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  • Santa Ynez Valley Riders Information

Your Participation Needed! Rec Plan, Trail Policy and Live Oak Trail Community Meeting Wed. Aug 30th

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

Next week, on Wednesday August 30th at 9:00 AM at the Betteravia County Government Center in Santa Maria, the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission is holding a community meeting on the Santa Barbara Countywide Recreation Master Plan (Rec Plan). By now you’re aware that we have been trying to keep the Live Oak Trail at Cachuma Lake as an 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.

This email is to invite you to attend this public workshop (if you can) and 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 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 for this webinar:

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

If you cannot attend (or even if you can), please email your letter to the County Planning Commission prior to 12:00 p.m. on Monday – that’s this coming Monday, August 28th. 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 provided below, 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 an 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 open to equestrians. The campground would be a really nice addition.

Aug 30 citizen letter
Download DOCX • 32KB

In the sample 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 is attached (our equestrian’s 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!

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

So, we are asking you again for your support, but by no means are we asking you to send this 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.

In addition, we’ve attached for your information the CHAHTAC meeting minutes with the new 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

There will be a second Planning Commission hearing on the Rec Plan that requires our support on September 27, so save the date!

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!

Also...Please forward the link to this Blog to others that would be interested. The squeaky wheel gets the grease!

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