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EBATC Announcements, Meeting Minutes, News: February 2008

EBATC website:

Trail Notes from Michael EBATC FEBRUARY MEETING

East Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Bay Area It looks like we will be having an extraordi- 7:15 to 9:30 pm
Trails nary meeting on February 20. If things go
East Bay Regional Park District
Council well, we can expect a presentation from our
Headquarters: Board Room
❧ friends at Mt. Diablo State Park (MDSP). They
2950 Peralta Court, Oakland
are just beginning the process of preparing a
2950 Telephone (510) 635-0135
Unit Trail Plan for the park. I think it got
Oaks started when staff desired to “inventory” their
Agenda: February 20, 2008 Meeting
Court trails on the mountain to give them the abil-
ity to define them as “assets” for purposes of
❧ 1. Call to order: 7:15 p.m.
funding. I understand the process got a jolt
Oakland, Approval of Agenda: Action
of energy, when the Bicycle Trails Council of
California Approval of Jan. 2008 Minutes: Action
the East Bay requested the Park to consider
❧ allowing bike access to a number of trails. This
2. Presentation
94605 blossomed into a full-fledged trail plan, which
Mt. Diablo Trail Unit Plan
will involve a 2-year process. The idea is to
involve the public in a great many aspects of
3. New Business
planning for the park. The MDSP has pre-
California budget crisis and state parks
pared a Power Point presentation, and has
Draft Measure AA spending plan
been sending a team around to stakeholders
to give the presentation, and respond to com-
4. Reports/Updates
ments. At this stage, they have given the pre-
Vargas Plateau
sentation to the Mount Diablo Interpretive
Feeder Trail #1
Association (MDIA), and to Save Mount
Fernandez Ranch
Diablo. They will continue this process until
Possible new trails at Del Valle
they have met with all of the stakeholders. At
Ridge Trail Multi Use Gap Closure
the same time, they are carefully inventory-
The EBATC strategy
ing their trails with GPS technology. Once
is composed these efforts are complete, they plan to un-
5. Reports from members-Round Robin
of public dertake the normal process of preparing draft
plans, and obtaining public input. Tentatively,
I have arranged for MDSP to give its presen- months, the District will be seeking further
equestrians, tation at the next EBATC meeting. Since their ideas from the public.
hikers, entire “show” takes 2 hours, and in order to
bicyclists, give us some time to digest the material be- This is an exciting time for trail enthusiasts,
and tween meetings, MDSP will return to EBATC so expect several more interesting topics on
at a subsequent meeting to exchange ideas. the agenda. Vargas Plateau is entering a cru-
Even if we are unable to pull this first step cial stage, and will require our support. New
-ists who are together for February 20, please consider this things are happening at Feeder Trail #1 and
committed to be a “heads up” about a remarkable project at Fernandez Ranch. We would like to take
to furthering that will involve us all for some time. further steps on the Ridge Trail initiative to
the close multi use gaps. Some folks want to build
protection of As we all know, Measure AA will be increas- new trails at Del Valle. California is experi-
ingly important, as we get closer to the elec- encing a budget crisis, and State Parks is pro-
the scenic
tion. The EBRPD has prepared a list which posing closing many of its Parks. Come and
and gives a broad indication of how they might chat with us about these things and more.
recreational utilize the proceeds of Measure AA loot. This
resources of will be discussed at the meeting, so be sure to I would like to express a special thanks to Jim
the East Bay. attend to provide your input. I understand Townsend for a great presentation at the Janu-
this is a draft summary, and during the next continued on back page
EBATC Minutes for January 16, 2008 Even though there are funding sources to
open parks and trails it is a long process. First a
In attendance were: land use plan (LUP) must be developed. A LUP
Judy Etheridge SRVHA, BARTC comprises a full description of the property; flora,
Howard Hornig Hayward Hiking Club fauna, geologic, cultural resources and the plan for
Ernest Perry Iron Horse Equestrian access roads, trails and visitor services. A CEQA
M. Sedlak Pleasanton permit is needed for the change in land use and if
Laurie Page Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Assn. applicable State and Federal Wildlife requirements
Chris Barnhart CMPTRA must be met. Then public input for the park open-
John Eastman Oakland North Hills Sibley- ing is solicited. In some cases, there are other pub-
Temescal Trails Group lic agencies that own part of a park and time is
Judi Bank Metropolitan Horsemen spent coordinating with them.
Art Levit East Bay Wed. Hiking Group The location of some trails require permits
John Eckhause Hiker from one or more relevant regulatory agencies such
