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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Press Release: Local Trails Groups Unveil Garcia Potrero Trail Effort


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Matt Kettmann <matt@independent.com>

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From: Warren Alford <warren_alford@tws.org>
Date: Sat, May 2, 2015 at 1:04 AM
Subject: Press Release: Local Trails Groups Unveil Garcia Potrero Trail Effort
To: Warren Alford <warren_alford@tws.org>

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 2, 2015

Local Trails Groups Unveil Garcia Potrero Trail Effort

Project Received National Recognition at Washington Ceremony Celebrating Wilderness

Contact: Richard Waller, Backcountry Horsemen of CA, (805) 489-8885, homeranch@gmail.com

Chris Danch, Condor Trail Association, (805) 640-5407, Chris@CondorTrail.com

Arroyo Grande (May 2, 2015) – The Backcountry Horsemen of California, Los Padres Unit and the Condor Trail Association hosted a celebration of Wilderness recreation and backcountry trails. The celebration was held in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of The Wilderness Act and to highlight the need for a new connector trail, the Garcia Potrero Trail.

The Garcia Potrero Trail will provide an alternative trail to the disputed Stony Creek Road from near Agua Escondido Spring to Stony Creek within the Garcia Wilderness. The project is needed to help provide access to the backcountry and create a key connector for The Condor Trail which will run from near Lake Piru and I-5 in Ventura County to Bottchers Gap near Carmel in Monterey County.

The project is among 50 conservation programs that were launched in conjunction with The Wilderness Society and the Partnership of the 21st Century Conservation Corps (21CSC) to mark the 50-year milestone of the Wilderness Act.

There are roughly 250,000 acres of National Forest Land within San Luis Obispo County including 52,539 acres of Federal designated wilderness within the Los Padres National Forest. Yet there is no continuous, legal trail route between these northerly portions of the Santa Lucia Ranger District to Highway 166, the San Rafael, Dick Smith, Matilija, and Sespe Wildernesses.

Projects like this one employ young Americans and veterans in a wide variety of American landscapes from Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC and the coast islands of Maine to remote wilderness areas in Montana and Arizona. Read a description of all the projects at www.wilderness.org/50-50th.

“Thanks to the incredible foresight of the authors of the Wilderness Act we have great wild places, like The San Rafael Wilderness right here in our backyard,” said Richard Waller, President of the Backcountry Horsemen, Los Padres Unit. “We look forward to working with the Forest Service, the Condor Trail Association, the Los Padres Forest Association and others to ensure that Americans can access and enjoy these wild landscapes.”

America is fortunate to have an enduring legacy of wild places to enjoy. Conservations corps, federal land management agencies, recreational trails groups and conservation organizations like have developed great partnerships across the country to ensure these wild places are preserved and protected into the future. As we pause to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, we also look forward to the next 50 years of protecting wild places, connecting people to the outdoors and working together to restore and maintain these special landscapes.

“In 1964, Americans made a big commitment to the preservation of their public lands by enacting the Wilderness Act,” said Jamie Williams, President of The Wilderness Society. “As we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Wilderness Act, we are recommitting ourselves to fulfilling our responsibility to care for America’s public lands. Fortunately, we have a strong and vibrant community of recreation groups and conservation corps working with us to serve as stewards of these places for the next 50 years.”

ABOUT BACKCOUNTRY HORSEMEN of CALIFORNIA

Backcountry Horsemen of California is a non-profit organization made up of individuals from throughout the state who are dedicated to conserving backcountry wilderness and protecting stock users’ historic use of wilderness trails and forage.

ABOUT THE CONDOR TRAIL

The Condor Trail (CT) Project is a proposed continuous 425 mile trail through, and ultimately connecting, the northern and southern portions of, the Los Padres National Forest, California’s second largest national forest along California’s Central Coast. The Condor Trail Association is the non-profit organization dedicated to the development of the Condor Tail. See www.condortrail.com

The Wilderness Society is working with the Partnership of the 21st Century Conservation Corps (21CSC) to engage the corps across the U.S. to complete 50 conservation projects. The Wilderness Society is the leading wild public lands conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 500,000 members and supporters, TWS has led the effort to permanently protect 110 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.

21CSC is a national effort to put young Americans and veterans to work protecting, restoring and enhancing America’s great outdoors. 21CSC participants work in cities and on public lands on programs that range from tree planting and trail building to wildland firefighting and disaster response. The program is operated through a public-private partnership between government, industry, non-profit and community organizations, including The Wilderness Society.

Contact

Richard Waller, Backcountry Horsemen of CA, (805) 489-8885, homeranch@gmail.com

Chris Danch, Condor Trail Association, (805) 640-5407, Chris@CondorTrail.com

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