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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
65°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
December 13
1900 - Automobile Club of Southern California founded; first car in SCV appeared 1902 [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
Sunday, Dec 10, 2017
Derelict since the 1994 earthquake, the Pioneer Oil Refinery in Newhall was the first productive oil refinery in the American West and is believed to be the oldest existing refinery in the world today. Unfunded restoration plans have come and gone. Now that the surrounding property is under development, will the promises be kept?
Friday, Dec 8, 2017
A National Memorial designation for St. Francis Dam will honor those who lost their lives in the nation’s worst engineering disaster and the role it played in ushering in a new era of oversight for dam construction.
Thursday, Dec 7, 2017
Eliminating net neutrality would allow Internet service providers such as Verizon, Comcast, Spectrum and AT&T to create a “slow lane” and a “fast lane” on the Internet, prioritizing certain companies over others and dictating what websites you’re able to visit and at what speed, or even blocking you entirely from visiting certain websites of your choice.
Monday, Dec 4, 2017
In his monthly message for December 2017, Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin encourages residents to shop and party locally during the holidays to keep the cash in our community.
Friday, Dec 1, 2017
The big day is almost upon us and a year of celebrations is wrapping up. On December 15, 2017 our city will officially be 30 years old.
Thursday, Nov 30, 2017
Create and decorate your own holiday wreaths, centerpieces, candles and ornaments using a large assortment of fresh-cut greenery, pine cones and other beautiful natural treasures this weekend at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The Sheriff’s Department and CHP will participate in a special year-end "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" enforcement campaign from December 15 through January 1.
LASD, CHP Join ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ DUI Campaign
The Caribbean is back, better than ever, and Valencia-based Princess Cruises is offering the best fares of the season during the “Exclusively Caribbean Sale,” on 7-, 8-, 10-, 14-day sailings departing February through April 2018.
Princess Cruises ‘Exclusively Caribbean Sale’ Offers Season’s Best Fares
Designer and animator Jamie Tan (Film/Video BFA 15) started baking cakes and fancy French pastries as a meditative practice to help her balance the 20 credit semesters she was taking as a student at CalArts.
Jamie Tan on Art, Baking for Rojas’ ‘Theater of Disappearance’
CalArts School of Critical Studies faculty Janet Sarbanes recently received a grant from The Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program for her essay "Reframing the House of Dust: A Meditation in Many Parts."
CalArts’ Janet Sarbanes Wins Writers Grant from Creative Capital
Artist and CalArts alumna Carrie Mae Weems (Art BFA 81) concludes her year-long residency at New York’s Park Avenue Armory with a day-long convening of artists, writers, poets, musicians and social theorists on Sunday, Dec. 17.
Dec. 17: Weems Wraps Year-Long NYC Residency
Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean C. Logan was named winner of the 2017 Electoral Ergonomy Award at the International Electoral Awards on December 5 in Dead Sea, Jordan.
LA County Registrar-Clerk Wins International Electoral Award
The CSUN women's basketball team looks to extend its winning streak to four when the Matadors return home to face the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks on Monday, December 18.
Dec. 18: CSUN Women’s Basketball Team Goes for 4
Sport fishing permits for 2018 are now on sale from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Sport Fishing Licenses for 2018 Now on Sale
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the Santa Clarita Valley and other areas of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties through Friday morning.
Critical Fire Conditions in SCV Though Friday
Steve Gerischer, proprietor of Larkspur Garden Design, will simplify the art of rose pruning and share tips on keeping your roses flourishing at the next installment of CSUN's CSUN-al Gardening series on Saturday, Jan. 13.
CSUN-al Gardening to Tackle the Prickly Topic of Pruning Roses
The Master’s University profiles 2017 men's basketball star Brock Gardner.
TMU Basketball’s Brock Gardner – Tough Decisions, Terrific Transfer
The list of Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes, released recently, was backloaded with four athletes from The Master’s University.
4 TMU Men’s Soccer Players Named NAIA Scholar-Athletes
During October, 15 junior high and high school campuses in Santa Clarita hosted a toiletries drive as part of their annual DFY in SCV community campaign.
DFY in SCV Students Help Others in Need
SCV Sheriff's Station deputies are still looking for two men who allegedly stole a wallet from a woman shopping in a local market, and posted images from surveillance video seeking the public's help to identify and locate the men.
