Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Comments for Big Basin General Plan Due Soon

Big Basin is the oldest state park in the system yet it doesn't have a general plan. After starts and stops the Big Basin General Plan process is starting up again.

We have a great opportunity to expand mountain bike access in Big Basin. You may view drafts of some planning concepts. Alternative #1 seems to be the most friendly to expanding access for bikes.

This version of the plan proposes: "Provide a continuous trail from the ridge tops to the coast (outside of the wilderness) for bicycle access to natural areas and scenic points of interest". We submitted a proposal to our State Parks District a few years ago which requests bicycle access to a number of equestrian/hiker only trails. We intend
to continue to ask that the trails we propose be addressed during the general plan process.

Please write comments
Comments in support of mountain biking for the Big Basin General Plan are due Saturday March 6th. Please write, phone, email your comments to the following places:

California State Parks
Planning Division
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, CA

Stuart Hong, Manager
General Plans Section
(916) 653-9644

Here are a few talking points that can help you craft your comments:
  • We support Alternative #1 of the plan to expand more recreation in the park
  • We wish to have legal access from skyline road (from Castle Rock) to the coast
  • We are willing to share trail access on alternating days (mitigate trail conflict concerns)
  • Mountain biking is a fun activity for kids and an alternative to electronic entertainment good and mitigates childhood obesity.
  • Mountain biking is a healthy activity. May be easier on the knees and feet than hiking for some people.
  • Women's participation in mountain biking has been steadily growing.
  • Brings more people out to the parks, can increase tourism revenue and create more park advocates.
  • Mountain bikers are willing to help with trail design, trail construction and maintenance.
  • Mountain biking is a global activity and brings people from all over the world to enjoy our natural resources. This provide economic opportunities for local businesses.
You may wish to relate your own personal experiences with mountain biking and why you want more access for legal mountain biking in these parks.

Both the Castle Rock Trail Plan and the Big Basin General Plan are very positive for mountain biking and if successful - they will result in the expansion of legal mountain biking trails in these parks. Expanding mountain biking in both of these parks essentially gives us a legal skyline to sea trail in the North part of the County.

However, there is no guarantee of success. There are a lot of groups who are opposed to mountain biking in Santa Cruz County and they are better funded and more organized than us.

We need to have comments and attendance from the community which support mountain biking in both of these plans. It is important to get these comments into the public record. It can be easy as firing off a quick email, making a phone call or showing up and asking questions. It's a small commitment on your time which can pay off big in the long term.

Thank you for your support of mountain biking in Santa Cruz County!

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