Trail Notes: New Santa Cruz Trail Map, Yosemite Logging, and More

A handpicked list of news and notes of interest to those who travel the outdoors of California.

Vehicle access to Cedar Grove in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks is now closed for the season. The grove is a recommended spot in an earlier story from KCET Travel -- Kings Canyon National Park Is Your Answer to the Yosemite Blues -- so get planning for your trip next year!

A group gathered on Sunday to celebrate the creation of one of the best but relatively unknown spots around Los Angeles: Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Reserve in the Simi Hills. "Following a 15-year land use controversy, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in November 2003 bought nearly 3,000 acres of the former [Ahmanson Ranch] from Washington Mutual Bank, which had plans to create a self-contained town of more than 3,000 homes, commercial and business centers and two PGA courses," said Brenda Gazzar of the L.A. Daily News.

Santa Maria's Los Flores Park, which has eight miles of trails in Santa Barbara County's Solomon Hills, has adjusted park hours for the shorter days of winter and this year won't close it on Thursdays due to the park's growing popularity. The new hours are Thursday to Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with the last entry at 4:00 p.m.

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If you see smoke in Lake Isabella area on Tuesday, it's likely to be the result of two prescribed burn projects. "Understory burning will be performed on the Ice Project located within the Greenhorn Mountains near the community of Alta Sierra," Ernie Villa, a district fuels specialist for Sequoia National Forest, said in an email. "And, pile burning will take place in the Breckenridge area."

National Geographic has published a new map for all of the parks in Santa Cruz County. "From Año Nuevo and Castle Rock state parks in the most northern corners of the county to the Forest of Nisene Marks in the south, the map encompasses all of Santa Cruz County as well as neighboring swaths in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties," reported Shanna McCord in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

More from Sequoia and Kings: Three public meetings to discuss plans to restore the park's high elevation aquatic ecosystems (KCET wrote about it extensively) will be held this week:

  • November 19, 2013 (from 7-8 p.m.) UC Merced Fresno Center, Inyo-Kern Conference Room, 500 East Shaw Ave., Fresno, CA 93710
  • November 20, 2013 (from 7-8 p.m.) Three Rivers Arts Center,  41763 North Fork Drive, Three Rivers, CA 93271
  • November 21, 2013 (from 7-8 p.m.), Tri-County Fairgrounds, Tallman Pavilion, Sierra Street and Fair Drive, Bishop, CA 93515

California doesn't have any National Water Trails, but three were added in the Midwest: Island Loop Route Water Trail in Michigan, the Red Rock Water Trail in Iowa, and the Missouri National Recreation River Water Trail, which flows through South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa.

The controversial bill by Congressman Tom McClintock to allow logging within the burn area of the massive Rim Fire, including Yosemite National Park, and waive environmental protection laws was approved by the House Natural Resources Committee last week. But one of the most debated aspects of the proposal was amended "to remove Yosemite National Park from areas covered," according to the National Park Service, which opposes the bill.

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About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCET's Director of News, Region and State, working on digital and on-air news products that relate to Southern California and beyond.
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