Deputies Still Seek Suspects in Theft of Shopper’s Wallet
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and 17 other attorneys general have called on the Trump Administration to respect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s independence.
AG’s File Brief Backing Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Santa Clarita Arts Commission's next Regular Meeting is set for Thursday, Dec. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.
Dec. 14: Santa Clarita Arts Commission Regular Meeting
The city of Santa Clarita's Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission will hold its next Regular Meeting on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 3:30 p.m.
Dec. 14: Parks, Recreation, Community Services Regular Meeting
The nonprofit WiSH Education Foundation is out to raise $100,000 to fund improvements in Hart District school libraries.
WiSH Foundation Seeks Funds for Hart District Libraries
Valencia resident Kyanna Isaacson, 26, fulfills her dream of owning a Jersey Mike’s Subs restaurant today, and opens with a free sub fundraiser to benefit the nonprofit WiSH Education Foundation.
Valencia Resident Opens Her Own Jersey Mike’s Sub Shop
1900 - Automobile Club of Southern California founded; first car in SCV appeared 1902 [story]
The City Council named Laurene Weste the new mayor of Santa Clarita Tuesday night.
Laurene Weste Named Mayor for Fifth Time
Paris, Amsterdam, Sydney – Unibail-Rodamco SE (“Unibail-Rodamco”) and Westfield Corporation (“Westfield”) announced Tuesday that Unibail- Rodamco has entered into an agreement to acquire Westfield to create the world’s premier developer and operator of flagship shopping destinations (the “Group”).
French Real Estate Firm Buys Westfield in $16-Billion Deal
NORTHRIDGE, Calif.—CSUN's Channon Fluker was named Madness National Mid-Major Women's Basketball Player of the Week Dec. 11.
CSUN’s Fluker Named Player of the Week
​LOS ANGELES, CA Trammell Crow Company (TCC) and Clarion Partners have begun construction on The Center at Needham Ranch, a 54-acre, state-of-the-art industrial business park in Santa Clarita.
Construction Underway at Needham Ranch
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Attendees of California State University, Northridge's Matador Athletics events will be able to purchase beer and wine at home games beginning Jan. 6, 2018 with the start of the Men's and Women's Basketball Big West Conference season.
Beer, Wine Will Soon be Available at CSUN Home Games
A 2-acre brush fire, dubbed the Copper Fire, ignited shortly 4:35 p.m. on the 29100 block of West Hills Drive, according to a tweet from the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Forward Progress Stopped on 2-Acre West Hills Fire
How do we close the graduation gap? How do we ensure students have the resources they need to succeed academically? Those are questions people in higher education — including at California State University, Northridge — have been grappling with for decades.
CSUN Department Changing Way Students are Served After Data Sheds Some Light
Offering more than 150 itineraries to popular bucket-list destinations all over the world, Princess Cruises has earned top honors for its cruise vacation itineraries in the Cruise Critic Annual Editors’ Picks Awards.
Industry Experts Award Princess Cruises “Best Itineraries”
As it wraps up 2017 and looks forward to 2018, the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce announced eight new additions to its board of directors next year.
Chamber Announces 2018 Board of Directors
Continuing more than a decade of Christmas tradition, Faith Community Church will host the 12th Annual “Festividad for Christ” Christmas celebration for its neighbors in Newhall.
Dec. 16: Annual ‘Festividad for Christ’ Christmas Celebration
With New Year’s Eve just a few weeks away, the city of Santa Clarita is offering a cash reward up to $500, in the hopes that someone will come forth with valuable information that may lead to the citation(s) of the person or persons responsible for illegal firework activity in the City.
City to Offer Cash in Exchange for Tips on Illegal Firework Activity
On Friday, the facts of the case against Newhall resident, Robert Mount, age 52, were presented to the San Fernando District Attorney's office.
Newhall Suspect Charged with 65 Counts; Bail Set at More Than $2 Million
1891 - Actor Buck Jones, a Placerita and Vasquez "regular," born in Indiana [story]
'The Shape of Water' and 'Big Little Lies' top the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's 75th Golden Globes nominations announced Monday morning in Beverly Hills.
‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ Top 75th Golden Globes Nominations