- Santa Ynez Valley Riders Information
Live Oak Equestrian Trail - Brown's Ravine Trail...It's Happening Again!
Can you help our equestrian riders to the north??? Not in our area, and I wouldn't ask unless it wasn't important, but the California State Parks Department Is using EXACTLY the same tactics at Folsom Lake (another Bureau of Reclamation reservoir) as they have used to try and change the use at Live Oak Equestrian Trail from an equestrian trail to multi use. It’s underhanded and someone or some organization is promoting this illegal process of working off of 20-year-old documents and even older committee recommendations to get what they want. The State must go through the processes to update their information to include equestrians and hikers - the current users of this trail.
California State Parks wants to hear from YOU!
"Folsom Lake SRA is seeking public input on the proposed Browns Ravine Trail Change-in-Use (CIU) project. This project proposes to change the trail’s use designation from hiking and equestrian to multi-use, adding bikes as an allowed use on the trail.
More info at: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=27913
If you have just a moment, please use the handy-dandy fill-in email below, cut and paste it into a new email, edit as you'd like, and send to firstname.lastname@example.org . Thank you for supporting our brothers and sisters to the north and for making our equestrian voices heard!
Please cut and paste the fill in letter below into an email and submit your comments by email with subject line "Browns Ravine" to email@example.com by MONDAY January 31, 2022.
RE: PUBLIC COMMENT - BROWNS RAVINE TRAIL
My name is ________________________, I am a resident of California, a member of ____________________________________ (i.e. Back Country Horsemen, any other riding group), and a life-long equestrian trail rider. I’m concerned about the proposed change in use Change In Use (CIU) proposal and evaluation for the Browns Ravine Trail by Folsom Lake State Recreation Area managers and the review process by which the proposed changes are being conducted. I am appalled at the proposal to destroy one of the last remaining safe equestrian horse trail in the State Park System and don’t want to see this process for any trail CIU to continue. It sets a bad precedent for future State Trails management decisions and virtually shuts out all trail users except the largest, most aggressive, most elite, and most vocal group –the mountain and E-bikers.
We must have EQUITY on our trails for ALL trail users, that is, safe trails for our less invasive trail sports such as equestrian trail riding and hiking. Please note the mountain bikers have access to the entire National Forest trail system and most other County Trails. Other trail users trying to enjoy their sports safely have been prohibited from using trails due to the unsafe conditions created by speeding mountain bikers and will be made even more dangerous when introducing E-bikes. It becomes Trail Management by Attrition. Quieter, less obtrusive trail users such as hikers, birdwatchers and equestrians have left trails dominated by aggressive mountain bikers because they FEAR for their safety, but need and are entitled to their share of trails without the interruptions and fear of mountain bikes. We must be allowed opportunity for our "flow" too.
While public trail management agencies point to established and posted rules on our public trails to manage conflicts, the signs are ignored and said agencies do not have adequate budget or staff to patrol and enforce the rules. We cannot turn California's Parks into exclusive Mountain bike playgrounds. Mountain bikes and now E-bikes have a plethora of trails to pick from, hikers and equestrians are extremely limited to maybe one or two trails per County where they can ride safely without aggressive threats to contend with. This is the one remaining equestrian trail in the area, but bikers now want it too.
Public lands should not be made unsafe for one group or groups of users to serve the "wants" of one group, while ignoring the "need" of another group. Currently, it appears that the decision-making body and ultimate decision maker in the Brown’s Ravine Trail CIU are of one race, sex, and age group. There is no diversity of individuals making this important decision. Equestrians and hikers should and do expect and demand EQUITY in decisions for trails. We want safe trails where we can take our children and grandchildren to learn to ride. We also need safe trails to teach and train our young horses. The fastest growing group among equestrian trail riders is women between the ages of 40-60 and horses are heavily embedded in the oldest cultures and ethnic traditions in California.
Equestrian representatives need to be part of the decision-making process. We must have a seat at the table. California State Parks cannot cater to one sport and cannot turn our public trails into an exclusive bike park for middle-aged affluent males. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.