Dec 17

La Honda Creek OSP Input Needed

I went to the MROSD public input meeting for La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve. There were about 60 – 80 people present, most of whom were from La Honda. In addition there were the usual 5 mountain bike advocates, and the usual 5 equestrian advocates. There were a few more equestrians from town than there were mountain bikers.

The meeting last month went very well. Everyone – neighbors, equestrians, dog walkers, and bikers were expressing their desire for multi-use access to this preserve ASAP. I was pretty astounded because these were the very same equestrians, when discussing Huddart and Wunderlich, were saying that bicyclists and equestrians just don’t mix. The main difference is that since most or all of the trails go through grasslands, the lines of site are great, which gives the equestrians a better sense of what is going on.

We need more public input now! Please write to Anna Ruiz at aruiz@openspace.org and tell her that you would like to see multiuse trails open up soon in La Honda Creek. Please be sure to mention that you would like
– East-West and North-South Regional Connectors, with building the North-South connector a priority
– A second North south connector to provide the opportunity to do a big loop
– Trails built in the wooded and pond areas to provide access to the diversity of habitat in the preserve for nature observation and education
– Open staging areas ASAP at the Red Barn and Driscoll Ranch Rodeo Areas.
– Tell her about your successful experiences with recreation and grazing co-existing, and that you would be respectful of the cattle by closing gates and not herding them.
– Ask for permission to bring your dog on trail with a leash, and for a dog run, if you are so inclined.
– Ask them to respect the desires of coastal residents and follow their suggestions in how to manage the property, as this will set a precedent of how coastal residents perceive the District.

Thanks for your input!

For those of you who don’t know, La Honda Creek is 6,000 acres bounded by El Corte de Madera OSP to the north, Skyline Boulevard, and Highway 84, and goes most of the way down to the coast, down to the Driscoll Ranch Rodeo facility. For comparison, ECDM is 2300 acres, SDF is 2000 acres, Freemont Older is 740 acres. In 2000 MROSD decided to close this preserve to bikes, and essentially to everyone else for that matter, but it is currently undergoing a master plan, so that is up for review. The current proposed alignment for the bay area ridge trail could go through there, and also has the potential for a skyline to the sea route in the future.

The terrain is hilly and is about 50% grass lands and 50% riparian, or wooded habitat close to a creek. Steelhead trout and Coho Salmon are found in its streams. Endangered frogs, snakes and turtles are also found there. The lower half of the preserve has a grazing lease. It will be interesting to see how the District manages recreation and grazing on the same land. I have seen it co-exist peacefully at Henry Coe, and understand that it happens on East Bay P{arks lands, as well as in Marin County.