Wednesday, August 24, 2016

California: EBMUD Opening up Watershed Trails - Full Article

Published August 24th, 2016
By Nick Marnell

Mountain bikers will soon be able to share popular East Bay Municipal Utility District trails with hikers and equestrians if a proposed two-year pilot program for equal access is approved as part of the EBMUD Watershed Master Plan. The trial period would begin next summer and will feature four sections of district trails that connect to regional trail systems, including the Bay Area Ridge Trail.

The watershed comprises 28,000 acres of East Bay property that the district manages in order to protect the quality of drinking water for its 1.3 million customers and to promote biological diversity. Sections of the watershed familiar to Lamorindans include the Upper San Leandro Reservoir south of Moraga, the Briones Reservoir and the San Pablo Reservoir Recreation Area near Orinda and the Lafayette Reservoir.

"This issue has received the most attention, more than our historic drought," said EBMUD director Marguerite Young, who told a standing room crowd at district headquarters Aug. 15 that she favored equal trail access. Moraga and Orinda reside in Young's Ward 3.

Concerns for safety and the destruction of the natural environment highlighted the presentations of nearly 60 speakers, whose comments appeared to be fairly balanced between the pro and anti-bicyclists...

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