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<strong>A CONDOR’S VIEW:</strong>  The air is crisp and cold near Big Pine Mountain in the Santa Barbara backcountry, where the author’s friend Roy enjoys views of the landscape that the proposed Condor Trail would connect.

Ray Ford

A CONDOR’S VIEW: The air is crisp and cold near Big Pine Mountain in the Santa Barbara backcountry, where the author’s friend Roy enjoys views of the landscape that the proposed Condor Trail would connect.


Condor Trail, Environmental Awards & Trails Meeting

Trails Council Presents Environmental Award; Annual Meeting Features Presentation on Condor Trail


Monday, March 7, 2011

— The Santa Barbara Trails Council’s annual meeting on this Wednesday night, March 9, will feature an in-depth presentation by on the Condor Trail by Bryan Conant, who is leading up the effort to get the 300-mile-long through route through the heart of Los Padres Forest established.

Bryan will be providing an up-close look at the trail as well as the many special places to be found in the backcountry immediately behind us. Don’t miss this opportunity to see a part our incredible wilderness areas through the eyes of one of our area’s most knowledgeable outdoor experts.

The meeting is open to the public at 7 p.m., at the Faulkner Gallery in the Santa Barbara Public Library. The evening’s program will also feature presentation of SBTC’s Environmental Award to Marc Chytilo for his work on air quality issues and efforts to protect open space areas and the Gaviota Coast.

In addition, Si Jenkins, owner of Jedlicka’s Western Wear, will be honored as Trail Steward of the Year for his long-time efforts to support the equestrian community and, trail access issues and care of our front country trails.

Environmental Award — Marc Chytilo

Each year, the Trails Council annual meeting is kicked off by the presentation of its Environmental Award to one of our area’s most noted environmental advocate. Marc came to Santa Barbara in the late 1980s to serve as Chief Legal Counsel for the Environmental Defense Center to work on air quality issues in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Marc still remembers his successes in helping encourage the local air quality boards to do what was then political difficult — creating a regional plan to improve air quality along the South Coast.

Marc Chytilo receives SBTC Environmental Award
Click to enlarge photo

Courtesy Marc Chytilo

Marc Chytilo receives SBTC Environmental Award

After serving as Chief Counsel for the EDC for 12 years, Marc decided to go into private practice. Not too long after that a friend, Mark Holmgren, encouraged him to work on protecting a foothill area that was being threatened by development. The effort led to the creation of the San Marcos Foothills Preserve and involvement in other open space battles, including the Wilcox Property, joining the national board of Surfrider to work on coastal issues and working with the Goleta Valley Land Trust on Goleta and Gaviota coast environmental issues.

Trail Steward of the Year — Si Jenkins

Si Jenkins was born at Cottage Hospital in the 1930s and with the exception of attending Woodbury College in the Los Angeles area, has been a lifelong Santa Barbaran. Si took to horses early in his life, hanging around a nearby neighbor’s stables where he learned most everything he needed to know about them.

Trail Steward of the Year Si Jenkins.
Click to enlarge photo

Ray Ford

Trail Steward of the Year Si Jenkins.

After a stint in the army, Si immediately looked for employment that would complement his love of horses. In 1946 the dream became true when he was hired by Jedlicka’s. The position was a lowly one, sweep boy, but by 1960 he’d risen to the job of store manager and by the 1970s was able to put together the resources needed to buy the store and in 1978 added a second store in Los Olivos.

Along with Si’s incredible energy that elevated him from sweep boy to store owner, he also became intimately involved with a number of equestrian organizations, including the Santa Barbara County Riding Club, helped found the County Quarter Horse Association and served as President of Santa Barbara Trail Riders. Perhaps his most notable achievement might be helping to found the arena and riding facilities near the County Jail that now serves as home for the HEARTS Therapeutic Riding program.

Si has also been involved with most every trail related organization over the past three decades as well, proving funding for many of the local trail day activities and is actively involved in supporting the efforts both of SBTC and the Montecito Trails Foundation.

Backcountry Jewel — The Condor Trail

Local trail mapper and outdoor enthusiast, Bryan Conant, can be found more often out on the trail than at his day job at Maps.Com. With a full pack of food and gear, his trusty GPS and an assortment of trail-loving dogs, Bryan can be spotted in the far reaches of the backcountry, most often checking out another section of what he envisions as the next major backbone trail in the western states.

Bryan heads out on one of his expeditions into the backcountry as part of the mapping project.
Click to enlarge photo

Bryan Conant

Bryan heads out on one of his expeditions into the backcountry as part of the mapping project.

Stretching from the southern trailhead at Piru Creek near Magic Mountain to its northernmost terminus in Big Sur, the Condor Trail when completed will be over 350 miles long, travel through seven designated wildernesses and five counties.

The idea of linking up existing trails into one long distance route was proposed in 1996 by Alan Coles, who set out a plan for a trail starting from Blue Point Camp on Lake Piru and ending at Manzana Schoolhouse within the San Rafael Wilderness. The idea was eventually broadened to extend the trail into the northern section of the Los Padres.

On Wednesday night Bryan will be with us to share his perspectives on the Condor Trail, provide an update on the status of the project and let those who are interested know how they can become involved.

“We anticipate that this program will be of great interest to those who have an interest in the backcountry and those who want to learn more about how they can become involved in helping us protect our local trails,” said Otis Calef, SBTC President.

The Trails Council is a broad-based advocacy group consisting of hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers originally formed in 1969. The council advocates for long-range trails planning, construction of new trails, and helps organize work parties to maintain existing trails.

To keep apprised of the council’s work and issues, become a member, or obtain more information about our local trails go to: www.sbtrails.org or email sbtc@sbtrails.org.

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