Submit Your Comments to California State Parks
California State Parks (CSP) is currently accepting public comments on its recently-released report: the Draft Program Environmental Impact Report, Road and Trail Change-in-Use Evaluation Process (PEIR).
The new process will be used to facilitate the addition of mountain bikes on existing state park trails. The process is a major step forward for CSP and will positively effect mountain bike access on existing trails in state park units.
California State Parks has worked over the last several years to create a fact-based, objective system to determine appropriate trail use. The key feature of the report is that it will allow for the addition of mountain bikes on specific trails without the need for additional environmental analysis. Future project decisions to allow bikes on trails will merely need to reference the PEIR. This is a major step forward for bike access in state parks.
Please use this form to submit your comments to California State Parks no later than Dec. 4.
The following are suggested talking points:
- Thank CSP for the opportunity to make comments.
- We appreciate the major steps that CSP has taken to promote multi-use trails and we urge CSP to use the PEIR to provide much needed trail opportunities for cyclists.
- We welcome the acknowledgement that there are effective tools and methods to successfully manage multi-use trails.
- We appreciate the in-depth study of trail use conflict showing that, after more than 30 years of mountain bike trail use and millions of trail users' encounters, complaints are few, incidents are fewer and accidents are rare.
- The trail conversion analysis may prove to be cumbersome and time consuming, and may lead to expensive trail alterations. Therefore, it is important to point out that there are hundreds of trails in parks that have never been specifically altered for multi-use, yet have functioned adequately for years. Care must be exercised in the conversion analysis to prevent the over-engineering of trails to account for every potential form of user behavior.
- The report references a State Code (P.4.14-3) that limits development in parks that would be considered "attractions in themselves." The code was intended to limit the construction of restaurants, amusement parks, athletic fields, etc. in park units. It is a poor analysis to apply this code to trails. Trails are much more than just a transportation system. Trails that are sustainable, blended into the natural environment (sinuosity) and designed to showcase a park's natural features should be enjoyed as such. They are works of art that compliment the sense of place. People come to parks to enjoy the trails.