Calif Parks Dept Wants to Ban Off-Trail Hiking or Climbing in Cuyamaca and Anza Borrego Parks

by on June 7, 2016 · 1 comment

in Culture, Economy, Environment, History, Organizing, Politics, San Diego

Calif state parks logoFrom East County News Service

The California Department of Parks and Recreation proposes prohibiting public access off designated trails.  [Ed.:The public had until June 6 to comment.]

In San Diego County, that would include Rancho Cuyamaca and Anza Borrego Desert state parks.

California State Parks Map

The Anza Borrego Desert Foundation (ABF) 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. …  We also advise sending your concerns to your state legislators in the Assembly and State Senate.

The 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.

[Ed.: see proposed rules notice.]

Proposed Rule Notice: 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.  … Comments may also be submitted by facsimile (FAX) at (916) 324-0301 or by email to

[Ed: Offical public commented ended June 6 – but state representatives can still be contacted.]


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mtn Girl June 7, 2016 at 2:04 pm

You got your information wrong. The proposed law allows the Park Superintendent to establish rules regarding off trail use in reserves and preserves. Reserves and preserves make up 9% of the total state park system. At Anza Borrego they make up 7% of the park. In the case of Anza, there is an existing Cultural Preserves Management Plan that has and will continue to dictate how the preserves can be used. NOTHING WILL CHANGE at Anza with the enactment of this rule. Too bad you didn’t do any actual research to verify the rumors that the Natural History Association gave you.


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