Backcountry Horsemen of California
Los Padres Unit

PO Box 6773, Santa Maria, CA 93456


















From Richard Waller

Also check out the Condor trail route Cerro Alto to Hwy 166

A big Thank You is due to all you equestrians who got up out of your warm beds early this morning and drove down to the Veteran's Hall in Pismo Beach to be a part of the audience and to "stand up and be counted" during the Coastal Commission's Open Comment period which started at 8:30 am..
The Grover Beach Lodge and Conference Center proposal, although not on this Coast Commission's meeting agenda, will be on a future one this spring. The Commission did a (very) brief site visit to the end of Grand Avenue yesterday, since they were in this area and the item will be coming up to them for a decision in the near future. Fortunately there were about 25 rigs, numerous riders and horses on site when they did that visit.
We knew in advance that during their open comment time period this morning(8:30am to 9:00am ) the city of Grover Beach was going to take the opportunity to make brief presentations to the commission (3 minutes per person. They had two speakers (the former and present mayor) in support of their proposal to build a Lodge and conference center on the land we equestrians presently use to park then ride the dune trails and beach.
Grover Beach invited us to have 2 speakers representing the equestrians to follow their presentation. Richard Waller, who is an Arroyo Grande resident, a member of the equestrian committee who has been meeting with Grover Beach staff on this issue, but who is also the Vice-President of the California Back Country Horseman's Association was one speaker. I was the other. We spoke in support of the commission making a future positive vote for the equestrian component of the project (which is relocating and building a 1 acre parking lot on the South side of Grand Avenue on what is presently low dunes covered with ice plant and scrub (non-native)). We also pointed out that if this item is not approved by them, they would have many unhappy citizens who also happen to be equestrians (and a bunch of us are seniors, too!) That's why the "stand up and be counted" audience was so important!
Knowing that we would have the opportunity to speak in the last few days, our equestrian groups sent out a "call to action" to our memberships in hopes that we would have a large support group of equestrians in the audience.
There must have been 75 equestrians in the audience, who when it was my turn to talk, were asked by me to stand and did so! I think the commissioner's eyes popped when they saw what a turnout we had in support of the equestrian parking relocation. Equestrians came from Atascadero, Santa Margarita, Arroyo Grande and Santa Ynez! Yes - from Santa Ynez and were there at 8:30 am! They were members of WCRMHC, Atascadero Horsemen's Association, Central Coast of California Arabian Horsemen's Association, Black Bear Riders and other groups, as well as individual equestrians who had heard about the hearing and showed up in support of our efforts.
Thank You to all who were there! You may have made a big difference. I can only hope so!  The squeaky wheel does get the grease, and hopefully, the Coastal Commission saw and heard that we want access and want the relocated parking lot so we can continue riding our beautiful beach.
Linda Clarke

posted 1/13/2013



Wild Cherry Canyon: UPDATE from American Land Conservancy

Kara Blakeslee will be our speaker at our General Meeting in March - information on the whereabouts will be posted on the web - plan to be there to hear about the updates on this important project.


Greetings, friends and supporters (old and new!) of Wild Cherry Canyon (for more information about this fabulous land conservation project, please see

It has been some time, and so we thought we'd provide a project update. First, despite the economy and other fiscal challenges, we are happy to report that the project is STILL ALIVE! The landowners have been extremely patient and generous, and have extended the deadline date until June, and we think we're going to make it - I'd say we're mile 24 of a conservation marathon. We can see the finish line, but some obstacles remain until we close escrow and open up a fabulous new 4000-acre coastal park (and a 20-mile coastal trail!) for you and the community.

We have two significant public hearings ahead of us - the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) and thePublic Works Board (PWB). The WCB hearing is scheduled for May, followed by PWB. If those hearings go as planned, we hope to have all the funding in place by this summer, with escrow closing not too long thereafter. We are also working now to finalize the legal documents (no small task) and get the funding already allocated by various entities into escrow.

How then, can you help (you may be asking!)? In two ways. First, if you have a moment, please write to the state funding agencies, and thank them for their support, as well as urge their continued cooperation during this final stretch. These agencies have worked extremely hard in putting Wild Cherry Canyon all together, and so a little note of thanks from you I am sure would be very appreciated. Here's the contact information:

Ruth Coleman Director California State Parks, 1416 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

John Donnelly Executive Director California Wildlife Conservation Board, 1807 13th Street, Suite 103, Sacramento, CA 95811

Sam Schuchat Executive Officer California State Coastal Conservancy, 1330 Broadway, 11th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612

(If you'd be so willing, please copy your letter to American Land Conservancy at our new address: 369 Pine Street, Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94101.)

Second, please consider joining us for a day or two in May/June -- to hop on a bus to Sacramento to attend the funding hearing(s) and provide support for the project. If you think you might be able to swing such a trip, please email me at this address and we will follow up with more details. Prior experience tells us that these "conservation caravans" are great fun and highly rewarding -- they can make the difference between project success and the opposite.

Thank you sincerely for your amazing, awe-inspiring support of Wild Cherry Canyon every step of the way. Thanks to you, we are almost there!

Cheers, Kara

Kara W. Blakeslee Project Director, Wild Cherry Canyon American Land Conservancy




The gate at Divide Peak is OPEN today into Pendola… 

The gate past Mid Santa Ynez Campground will remain CLOSED for a few more days until the road conditions dry-out.. 

Vehicle Access is available to Mid Santa Ynez Campground, Rock Camp, and Big Caliente Hot Springs… 

Vehicle Access is NOT available to P-Bar and Mono Camps and Little Caliente Hot Springs…

I will keep you posted when the gate opens to allow access to these areas.




L. Kyah LaPorta

Wilderness, Trails, and Recreation Technician

Santa Barbara Ranger District

Los Padres National Forest

(805) 895 3588



This is great news.
Information from the Forest Service website.

Within the Upper Santa Ynez Recreation Area and Pendola:

The Divide Peak gate on Romero Camuesa Rd (5N15.1) is OPEN to the Middle Santa Ynez Campground, Rock Camp, Big Calliente Hotsprings, P-Bar Flats Campground, Mono Camp and Little Caliente Hot Springs.


To All

Great photo from a distance runner doing Cone Peek Loop.

It should be noted that this trail is getting a lot of care from volunteers.

John B. can you forward this link to Luis Escobar?

You can get a secondhand/ couch sitting tour of the Cone Peak Loop here: