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Help get trails open at Bonita/Sweetwater Summit Park Area

Sharing a message and request from our supportive fellow trail users Bonita Valley Horsemen. If you were at the SDMBA meeting Wed. night, THIS is the letter Jay asked you to send in support of opening trails at Bonita/Sweetwater Summit Park Area.
If you didn't know, Bonita Valley Horsemen showed up to support the Mass Meet-Up ride at MTRP last weekend. Let's return the show of support and send your letters now. We want these trails open ASAP!

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Bonita Valley Horsemen 
Subject: Fwd: Update of Southside Trail Closure

Hello Trail Users:
This is an update relative to the South Side Trail Closure in Bonita/Sweetwater Summit Park Area. We encourage you to spread the word of what is going on and contact Sweetwater Authority and San Diego County to urge them to move forward.

At the Beginning of December 2013 a public meeting was held regarding the trail closure. After that meeting the County Parks Department (County) and Sweetwater Water Authority (SWA) met with US Fish and Wildlife and came up with a game-plan to get this trail back open. This is a legacy gateway trail (est. 1978) to all parts east of the Park. The first step was that the County and SWA would draft a request for a “Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Permit”, which would allow for a low boardwalk to be constructed over the puddles. This would allow passage for all trail users (Horses, dogs, bikes and people) to cross the puddles. 

SWA and the County put this together, but are now arguing over who will sign the permit! SWA insists the County should be a co-signer and the County insists it cannot sign for responsibility not in their jurisdiction. Unfortunately, once they receive the application, FWS must publish this permit in the pubic register to allow for public review for 30 days. However the permit is now sitting in LIMBO and the attorneys from both sides continue to hold things up!
Attached are two documents for you to read and review:
1. A letter from the County Parks Department to SWA asking them to sign or deed the property over to the County so the County can sign.

2. A letter for you to send to both the county and SWA urging them to stop this impasse and sign the permit so the trail can be appropriately rehabilitated and opened.

Also for your information, there is currently a large mud puddle on the trail between Summit Park and the South side trail. SWA has been notified of this and has agreed it is not a vernal pond and has promised to fix it immediately.
Thank you for your continued involvement in our trails. We must continue to fight to keep our trails open.

Diane Carter
President Bonita Valley Horsemen


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