Orange County has a rich natural, cultural, and historical heritage with many important federal, state, regional and local parklands. Camping, bird watching, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding, are just some of the ways people use these parklands.
Audubon California, Friends of Harbors, Beaches and Parks, Laguna Canyon Foundation, Sea and Sage Audubon Society, and Sierra Club have founded the Safe Trails Coalition (STC) to preserve access to these diverse landscapes through trail systems that allow people to enjoy these lands while protecting the resources in them.
STC supports all trail users who use the existing network of authorized trails, are willing to ensure native plants and wildlife and other natural resources are protected, and agree that all trail users and park visitors are entitled to a safe and enjoyable experience in the wilderness.
Unfortunately, there has been an increase in unsafe trail practices within our protected natural lands, made evident by neglect, erosion, overuse and degradation of our extensive trail systems. STC seeks to complement the efforts of area land managers to address the far-reaching problems associated with trail misuse and abuse.
Inappropriate trail use increases the risk and liability for land managers, degrades the public’s financial investment made to create the parklands and destroys these natural lands.
A strategic plan of action must be formulated. STC proposes the following steps for immediate action:
- Identification of Problem Areas
- Education of the Public and Trail Users
- Enforcement of Existing Rules
- Restoration of Impacted Habitats
In 2013, the STC began identifying trail issues through a public workshop. In 2014, we are focusing on education of the public and media. Together we can make a difference!
This information is also available in a factsheet format.