CA Parks proposal to ban all off-trail hiking/climbing ...

General Palm Springs area.

CA Parks proposal to ban all off-trail hiking/climbing ...

Postby scottmac » Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:11 pm

... in reserves and preserves.

I apologize if this been posted previously.

I first saw this today, posted on Facebook by someone from the excellent page "Explorers of the Mojave Desert":

This link is to East County Magazine in San Diego and contains an overview and an excellent (scary) quote from officials in Anza Borrego State Park:

http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/ca-parks-wantsto-ban-hiking-or-climbing-trails-june-6-deadline-comment

The shortcut to the proposed rule is here:

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=27460

Quote from this page:

"Specifically the proposed regulations would prohibit all public use in these areas [Natural Preserves, Cultural Preserves, State Cultural Reserves, and State Natural Reserves within the California State Park System] unless such use is on a trail, boardwalk or other designated route of travel."

Official response from Anza Borrego:

http://www.theabf.org/ca-state-parks-proposes-trail-use-restrictions

I understand this proposal focuses on reserves and preserves and I certainly do not want to go stomping around on cultural artifacts, but there are some areas such as those mentioned in ABSP, that would be tough to lose access to.

FYI: Explorers of the Mojave Desert Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447380012243987/?fref=nf

I will continue to research this.

Thoughts?
Last edited by scottmac on Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CA Parks proposal to ban all off-trail hiking/climbing .

Postby Wildhorse » Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:12 pm

I wonder what is really going on here. They already restrict access to such areas, or at least to the natural preserves such as the one near the tram.
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Re: CA Parks proposal to ban all off-trail hiking/climbing .

Postby OtherHand » Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:35 pm

While it appears a bit alarming at first glance, digging into the actual proposal makes it seem not only pretty benign, but leaves me wondering why it hasn't already been implemented.

There aren't a lot of State Natural Preserves in California, but the following appear to be those in the southern part of the state:
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
Indio Hills Palms
Point Dume
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

OK, so idiots shouldn't be wandering off-trail in these areas trampling the pretty. I'm OK with that.

In terms of Cultural Preserves, these seem to be small areas, maybe a few acres, of either historical or archaeological "stuff". Here's a list of the 20 current Cultural Preserves in California.

This also strikes me as just fine, and I've already seen it in certain areas of Anza-Borrego at the sites of old Indian villages. They are fenced and posted to keep the yahoos and relic hunters out.

I don't see anything that would prohibit off-trail usage we all know and love in San Jac State Park. I don't think it even applies to that Hidden area which shall not be named.
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Re: CA Parks proposal to ban all off-trail hiking/climbing .

Postby scottmac » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:22 pm

Great points, OtherHand.

Thank you for your diligence.
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Re: CA Parks proposal to ban all off-trail hiking/climbing .

Postby Hikin_Jim » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:47 pm

Yeah, it sounds alarming at first "all state parks", but it appears to affect only those portions of state parks that are designated as reserves and preserves. I'm probably going to write in anyway stating opposition to a state park-wide ban on XC hiking. The best stuff in the San Jacintos is off trail.

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Re: CA Parks proposal to ban all off-trail hiking/climbing .

Postby Hikin_Jim » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:58 pm

This would affect things like Landells (aka Luella Todd) Peak and Divide Peak in San Jacinto State Park.

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Re: CA Parks proposal to ban all off-trail hiking/climbing .

Postby Wildhorse » Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:20 pm

The whole area including Divide Peak, Todd, etc. is already off limits. That is what puzzles me about this change. Must be something not obvious.
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Re: CA Parks proposal to ban all off-trail hiking/climbing .

Postby OtherHand » Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:15 pm

Wildhorse wrote:The whole area including Divide Peak, Todd, etc. is already off limits. That is what puzzles me about this change. Must be something not obvious.


I suspect it's this, from their reasons for the proposed change:

"Currently, the only way the Department can regulate off-trail use is by an order of the
District Superintendent. These orders are not permanent and must be renewed
annually. They also do not have as strong a legal standing as regulations in the
CCR."
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Re: CA Parks proposal to ban all off-trail hiking/climbing .

Postby Hikin_Jim » Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:45 pm

I never have understood why Todd/Landells and Divide Peaks were off limits. I more or less understand with Hidden Lake although I miss being able to access Desert View. But that's a separate issue. I will probably write something even though I'm not entirely opposed to the idea so long as it is limited to preserves/reserves.

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Re: CA Parks proposal to ban all off-trail hiking/climbing .

Postby Wildhorse » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:30 pm

I heard that the preserve near the tram is established to keep people away from blue curl flowers. They mostly grow on the receding rim of a vernal pool. The wide preserve boundaries prevent people from seeing the wetland area and protect curls that may be growing in the hidden divide area away from the big vernal pool.

That vernal pool is just a small part of what the state needs to protect across the state and it is actually less vulnerable to damage than many other areas.

The state wrote the analysis of the proposed regs to make it sound like this is a no-brainer. It is likely a deception. Could be money involved. No question that restricted areas are important. That is not at stake here. That does not depend on the regs.

I spoke with a state official about this matter at a gathering to "get public input." It was clear the state officials had made up their minds. The gathering was a sham. The state park officials evaded answers to questions.

I visited a preserved area yesterday in Pacific Grove. Nice Boardwalk through a small area of sand dunes. Kind of like a sidewalk. Good footing. A trip in wilderness? No.

State Parks are rather pathetic preserves.
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