California Parks wants to ban travel not on designated paths

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Anza Borrego Park

The California Department of Parks and Recreation proposes prohibiting public access off designated trails.  The public has until June 6 to comment.

California State Parks System Map

In Imperial County, that would include Rancho Cuyamaca, Anza Borrego, and Heber Dunes.

The Anza Borrego Desert Foundation raises serious concerns about negative impacts to the public in their message below, which includes links to send your comments:

The California Department of Parks and Recreation has proposed a rule to prohibit public access off designated trails in Natural Preserves, Cultural Preserves, State Cultural Reserves, and State Natural Reserves within the California State Park System. See below on how to submit official comments.  We also advise sending your concerns to your state legislators in the Assembly and State Senate.

The Anza-Borrego Foundation (ABF) posted the following comment regarding this matter on their website along with additional info:

In a nutshell, this proposal would make it illegal to leave roads and trails in natural and cultural reserves. That means, for instance, that people could no longer climb around on rocks or walk up a wash, canyon, or ridge in any of our 8 cultural reserves. Think of hiking in Cougar or Sheep Canyon, primitive camping in Blair Valley, or rock climbing in Culp Valley; we and our park visitors would not be allowed to experience this park the way we have been invited to do since the park’s establishment. It is also a law that would be virtually impossible for park peace officer rangers to enforce in a park so open and large. 

 

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

The California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) proposes to adopt the proposed regulations described below after considering all comments, objectives, and recommendations regarding the action.

This rulemaking action clarifies and makes specific the authority for regulating off-trail use in Natural Preserves, Cultural Preserves, State Cultural Reserves, and State Natural Reserves within the California State Park System. Specifically the proposed regulations would prohibit all public use in these areas unless such use is on a trail, boardwalk or other designated route of travel. The proposed regulations are not required by federal law or regulations and there is no overlap with federal law or regulation.   These regulations will make it possible to better protect sensitive natural and cultural resources.

Any interested person, or his or her authorized representative, may submit written comments relevant to the proposed regulatory action to DPR.  Comments may also be submitted by facsimile (FAX) at (916) 324-0301 or by email to trails@parks.ca.gov.