Future of biking in San Diego suburb uncertain

June 18, 2017 by  

Mountain bikers have been riding in the Carlsbad Highlands Ecological Reserve in Carlsbad, a San Diego suburb, for decades. Now, they’re faced with signs reading “Closed Trail,” and the fact that they may have been riding in the reserve illegally, according to an article on the CBS8 website.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) bought 473 acres in 2000, while Carlsbad owns only 110. State law prohibits bicycles in ecological reserves. Even one CDFW official, Richard Burg, was surprised. A rider himself, he said the prohibition was news to him and the group of which he’s a member. He notes there were no wardens or other law enforcement personnel in the reserve ticketing riders or informing them of the policy.

It would take a change in the code by either the California Fish and Game Commission or the state legislature to allow bicyclists to ride in the reserve. However, Burg says officials have been working with people from the San Diego Mountain Biking Association to see if they can develop a plan to open the trails to bikers.

Rick Minnick, speaking for the biking association, says he and other members of the group are “respectful stewards of the land,” who would not abuse the privilege.

Efforts like this could benefit if officials worked with a newsletter printing company to create a letter for residents explaining the issues.