November 25, 2014

Public Meetings for Santa Monica Mountains Trail Management Plan

 

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

Public Meetings for Santa Monica Mountains Trail Management Plan

The park agencies that comprise Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area are developing a comprehensive plan for more than 500 miles of trails. Above, a family enjoys a hike at Rancho Sierra Vista in Newbury Park.

THOUSAND OAKS, CA—Park officials are preparing an Interagency Trail Management Plan (TMP) for approximately 500 miles of trails within Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA).

The TMP will establish the overall vision for future development and management of the SMMNRA trail network. Based on identified desired conditions for park natural, cultural and recreational resources, the TMP will prescribe a comprehensive plan for circulation, access, and allowable trail uses for trails throughout the national recreation area.

As part of the environmental review process, the public is invited to participate in public meetings and provide comments on the scope of the environmental analysis and the range of potential project alternatives.

Because the trail network crosses multiple jurisdictions, California State Parks, the National Park Service, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority will develop a joint environmental impact statement (EIS) and environmental impact report (EIR).

The timeline to completion begins with two public scoping meetings this month to discuss EIS/EIR content, alternatives and issues.

During spring and summer 2014, officials will review, analyze and incorporate public and agency comments and present a Draft TMP EIS/EIR that will be released for public comment in fall 2014.

By Summer 2015, they will finalize TMP EIS/EIR, prepare CEQA findings, NEPA Record of Decisions and distribute copies.

Suggested alternatives to concerns of safety and maintaining a sense of wilderness and tranquility were to restrict bikes to fire roads and wide trails; keep Backbone Trail sections closed to mountain biking; construct mountain biking bypass around Boney Wilderness; keep some nature and family trails; and open more unmaintained/unofficial trails to public use.

The first public meeting will be on Thursday, Feb. 20, 6:30 p.m. at King Gillette Ranch (Dining Hall) in Calabasas. The second meeting will be on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 10 a.m. at Temescal Gateway Park (Woodland Hall) in Pacific Palisades.

Comments may be submitted in writing at the public meetings or via one of the following methods by April 1, 2014:

http://parkplanning.nps.gov/smmnra-tmp.

• Mail: Attn: SMMNRA Interagency Trail Management Plan, 401 W. Hillcrest Dr., Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

• Fax: (805) 370-1850

More information is available at www.nps.gov/samo/parkmgmt/tmp-index.htm.

Any person wishing to receive e-mail notifications concerning this process should contact SAMO_Trails@nps.gov. Comments will not be accepted at this email address.