NEW ISSUE! YOUR ATTENDANCE AND/OR EMAIL IS NEEDED!
The County Riding and Hiking Trails Advisory Committee Meeting (CRAHAC) is on Monday, January 9that 3:00 PM via Zoom.
The Santa Barbara County Trails Council (SBCTC) submitted a report with recommendations on how to develop trails in the future to CRAHTAC at their last meeting. SBCTC has been collecting our comments on trails, trails development, policy and safety for the Santa Barbara County-wide Recreation Master Plan (Rec Plan) for over two years, but their report does not address ANY equestrian concerns, such as safe, separate trails for equestrians and bikes. It only recommends only “mulit-use trails” that we have repeatedly submitted as issues.
Further, the report goes on with a recommendation that would eliminate our right as the public to comment on any trails project. How would that happen? The big win at Live Oak Equestrian Trail was made possible through existing review processes that require the County to notify the public and gather comments on projects. The County failed to do that and equestrians prevailed. However, the SBCTC report recommends that trail projects in the future be classified as “ministerial” projects. This classification absolves the County from notifying or consulting with the public about any change in trail use, determining users allowed, design, or their construction. You may review the copy of the SBCTC Report below:
If these recommendations are accepted as they are, we won't have the opportunity to do what we’re asking you to do right here - provide your comments and influence how to keep equestrian trail riders safe. Please attend the meeting via Zoom and/or send the handy-dandy fill in email below to keep equestrian’s concerns in front of the Committee.
To Attend the Zoom Meeting Use The Following:
Meeting Materials can also be accessed here: https://www.countyofsb.org/1885/County-Riding-Hiking-Trails-Advisory-Com
To Send Your Email:
Cut and paste the following letter into and email, EDIT as you'd like, fill in the DATE and YOUR NAME AND CONTACT INFO and send to: George Amoon at email@example.com by 5:00 pm, Thursday, January 5th to allow adequate time for review before the meeting.
To: County Riding and Hiking Advisory Committee (CRAHAC) VIA EMAIL
From: YOUR NAME & CONTACT INFO
RE: Comments to Santa Barbara County Trails Council Report
Streamlining Trail Development in Santa Barbra County (VIA EMAIL)
Dear Committee Members:
I am an equestrian who enjoys riding in the Santa Ynez Valley. I have been following the developments on the Live Oak Trail and the associated County-wide Recreation Master Plan.
I recently learned of the above referenced report and the recommendations provided to your Committee at your December 12, 2022, meeting. Over the past 18 months, here in the Santa Ynez Valley we have held several workshops with an overwhelming message from our community members to have single use trails to separate equestrians, dogs, and mountain/E-Bikes and ensure safety for all users on trails in our County.
However, this report recommends requiring multi-use trails for all trails in the County. Adoption of this policy would not provide for safe or equitable trails for equestrians, hikers, and mountain/E-bikes.
I urge your committee to dismiss these recommendations and provide a more transparent method to obtain the true public input from those who have taken the time to comment. It appears our information is not being distributed and therefore, not heard or considered. The record should be set straight.