the Lancaster JetHawks fell to the San Jose Giants, 4-2, on Wednesday night at Municipal Stadium.
Gold, JetHawks Fall Short Against the Giants
In comments submitted Thursday, Attorney General Xavier Becerra expressed his strong opposition to any attempt by the Trump Administration to open California’s coast to new offshore drilling.
Becerra Vows to Protect State from Offshore Drilling
While Charlottesville violence and protests continue divisive dialogue nationally, Santa Clarita residents gathered to create a place “to be able to come together.”
Community Members Hold Vigil for Charlottesville