Update #3 - Calaveras Access

November 14, 2017

We have received a number of reports from Calaveras, officially known as Carlsbad Highlands Ecological Reserve (CHER) regarding the destruction of elements, new signage,  and trail closures. I apologize for not sending out a response faster, but most of us were tied up last week in a Trail Stewardship Summit we were doing in partnership with IMBA and the United States Forest Service. Ironically, we were highlighting a number of recent breakthrough projects that will be Mountain Bike specific, purpose built and progressive here in San Diego County. These projects are happening across Cleveland National Forest and have buy-in from both Districts in San Diego.

                                                                                        Examples of destruction of trails - November, 2017

Simultaneously, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) which has jurisdiction over the CHER property, had decided to tear down features within CHER. We protested to CDFW that this was not a good idea and would alienate the community from any progress at CHER. Please keep in mind we had successfully talked CDFW down from this action two previous times in the last nine months (since we started this dialogue). At this point, we are unsure if this is a standalone action or the beginning of a larger action across the Reserve. SDMBA disagrees with this approach in its entirety. Further, from the images that have been posted, these actions taken by CDFW have most certainly created more dangerous conditions than what existed before.

To be clear on a couple points, SDMBA has not produced any priorities for CDFW to review or proposed any legal trail options. When I started this process I asked a number of many unrelated and assorted types of riders to send me their favorite trails. To my surprise, nearly everyone had a different favorite trail/ride. My realization was that SDMBA nor CDFW could simply design something the community would want. The community would need to be engaged in a meaningful way and heard at a public setting. Only then could a plan be produced through community feedback. This fact/sentiment has been expressed to CDFW and to date CDFW has not followed through with their commitments on this project either. They have not produced any maps of sensitive regions, started the process of adding mountain biking as allowed use or started the process of developing a plan for public access.

If anyone thought this could be fixed in 9 months they may have had some unrealistic expectations on this plan and based on CDFW recent actions we believe this will be a long and difficult process.
SDMBA/Calaveras Update #1  6/23/2017
SDMBA/Calaveras Update #2  8/24/2017


Ben Stone
SDMBA Vice President