By Deb Murphy
The Adventure Trails still has a lot of ground to cover, but it has successfully cleared the first hurdle toward a three-year extension.
State Senator Tom Berryhill made the announcement Wednesday that Senate Bill 1345, extending the Adventure Trials pilot project, cleared the Committee on Transportation and Housing. The next step, according to Berryhill’s staff, is the Senate Appropriations Committee, a necessary review whether the bill has any fiscal impact or not.
Berryhill tried to duplicate Inyo’s project in Sierra County, but the Committee rejected that provision.
The extension was necessary to give the project enough time to develop significant data. While the enabling legislation, Assembly Bill 628, set up a five-year project, much of that five years was consumed by the environmental review process, public input workshops, legal issues and negotiating concerns from both sides of the project.
AB 628 allowed Inyo County to designate county roads and streets as multi-use routes allowing All-Terrain Vehicles legal passage from town services to off-road trial heads. Originally more than 70 routes, the project was whittled down to 36, then to the seven that passed in January 2015. Of those seven, four either began or ended on Los Angeles Department of Water and Power leases leaving only three routes actually in use.
With roughly six months’ worth of data, indicating little negative impact, available for analysis, the County Board of Supervisors voted to request a three-year extension. The bill was slated to sunset on January 2017. That date has now been pushed back to January 2020.