Hank Magnuski Trail Center as State Fish and Game, US Fish & Wildlife Ser-
David Croker Trail Center vice, Regional Water Quality Control Boards, and
Larry Kolb Sierra Club the Army Corp of Engineers.
Michael Kelley BARTC; IMBA MK asked if any Measure AA funds were
Jim Townsend EBRPD left. Jim replied that there are some remaining AA
Marilynn Terstegge TWHA, CSHA funds that have mostly been allocated to specific
Diane Offut CSHA projects. The District is considering going back to
Joan Murakamai BTCEB the voters to renew Measure AA . If passed, it will
Morris Older BARTC; TWHA raise about $500 million. The District plans on us-
Bern Smith BARTC ing some of the funds for regional trails such as
Nancy Dupont Heritage Trails Fund the Iron Horse and Bay Area Ridge Trails. The Dis-
Sandy B. trict is planning a series of public information and
Rich Guarienti PAC input opportunities about the renewal of Measure
Lyndi Beale BTCEB AA. In the five examples below, Jim enumerated
Cyril Manning BTCEB issues that have emerged when District lands or
trails are to be opened to the public.
Call to order
Meeting called to order at 7:25 pm by Chair, Sunol Regional Park Wauhab Ridge addition
Michael Kelley (MK). The agenda was approved (1,700 acres) The LUP has been delayed because
after MK added two items: 1) Update of the Con- those opposed to the use of cattle to control veg-
cord Naval Weapons Station Community Reuse etation on the Wauhab Ridge threatened to file a
Project and 2) State park budget cuts. The Novem- lawsuit.
ber 2007 minutes were approved. MK remarked Dublin Hills (1,000 acres in the District) The
that he would like to see more detail in subsequent Schaffer Ranch Development will provide the stag-
minutes. ing area. There is an interim land use plan for the
park. Jim stated that the District is working with
Presentation the Native Plant Society which is concerned about
Trail construction and improvement: opportuni- rare plants at the site.
ties and constraints. Diablo Foothills Park Jim used the Ginocchio
MK introduced the speaker EBRPD Trails addition as an example of issues that arise when a
Development Program Manager, Jim Townsend, trail is opened to the public before the LUP is com-
who began by briefly reviewing a talk about trails pleted. Prior to the acquisition local equestrians
he gave at the Tilden Wildcat Horseman’s Five Day living along Northgate Road had to ride 1-_ miles
Ride.. Jim encouraged questions during his pre- on the road to enter Mt. Diablo, and recently a horse
sentation. He began by describing several large was killed by a motorcyclist on the road. The Dis-
properties totaling around 10,000 acres that have trict responded to the equestrian concerns by al-
been acquired in the last 10-15 years and others lowing use of an existing, but closed trail as a emer-
that may soon be obtained by the District which gency, safe entrance to Diablo Foothills and Mt
provide primary opportunities for trails but are not Diablo before a LUP amendment for the property
open to the public. There are capital funding was completed. The temporary trail goes behind
sources available to open these properties such as homes and several home owners have protested.
Prop-40 funds, Measure B in Alameda County, Jim is considering rerouting the trail away from
Measure J in Contra Costa County, and a transpor- the homes. MK asked about an exemption for
tation tax that has 3 million dollars allocated for safety reasons to the LUP to reroute the trail away
non-motorized use trails . from the homes before the LUP is completed .
Vargas Plateau (1,000 acres The city of Fremont at Camp Arroyo in del Valle; 1 mile of Delta deAnza
wants the District to pay for improvement of parts trail; 1 mile of Iron Horse Trail in Pleasanton; 1 mile
of the city-owned road leading to the park before at the Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley; and
it is opened. The city agrees that the road needs a staging area and trail improvements at the Delta-
work whether or not the park is opened. Negotia- de Anza trail in Oakley.. Bern Smith, Ridge Trail
tions are in progress between the City and the Dis- representative, asked if there is an estimate of what
trict which may delay opening the park. is costs to build different kinds of trail. Jim said
Brushy Peak The park is open but the building of the cost varies widely and some paved trails can
a loop trail to the Peak has been delayed by envi- cost between $750,000 and $1,000,000 per mile. A
ronmental concerns. Thankfully, the necessary per- new unpaved trail at Lake Chabot was planned and
mits have been obtained, and the trail will be built constructed quickly and at little cost, so prices vary
this summer, in coordination with and the City of widely. Jim ended his presentation by appreciat-
Livermore which owns most of the land to the ing the opportunity to speak to such a large turn-
north of the peak. out.
Jim enumerated additional issues affect-
