Protecting Sensitive Trails on Mt. Tamalpais
The California State Parks and Recreation Department had long hoped to open single track trails to bicycle usage. In 2003, the Department planned some reconfiguration of narrow, sensitive hiking trails on the flanks of Mt. Tamalpais, opening these trails for multi-use, with limited environmental review. The Tamalpais Conservation Club (TCC) sued under CEQA, arguing that a full EIR should be required for what were wholesale changes to not only the specific trails in question, but also the Park Service’s own trails plan. The Department and TCC ultimately agreed to a settlement that included a program for increased cooperative planning and scrapped multi-use on a sensitive trail.
Reflecting on this process, TCC president Larry Minikes said “Now, when such proposals come up, they consult with us far earlier in the planning process.”