Your Help Needed: Support the Southern Skyline Ridge Trail!

Jul 23rd, 2020
FIFIELD-CAHILL trail with hills in the background

ACTION NEEDED:

On Tuesday, May 11 the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) will decide whether to adopt the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) findings and authorize SFPUC to implement this project (aka BUILD THE TRAIL!).

Encourage them to do so by sending an email of support by 5pm Monday, May 10! (Find an email template here).
 

THE PROJECT: Southern Skyline Ridge Trail Extension

The SFPUC is proposing to build a new 6-mile section of Ridge Trail on the San Francisco Peninsula. This multi-use trail will take you along stunning ridgelines and through pristine forests in the Peninsula Watershed in central San Mateo County.

Project Objectives

  • Provide multi-modal access to the Peninsula watershed in accordance with the Peninsula Watershed Management Plan;
  • Extend and enhance the Bay Area Ridge Trail on the Peninsula Watershed via construction of trail segments and associated facilities;
  • Ensure watershed protection;
  • Protect sensitive habitat; and
  • Enhance educational opportunities.

 
Project Includes
Two separate and distinct trail sections:

  1. A new 6-mile trail and staging area south of Hwy 92, and
  2. An improved staging area and ADA accessible loop on the southern end of the Fifield Cahill Trail.

 
Trail Access
Two distinct trail access systems:

  1. Public access by permit system (unsupervised, but restricted) on the new Southern Skyline Ridge Trail, routed along the ridgeline near Highway 35/Skyline Blvd. on less environmentally sensitive land; and
  2. Public access through a supervised docent program on the existing Fifield Cahill Trail. This docent program is currently in use and has full support of the Ridge Trail.

 
Resources:
Project Map
SFPUC Commission Memo (May 2021)
Draft Environmental Impact Report (July 2020)
Response to Comments (April 2021)
Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program (April 2021)
 

WHY SUPPORT THIS TRAIL

  • More Inclusive Access to the Outdoors: Public access in the outdoors matters now more than ever! Parks and open spaces around the Bay Area are experiencing record high visitorship, and trails are essential in these unprecedented times.
  • Strong Partner Support: For over 20 years, the Ridge Trail has collaborated with all the major land management agencies in the area including Peninsula Open Space Trust, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and San Mateo County Parks.
  • Balancing Access and Natural Resources: The agencies involved are experts at balancing the desire for public access with the need for natural resource integrity, and this balance was carefully considered in designing the project.
  • Connecting The Ridge Trail: The addition of the Southern Skyline trail will bring us closer to connecting 100 continuous miles of Ridge Trail from northern Marin County deep into San Mateo county.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Send an email expressing your support for this project! Copy and paste the following letter, and email it to the members of the SFPUC Commission at Commission@sfwater.org by 5pm on Monday, May 10.

 
Email Template:
 
Dear Commission –

I am writing on behalf of the Bay Area Ridge Trail to encourage you to approve the staff recommended Southern Skyline Boulevard Ridge Trail Extension Project and authorize staff to proceed with construction. None of the project alternatives achieve the stated project goals, nor the Ridge Trail mission to create a continuous trail, for all users, that encircles San Francisco Bay.

Public access to the outdoors is important to me and my community. [OPTIONAL: ADD IN SENTENCE ABOUT WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT TO YOU!].

I support opening the southern Peninsula Watershed lands for more responsible and inclusive recreational use.

Sincerely,
[YOUR NAME]
[CITY, ZIP CODE]

 

Thanks for supporting our work and the Southern Skyline Ridge Trail project!


@bayarearidgetrail

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