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SIERRA <br />CLUB <br />FOUNDED 1892 <br />Ialos Verdes - South Bay Group / Angeles Chapter <br />Rancho Palos Verdes City Council <br />Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall <br />30940 Hawthorne Blvd <br />Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 <br />City Councilmembers: <br />May 5, 2012 <br />RECEIVED FROM r <br />AND MADE A PART OF THE RECORD AT THE <br />COUNCIL MEETING OFM/5 -2Q1 <br />OFFICE OF THE CIT CLERK <br />CARLA M©RREALE, CITY CLERK <br />We appreciate the time and effort that the Rancho Palos Verdes and Palos Verdes Peninsula <br />Land Conservancy staffs (collectively, "Staff') put into eliciting, summarizing and responding to <br />public comments on the state of the trails within the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve. Staff's <br />responses to comments reflect a commendable effort to strike a balance between habitat <br />protection and public access across the Preserve and non -preserve parkland. We support the <br />Staff position that "[i]t is important to provide some trail access to all user groups, but not all <br />trails to all users." <br />Which trails should be open for bicycle use? <br />The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and the Sierra Club agreed, in 1994, <br />"that not all non -Wilderness trails [such as those in the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve] should be <br />opened to bicycle use." [emphasis added] The Agreement goes on to indicate that bicycle use is <br />not appropriate when and where it is not practiced "in an environmentally sound and socially <br />responsible manner." <br />In an effort to implement the Agreement with IMBA, the Sierra Club, in collaboration with a <br />Mountain Bike Task Force, established an Off -Road Bicycle Policy. The Policy provides that <br />trails should not permit mountain bikes unless <br />1. Environmental quality can be effectively maintained; <br />2. The safety and enjoyment of all users can be protected; <br />3. The trail needs minimal enforcement, for example by relying on natural barriers and <br />terrain features; and <br />4. Effective implementing regulations are in place. <br />Unfortunately, all too often, mountain biking in the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve is practiced in <br />a manner that not only degrades the environment but threatens the safety and enjoyment of other <br />Preserve users. Moreover, the structure of particular trails contributes to these adverse impacts <br />to the environment and other users. Regulations, and enforcement thereof, have proven to be <br />inadequate. Therefore, we disagree with Staff recommendations regarding opening many <br />additional trails for bicycle use. In Appendix A to this letter, we address Staff <br />recommendations on a trail by trail basis. <br />P.O Box .2464 • Palos Verdes Peninsula, California 90274 <br />Printed on Recycled Paper <br />