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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
50°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
February 23
1998 - Worst day of record-setting 1997-98 El Nino storm season [story]


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...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Thursday, Feb 15, 2018
There was broad public support for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, which struck a careful balance between lands available for large-scale renewable energy development and the environment. Now the federal government is rethinking it - putting the important and much-needed protections at risk.
Tuesday, Feb 13, 2018
You can prevent vision loss by finding and treating problems early. Medicare covers a glaucoma test once every 12 months for people at high risk for glaucoma
Wednesday, Feb 7, 2018
Sierra Club Angeles Chapter SCV Group Chair Sandra Cattell urges Santa Clarita Valley residents to contact their congressional representatives to push legislation to kill the Cemex mining project in Soledad Canyon.
Friday, Feb 2, 2018
Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin highlights the city's customer service efforts in his message for February 2018.
Friday, Feb 2, 2018
If the Department of the Interior is successful in destroying this national monument, the next one slated for destruction is Grand Staircase-Escalante, then Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument along the California-Oregon border.
Friday, Feb 2, 2018
Here’s what is happening on February 24: a rally to organize students in the Los Angeles Unified School District "against" the highly effective Los Angeles School Police Department.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Santa Clarita Studios debuted their new production offices to industry peers, business leaders and public officials on Friday.
Santa Clarita Studios Scores ABC Show, Debuts New Production Offices
The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is Wednesday, February 284 at the Administrative Center, 21380 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita 91350.
Feb. 28: Hart District Governing Board Regular Meeting
California State University, Northridge’s Criminology and Justice Studies Department will host a discussion titled “Does More Immigration Mean More Crime?” on Tuesday, Feb. 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Feb. 27 CSUN Discussion: ‘Does More Immigration Mean More Crime?’
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested a man and a woman on multiple weapons and drug charges in Castaic early Thursday, according to station officials.
Tip Leads to Arrest of 2 on Multiple Gun, Drug Charges
The California Department of Education has released new guiding principles for teaching social and emotional skills, to help educators ensure students have the skills for success in school, careers and in the community.
State Education Department Sets New Social Emotional Learning Guidelines
Spring 2018 is an exciting time for composer, sound artist and CalArts alumna Ellen Reid (Music MFA 11) as two of her works make their debut with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Los Angeles Master Chorale.
LACO, LA Master Chorale to Debut New Works by Ellen Reid
LA-based artist and CalArts grad Edgar Arceneaux (Art MFA 01) performed his award-winning, critically acclaimed theatrical work "Until, Until, Until…" in three sold-out shows this week in San Francisco.
Edgar Arceneaux’s ‘Until, Until, Until…’ Sells Out 3 SF Performances
CalArtians were out in full force at last month's 33rd annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, which ran January 18-28.
CalArts Well Represented at Sundance Film Festival 2018
Four furry, four-legged detection devices assigned to the LA County Sheriff's Department's Operation Safe Streets Bureau have been selected to receive tactical body armor.
LASD ‘Safe Streets’ K9s to Get Protective Vests
Gael García Bernal, Mary J. Blige, Andra Day, Natalia LaFourcade, Miguel, Keala Settle, Sufjan Stevens and Oscar winner Common will perform this year's nominated songs at the 90th Oscars ceremony on Sunday, March 4.
Academy Unveils 90th Oscars Song Performers Lineup
Democratic gubernatorial candidates vying to replace Gov. Jerry Brown in November debated in San Diego Thursday night how to maintain the Golden State’s strict gun laws and reduce poverty.
California Gubernatorial Candidates Take on Poverty, Gun Control
"SCVTV Presents: An Evening With New West" Friday, February 23 at The MAIN in Old Town Newhall as the award-winning trio brings their signature brand of Western ballads, story songs and cowboy swing to entertain fans in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Feb. 23: SCVTV to Present ‘Evening With New West’ at MAIN
Santa Clarita Valley Water Company officials will hold a meeting of the company's Outreach and Legislation Committee on Wednesday, March 21 at 5:30 p.m.
March 21: SCV Water Public Outreach, Legislation Committee Meeting
The 40th annual St. Clare Lenten Fish Fry charity fundraiser continues at the Canyon Country church on Friday, February 23 from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and for the next four Friday evenings.
Feb. 23: St. Clare 40th Annual Lenten Fish Fry for Charity
A 17-year-old West Ranch High School student was arrested Thursday and charged with making criminal threats on social media.
