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  • Santa Ynez Valley Riders Information

2nd Rec Plan, Trail Policy and Live Oak Trail Community Meeting Wed. Sept 27th

Ready for Round 2???

Next week, on Wednesday September 27th at 9:00 AM at the Betteravia County Government Center in Santa Maria, the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission is holding a 2nd community meeting on the Santa Barbara Countywide Recreation Master Plan (Rec Plan). For those of you who sent letters and/or attended on August 30th, a grateful thank you!

By now you’re aware that we have been trying to keep the Live Oak Trail at Cachuma Lake as a safe equestrian trail. We’re also trying our best to develop a policy that would modify the strict application of a multi-use trail policy by the County for existing and future trails and to re-establish a horse camp at Live Oak as the County's only equestrian facility.

This email is to invite you to attend the 2nd public workshop and, if you didn't before (although you certainly can send a second letter), to ask you to send an "official" letter in support of recreational equestrian facilities in Santa Barbara County and in particular the Live Oak Trail. Attend if you can, this is a community meeting so the three minute comment limit will not can speak as long as you want, as many times as you want.

Attend if you can via in person or on Zoom, this is a community meeting so the three minute comment limit will not can speak as long as you want, as many times as you want.

Anyone wishing to provide public comment during the County Planning Commission meeting can do so via Zoom webinar by clicking the below link to register in advance.

To register in advance via Zoom, go to:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing important information about joining the webinar.

If you had not sent in a letter of support for the August 30th meeting, or if you cannot attend this coming meeting (or even if you can attend and may not wish to speak), please email your letter to the County Planning Commission prior to 12:00 p.m. on Monday – that’s this coming Monday, September 25th. Please submit your comment to the Recording Secretary at and your letter will be placed into the record and distributed appropriately.

A sample letter is attached for your use, and it’s hoped you will take a few minutes to send this letter or something similar, to support maintaining the Live Oak Trail as a safe equestrian trail and reestablishing the horse camp at Live Oak as well – think how great it would be to have single campsites rather than, or in addition to a group campsite at that beautiful location! The point is that the two are connected… The policy supports keeping Live Oak Trail safe and open to equestrians. The campground would be a really nice addition and will only succeed with an adjacent, accessible, and safe equestrian trail.

In the attached Citizen Letter you will see references to surrounding coastal Counties and what they offer as equestrian riding trails and facilities. For your information and background, a spreadsheet - Attachment C - is attached (our equestrians' research), with a sample listing of equestrian facilities and trails in other Counties as compared to Santa Barbara County. Please follow the links in the sheet to see just how much local and regional riders are missing out in Santa Barbara County! It is shocking how few horse facilities and little County support riders have locally!

September 27 citizen letter
Download DOCX • 32KB

Attachment C Summary and Comparison Co Equestrian Facilities Trails
Download PDF • 141KB

In addition, we’ve attached for your information the CRAHTAC meeting minutes (approved at their August meeting) with the trail policy that was approved for recommendation in July. This policy is a huge win and paves the way to allow Live Oak to remain an equestrian trail and/or an equestrian hiker trail. Believe it or not, this policy would become the first official trail policy in the County of Santa Barbara!

CRAHTAC Draft Meeting Minutes 7-10-23
Download PDF • 464KB

So, we are asking you again for your support. But by no means are we asking you to send the Citizen Letter as written, although you certainly can. You may have other issues and concerns. The attached is merely offered as an example and meant to save you precious time emphasizing two points that are pivotal to preserving equestrian trail riding in Santa Barbara County. You may use it as you wish and edit it as you wish, but PLEASE send something.

Phew!!! That’s a lot of information and a big ask, but we know if we stand together, we can make a difference. Thank you all for your support and your time to write and send a support letter. It’s very much appreciated!

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