Boulders near West Camino Cielo Road.
Paul Wellman

Keith Hamm’s January 24 news brief describes legal action pertaining to Camino Cielo from Refugio Road to Las Cruces, near the former Reagan Ranch. I have some perspective on the issue based on co-owning a 90-acre parcel we bought from Ray Cornelius in the early ’70s and sold in the late ’80s. Our parcel was along the south side of a dirt road and fence that later was the south boundary of the Reagan Ranch. Our western boundary was with the Dos Vistas property. The original Cornelius property thus crossed over the mountain crest.

In the early ’50s I rode horseback from Las Cruces to Refugio Pass Road (and east to Ojai) along the public trails and roads. I don’t recall if my ride dipped down to the north where the Cornelius house is or was along the crest where the dirt road is. This dirt road was the communal access road to the driveways of Reagan, Dos Vistas Ranch, and our house.

In any case, the communal access road is the natural place now for public access along the ridge. This road connects west to a jeep road and trail that continues along the crest to Las Cruces.

One cannot see the former house of Reagan (and before that Cornelius) from the communal driveway. If the public trail goes along the communal driveway, I don’t understand the threat for vandalism. One can have a locked gate on the driveway to that house from the communal driveway and gates to the other two houses. There is nothing historic related to Reagan along the communal driveway, which could and should be a segment of Camino Cielo.


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