Starting Sunday, February 15, 2009 Rangers at Henry Cowell park will be handing out citations for riders caught in Henry Cowell State Parks the area bounded by UCSC at the top and Hwy 9 at the bottom. The patrol area will cover Hwy 9 from the Rincon parking lot to the “Poop chute”.
The education portion of the program started February 1st and the Rangers were patrolling the area informing the riders of the new enforcement program. They were handing out flyers and placing them on windshields.
This area of Santa Cruz has been a favorite place for riding in the local community. The trail have always been off limits to bikes but that has not stopped locals, riders from the Bay Area, Northern California and all over the world including pros and industry folks have been enjoying these trails for decades with very little threat of citation.
There are several reasons for the crack down:
- Ranger staffing levels have increased since October. These aren’t new positions. Cowell has been understaffed for many years.
- There were a few mountain biker rescues by State Parks Rangers in recent months including a concussion and an impaling on a tree.
- Neighbors from Felton have been complaining about the large number of shuttles.
I’m not going to get into detail about this. There is a thread on the forums at mtbr.com which discuss this topic at length. There is another thread which discusses the recent meeting we had with Ranger Gary Brennan.
This new enforcement program has engaged the mountain bike community. MBOSC will be working with State Parks and IMBA to create more legitimate riding opportunities in the Santa Cruz area.
MBOSC and IMBA are working hard to create new legitimate trails for mountain biking in the Santa Cruz area. Please support these two organizations and stay informed about the campaigns we will be launching in the coming months.