Trails Task Force Holds First Meeting

The new Front Country Trails Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force held its first meeting on January 24 at the Santa Barbara City Council chambers. The formation of the Task Force is an outgrowth of the joint agency public meeting that was held April 6, 2006 to address trail use concerns and safety issues.

The three agencies represented on the Task Force are the City and County of Santa Barbara and the U.S. Forest Service, which share jurisdictional oversight of Santa Barbara’s front country trails. Each agency has two representatives: City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation commissioners Steve Forsell and Beebe Longstreet; County Parks commissioners Jim Hickling and Suzanne Perkins; and Linda Riddle and Bruce Emmens, staff members with Los Padres National Forest.

This initial meeting dealt largely with administrative items, including the election of Steve Forsell as chairman, and Suzanne Perkins as vice-chair. The Task Force will meet monthly, starting in March on the first Wednesday of the month at 5:30 pm in City Council chambers.

Nancy Rapp, the director of City Parks and Recreation, explained that while initially the plan was to include individual trail users and representatives of various trail use organizations on a committee, that plan was abandoned for being “too large and unwieldy.” However, every Task Force meeting will be open to the public, and it is hoped that trail users will actively participate in the public comment periods.

At this meeting, the only speaker during the comment period was Jim Childress, executive committee member of the Sierra Club’s Santa Barbara Group, which has approximately 3,000 members. Childress is also the appointed chairman of the Sierra Club’s Trails Committee, and he clarified that at future Task Force meetings, he will be representing the official policy of the Sierra Club with regards to trail safety. This was to mitigate confusion caused at the April 6 meeting when several mountain bikers identified themselves as Sierra Club members, but who claimed the Sierra Club did not represent their viewpoint on trail use issues.

The next public meeting of the Task Force will be a Saturday workshop on February 3. Detailed information is listed below.

Members of the public may sign up for e-subscriptions to receive Task Force agenda postings and staff reports. To register visit, then click on “Sign up for e-subscriptions” under Quick Links.

Mark Your Calendar

Thursday, February 1- Sunday, February 4

Equine Affaire

Pomona Fairplex

Thursday-Saturday, 9 am to 7 pm

Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm

Adults: $15 per day, or

$45 for a 4-day pass

Children 7-12: $10 per day, or

$30 for a 4-day pass

Children under 6: free

The premier horse exposition in America, encompassing more than 150 clinics, seminars and demonstrations ranging from Chinese herbal medicine to trail riding, given by renowned international trainers, competitors and coaches. The largest horse-related trade show in the West fills six exhibit halls and the outdoor areas in between, with acres of merchandise ranging from art to barn builders. The Breed Pavilion showcases horse breeds from around the world, with a rotating cast of selected stallions, mares and geldings.

For more information visit

Friday, February 2

Free Friday Flick

“Maynard Dixon:

To the Desert Again”

Wildling Art Museum

Los Olivos, 7 pm

Free admission

This new documentary profiles the life and art of Maynard Dixon (1875-1946), an influential but lesser-known western artist of the early 20th century. While known primarily for his landscape paintings, Dixon was an outspoken social critic. With his wife, the famous Depression-era photographer Dorothea Lange, he chronicled the social unrest of the time. Produced in high-definition video, the 57-minute film depicts the western mesas, plains and deserts that Dixon painted in California, Arizona and New Mexico. These images are combined with archival footage, interviews, and Dixon’s own art and poetry. Reservations not required, but seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Free popcorn, cookies, wine, water and soft drinks provided. The movie will be shown in the Museum’s administrative offices, 2948 Nojoqui Street, Suite 4.

For more information, call 688-1982, or visit

Saturday, February 3

Front Country Trails

Task Force Work Session

9 am to 2:30 pm

Louise Lowry Davis Center

1232 De la Vina Street

A public workshop to provide Task Force members with background and resource information on the front country trails, with an overview of past recommendations made by trail working groups. Following the staff presentation, questions and discussion, there will be an opportunity for public comment.

Tuesday, February 6

Art Appreciation Class for

“Painters of the Desert”

Wildling Art Museum

Los Olivos

Free admission

Offered under the auspices of the Santa Barbara City College Adult Education Program, this day-long class will feature a morning talk by exhibition curator Marlene R. Miller, and an afternoon slide lecture about artist Fernand Lungren given by Jane Dini, art historian and lecturer at UCSB.

Pre-registration is required; please call the Wildling Museum at 688-1082.

Saturday, February 10

Sierra Club Hike

Tequepis, 8 miles round-trip


2,300-foot elevation gain

Hike up to West Camino Cielo from Santa Ynez Valley for views of Lake Cachuma and the Pacific Ocean. Bring lunch and plenty of water. Meet behind the Bank of America on upper State Street at Hope Avenue at 9 am, then caravan to hike start point.

For more information call David at 705-3025.