On Saturday, August 20, 2011, a group of over 30 people attended the public meeting held by the US Forest Service for the proposed Skyline Trail. A general description of the project was provided by Deputy District Ranger Omero Torres, along with a short walking tour of existing and new trail sections under consideration for inclusion.

Below is the text of the public legal notice from the USFS:

“The Mountaintop Ranger District, San Bernardino National Forest, proposes to construct and designate the Skyline Recreation Trail, a non-motorized, multi-use trail within the bounds of the Skyline Fuelbreak, located along the ridge south of the Big Bear Valley. The trail is intended to separate motorized from non-motorized traffic on Forest Service Road (FSR) 2N10 to increase safety for all users. FSR 2N10 is a popular meandering, unpaved road that is frequently traveled by people driving vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles. The combination of mixed use and number of users has resulted in several near misses, as well as documented accidents between vehicles and non-motorized users. The Skyline Recreation Trail will be designed and constructed to encourage bicyclists to travel at safe speeds, thereby promoting safe shared-use for all non-motorized recreationists. Along the majority of the route, the trail will roughly parallel Forest Service Road 2N10 and follow an east-west alignment. The recreation trail in the fuelbreak is also intended to decrease the use of non-system trails in the vicinity of the Skyline Fuelbreak. As a result, the Mountaintop Ranger District also proposes to close and restore intersecting non-system trails to their natural condition that pose risks to Forest resources or hazards to Forest visitors. Signs will be installed to mark the trail and to direct and educate trail users away from non-system routes as necessary. Trail construction will utilize best management practices to mitigate resource concerns and will follow Trails Management Handbook guidelines (FSH 2309.18).

Your comments are being requested to help identify key issues, mitigation measures, and/or analyze effects of the proposed action. Please be as specific as possible in expressing your comments so they can be effectively addressed. Comments received, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record for this project and will be available for public inspection. A public meeting is scheduled for August 20, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. at the intersection of 2N10 and 2N06.

The preference for receiving comments is by email. Please send comments to: comments-pacificsouthwest-san-bernardino-big-bear@fs.fed.us by August 31, 2011 with the words “Skyline Recreation Trail” in the subject line. If you are unable to send comments electronically, you may send them to the following address: Skyline Recreation Trail, Attn: Omero Torres, Mountaintop Ranger District, P.O. Box 290 Fawnskin, CA 92333. Although your comments are always welcome, comments received by August 31, 2011 will be most helpful. For more information about this proposal, please contact Omero Torres, P.O. Box 290 Fawnskin, CA 92333, 909-382-2760, omerotorres@fs.fed.us.”

If you are interested in helping move this Skyline Trail project forward, please contact the Big Bear Valley Trails Foundation.