Saving the Backcountry Trails

April 2, 2016 Agenda & Acknowledgements Click Here
Challenges Facing Stock Users Presentation

On April 2nd a presentation was held at the Frazier Park Library to highlight some of the obstacles facing stock users. The well attended event was coordinated by the local newspaper, The Mountain Enterprise, and consisted of three segments.

The first segment was presented by John McDonald, ( & a documentary film maker who has chronicled some of the travels by John Sears who has traveled much of the West with his three mules ( for over 30 years. Save the TrailsIn addition to traveling the backcountry, he often travels between urban areas using our public highways, byways and rails to trails. His movie trailer consisted of various scenes. Most of the time John Sears was very well received in urban areas by the citizens but the film exposed a lot of conflict instigated by law enforcement, animal control, the judicial system and the mental health system. He has been cited, arrested, jailed and kept in mental wards while his mules were confiscated by animal control. While his way of living is not for most of us, he has never been found to be mentally incompetent and his message is that people have that most fundamental right to travel where they choose, how they choose. Scott Rogers made a generous personal contribution to the completion of the movie on behalf of the Kern Sierra Unit and recently donated a mule to John Sears. He also assisted John McDonald in answering questions regarding the public’s rights to access public lands.

The second segment was presented by Lynn Joiner and Tammy Bozarth. They discussed what the BCHC and the Wilderness Riders program is about and the principles of Leave No Trace. They highlighted the LNT principle by discussing the large amount of trash they saw earlier in the day, left by inconsiderate winter visitors and illustrated the point by showing a large section of a sled discarded on the side of the road going to Mt Pinos that they collected.

The final portion was a Power Point Presentation by Steve Cozzetto, a local equestrian, and described the various challenges facing stock users and other forest users in Mt. Pinos and Ojai Ranger Districts.

Some of the topics discussed were permanent camp ground closures, the lack of transparency by the Forest Service in where user fees are spent, the lack of trailhead access and trail maintenance and conflicts with other user groups such as OHV users and mountain bike riders. Also discussed was the positive impact volunteer groups are recently having in helping to maintain local trails.

The event lasted over 2 hours and afterwards the presenters met with the audience to answer questions and go into more detail regarding the various topics. The event helped educate the audience on the importance and benefits of the BCHC.

There will be another presentation on June 10th at 7:00 P.M. in Pine Mountain Club in the Condor room at the Clubhouse. The Clubhouse is located at 2524 Beechwood Drive.