ing the creation of trails: Reports/Updates
1) Pressure by influential individuals and special Due to the full agenda, MK postponed reports on
interest groups the new Ridge Trail Multi-use Gap Closure Initia-
2) Threatened or actual lawsuits tive and Vargas Plateau progress.
3) Restrictions of Bond Measure funds
4) Availability of Operations funding Measure AA—by the end of February, the District
will have created a list of projects to build public
A meeting attendee remarked that the support for Measure AA. The Board solicited in-
number of projects could hamper the completion put for desired projects. EBATC member, Morris
of any and asked if a time limit for each project Older, distributed copies of a draft letter of
could be imposed for each. Jim responded that EBATC’s wish list to the Board . He had three ques-
there is a list of trail projects in various stages and tions: should the letter be sent to the Board even con
some are subject to agency approvals. though the period of comment has expired, yes;
who should sign it; and does any wording need to
Questions asked: be changed, yes? Questions, comments and sug-
• What is the role of volunteers to build/main- gestions for changes were made. Can funds for
tain trails? Jim described the Ivan Dickson pro- operations be specified? No, because AA is a bond
gram which funds 6-10 volunteer trail improve- measure. MK requested some wording to encour-
ment projects annually. Each park has a volunteer age funds to create inner city parks with a little
program and volunteer opportunities are listed on space for nature and some trails. Bern requested
the EBRPD website. Doc Quack, an EBRPD biolo- adding wording for the Bay Water Trail and more
M. Se
gist, supervises various nature-oriented trail vol- overnight camping sites. Morris suggested add-
unteer projects. . The newly formed Volunteers of ing wording about completing regional trails. A
California (Vo-Cal) will be doing a project this year comment was made that the voters like specific
John E
with the District. projects. Someone was concerned that there was
Judi B
• What are the most serious constraints to trail too much mention of mtn. bikes which could be a
Art L
creation? Permitting by regulatory agencies which negative due to the divisive history of mtn. biking
John E
is slowed by insufficient funding of the agencies. in the District. Morris will make the changes that
EBRPD is considering creating a District-wide habi- the Committee is in favor of and the Chair will re-
tat plan on currently owned properties. If the plan view the letter before it is sent to the Board.
is accepted individual permitting for each project
would no longer be necessary speeding up the Ridge Trail Update Bern Smith reported that the
Jim To
opening of parks and trails, and would reduce the Ridge Trail has received 10 requests for the 2 mil-
threat of habitat-generated lawsuits. lion dollars of Coastal Conservancy funds. East
• What is necessary to change a trail use designa- Bay projects include: 1) build a staging area for 55
Joan M
tion? Proposed changes are subject to park plan- vehicles at Vargas Plateau, $225,000. 2) funds for
ning approval and public input; if there is no nega- 1 mile of RT plus a small amount for a staging area
tive input, the change will be approved. at Fernandez Ranch 3) funds for the Carquinez
• Does EBRPD have full-time trail crew? Jim re- Loop trail. The RT is working with Caltrans and
plied that each park is only able to devote about the Bike Coalition to fund construction for the ap-
Rich G
5% of its resources to trail narrow maintenance. proach to the Benicia Bridge. Something may open
in 2009.
Jim reported that several miles of mostly urban-
type trails were built in 2007: 1 mile accessible trail continued on back page
Minutes: continued from inside page Trail Notes: continued from front page

New Business ary meeting. It received record attendance from

trail supporters. For those who were not there, it
EBRPD Volunteer Program for 2008 was entitled “Trail Constructions and Improve-
The Ivan Dickson projects are still being planned. ment: Opportunities and Constraints,” and in-
Date for the annual EBATC multi-user trail event. cluded a tremendous amount of information.
Setting the date will be deferred until the dates of Check out the minutes of the meeting for a detailed
the Ivan Dickson project have been set. discussion.

Next EBATC meeting I look forward to seeing you on the 20th.

Wednesday, February 20 at 7:15 PM at the EBRPD
Headquarters. Happy trails,

Round Robin Michael Kelley

MK reported that EBRPD received a Notice of
Preparation (NOP) from the Concord Naval Weap-
ons Station Community Reuse Project and that the
District responded encouraging the selection of
Alternative 7. The Project soliciting input about
the future use of the Weapons Station. Should
EBATC write a letter?

The meeting was adjourned at 9:35 PM.

Minutes prepared by Judy Etheridge

2950 Peralta Oaks Court, P.O. Box 5381
Oakland, CA 94605-5369