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Call to Action- Your Letter Needed -CRAHTAC Meeting is Monday 03/14/22

Updated: Mar 10


It’s that time again…calling on all of you to send in the handy-dandy comment letter to the County Riding and Hiking Trail Advisory Council or CRAHTAC by Wednesday March 9th if you can, but no later than Sunday, March 13th.


Attached is a sample letter so you can just cut and paste into a new email. Please feel free to edit as you like, then send to


jmenzies@sbparks.org


RE: Please Distribute to Commissioners for the March 14th CRAHTAC Meeting



Dear CRAHTAC Members:


Although there is apparently no recording of the past CRAHTAC Zoom meeting, it is necessary to reiterate that equestrian’s public comments are one of the most important aspects of the Trail Policy for the Recreation Master Plan. Our very safety is at stake. Our comments are well-documented and are of immeasurable value.


CRAHTAC members, you are appointed by our elected officials, and by extension, represent us who have voted to put those elected officials in office. We are YOUR constituents and ask and deserve your respect. Our public comments must receive equal consideration as much as any other member of the public. This is true equity.


I support the County-wide Recreation Management Plan (Plan) currently being developed for Santa Barbara County. I also want to ensure safe equestrian trails are prioritized and included in the Plan and that equestrians are included as stakeholders in development of the Trail Policy (“multi use trail policy”).


For this Plan to be valid, and to represent all recreational users, County staff, appointed advisory committees and commissions, and elected officials must work to:


1. Create a Stakeholder’s Trail Policy Working Group and include equestrian leaders to develop the trail policy for the Plan:


a. Form a stakeholder’s group and have discussion as was done for the Agricultural Enterprise Ordinance currently in development concurrently with the Plan.

b. The community stakeholder’s group should be made up of interested individuals, coalitions and organizations. It is necessary to develop an un-biased the policy. This is critical.


2. Acknowledge the issue and focus on addressing and managing CONFLICT between mountain bikes, hikers and equestrians on our trails. Allowances in the TRAIL POLICY must be included that allow discretion in trail planning and use, including separate trails for separate users, trail monitoring and public comment and oversight.

3. Commit to a Trail Management Plan process for any trail use, or other changes, consistent with the Baron Ranch Trail Master Plan. Encourage robust public participation. For example, at Live Oak Camp and Trail. Although the equestrian and horse camp were previously anticipated at Live Oak Camp and reviewed through the Cachuma Recreation Master Plan, more detailed

4. Listen to and learn from EQUESTRIANS about what riders have to deal with and have control over when confronted with other trail uses – not SAGE Tail Alliance or another organization of individual that is not an equestrian trail rider. Again, why would the County or any staff person listen to a source that does not actively participate in the sport nor understand horse behavior? Policy cannot be made on the assumptions of what the loudest and most aggressive users say? They do not know; their information is incorrect. Talk with equestrians directly!


Thank you for the opportunity to comment.




Sincerely,

YOUR NAME


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