West Ranch Student Charged with Making Criminal Threats
California's and New Mexico's Attorneys General, together with the California Air Resources Board, have secured a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's suspension of the methane gas Waste Prevention Rule.
Judge Blocks Feds’ Suspension of Methane Waste Prevention Rule
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station pulled over a vehicle on Castaic Lake Road for a traffic violation on Tuesday afternoon and discovered the male adult passenger had a $30,000 warrant out for his arrest.
Man Arrested for Warrant, Alleged ID Theft in Castaic
DMV investigators issued 29 misdemeanor citations during an enforcement operation in Sun Valley and Pacoima on February 22 aimed at combating unlicensed vehicle dismantlers.
DMV Cites Unlicensed Vehicle Dismantlers in Sunland, Pacoima
The 10 year anniversary of the Val Verde African American Heritage Celebration will take place Saturday Feb. 24th, from 12:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. at Val Verde Park.
Feb. 24: Val Verde African American Heritage Celebration
1998 - Worst day of record-setting 1997-98 El Nino storm season [story]
A Spring Concert with the Golden Valley High School Jazz Band will be held at the school's theater Sunday, Mar. 25.
Mar. 25: Golden Valley High School Jazz Band Spring Concert
Hidden cultural gems from Mexico and El Salvador will be uncovered during a lecture series at California State University, Northridge, hosted by the Tom & Ethel Bradley Center.
CSUN Lecture Series to Highlight Hidden Cultural Gems
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency's Engineering Committee will be meeting on Thursday, Mar. 1, at 5:30 p.m.
March 1: SCV Water Agency Engineering Committee Meeting
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold its Regular Meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 6:00 p.m.
Feb. 27: City Council Regular Meeting
The Sulphur Springs Union School District was recognized Wednesday evening with the Operation School Bell Award given by the National Assistance League.
Sulphur Springs Schools Lauded by Assistance League
Earlier today, the Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School was on lockdown as deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station investigated an unconfirmed threat. The lockdown has since been lifted and a 15-year-old suspect was charged with making Criminal Threats. The following is a breakdown from the Facebook page of the SCV Sheriff's Station:
SCVi Charter Student Charged with Making Criminal Threats
Carousel Ranch Raising Funds for “Carousel Wishes and Valentine Kisses” Annual Giving Campaign Carousel Ranch, a place where children with special needs discover and experience some of their greatest achievements through equestrian therapy and vocational training programs, is reaching out to the donor community during its “Carousel Wishes and Valentine Kisses” annual giving campaign.
Carousel Ranch Seeks to Fund Scholarships for Wait-List Students
College of the Canyons has added more than 100 late-start classes to its spring 2018 semester class schedule to accommodate the needs of working students.
Spring Brings More Late-Start Class Options to COC
Deputies at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station are currently investigating an unconfirmed threat at the Santa Clarita Valley International School.
Lockdown Lifted at SCVi Charter School
The kids are back for Season Six of Masterchef Junior, featuring award-winning chefs Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi, as well as the return of fan-favorite judge Joe Bastianich.
Newhall Student Vies for Apron on Masterchef Junior
The William S. Hart Baseball Complex was vandalized early Sunday morning. The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station was able to apprehend the suspect with the help of surveillance video. Here is the breakdown from the Facebook page of the SCV Sheriff's Station.
Suspect Detained in Connection with Vandalism at Hart Baseball Field
LOS ANGELES – The County Interim Health Officer is issuing a Cold Weather Alert due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures. Wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cold Weather Alert Issued for SCV
1983 - Armed robber taken out at Alpha Beta supermarket on Lyons [story]
The Master's University Mustangs baseball team added to their recent string of come-from-behind wins with a 9-5 comeback win over the University of Antelope Valley at Master's.
Mustangs Rally Again, This Time Against Antelope Valley
A driver lost control of her vehicle in the parking lot and crashed into the outdoor dining area at Stone Fire Grill on Cinema Drive in Valencia Wednesday afternoon.
No Injuries in Accidental Drive-Through at Stone Fire Grill Restaurant
The College of the Canyons Athletic Department will host its annual "Big Win!" benefit event at the Valencia Campus supporting the college's 17 intercollegiate athletic programs on Thursday, March 15.
March 15: COC Athletics to Host Annual ‘Big Win’ Fundraiser