Monday, July 17, 2023

California: Equestrians have been using this SLO County trail for decades. Why are they suddenly banned? - Full Article Travis Gibson photo

By John Lindt
Updated June 28, 2023 12:48 PM

The Los Osos Community Advisory Council has unanimously backed historical use by equestrians to the east-west trail system at the edge of the Morro Dunes Ecological Preserve. The preserve is just south of Highland in Los Osos near Broderson Avenue, which becomes a walking trail as it climbs into the preserve. LOCAC members were advised of the issue last week with a presentation by former Cayucos science teacher Lisa Shinn, representing the local equestrian community and stables. Riders use the trail system to connect to Montana de Oro State Park.

Montana de Oro has been long used by equestrians, with the park offering some 61 miles of horse trails and a permanent horse camp that draws visitors from all over the West. Shinn noted the visitors have a beneficial impact on the local economy. In the state park, riders share the use of trails with hikers and bike riders. The ecological preserve, founded in 1983, is overseen by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. The agency’s website says equestrians are not allowed within the preserve. Indeed, in the past year, the agency posted a “Horses Prohibited‘‘ sign at one entrance to the trail system...

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