Feds push city to close part of Mission Trails Park

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SAN DIEGO – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials are pressuring the city of San Diego to close some of the most popular trails in Mission Trails Regional Park to hikers and mountain bikers.

bike-not-allowed-on-trailA letter was sent San Diego city officials stating several trails, including the entire trail system in Spring and Oak canyons north of state Route 52, are unauthorized and have been illegally built within a federal conservation area.


The letter from the Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said that the illegal trails have “adversely impacted sensitive biological resources” in the area an threaten Mission Trails Regional Park’s “function as a core biological area and regional wildlife corridor.” The letter requested the city to immediately close the area north of state route .

The letter also called on the city to restrict trail use on Cowles Mountain, the Fortuna Mountain-Mission Gorge area and the West Sycamore area.

Yet, some argue the trails have been hiked and biked by many San Diegans for decades.

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 9.08.53 PMMathew Kuhl was hiking one of the trails north of SR-52 on Wednesday.

“It’s an amazing display of flowers, it’s really unlike any other thing in San Diego,” said Kuhl.

USFWS officials also asked the City of San Diego to enforce rules to keep people out of these trails, which could include fines.

The San Diego Mountain Biking Association, which opposes the enforcement, released a statement:

“Trail closures rarely work as intended, often resulting in negative consequences such as unauthorized trail building and use in previously unaffected areas.”


  • Partylikeits1775

    Taxes, taxes and more taxes and now you think you can get away with this?! Wow. The ivory tower must be real nice.

  • Law Abiding Citizen

    Waste, Fraud, and Abuse of taxpayers dollars by Fish and Game. They now have armed Wildlife Officers in the Del Mar Mesa…is trail system next??

  • Fred

    The feds need to take care of the more important issues instead of showing us what a big bunch of a holes they are. !!!!!

  • wayne

    first they go after the Off-Road trails and now walking trails !! they should be sued for restricting access to the public on public lands !!!!

  • Aaron

    The DFG has failed miserably at managing these parcels of land. They now wish to turn the management over to the parks department only under certain conditions which means eliminating some of the only remaining singletrack in San Diego. Read carefully folks, your tax money will be used to keep you from enjoying a park that you pay for. With the destruction of trails that has already taken place in Carlsbad, Del Mar and south bay Hikers, bikers and equestrians are being forced into smaller and smaller areas which results in increased trail use, more erosion, more user conflict and an over degradation of our outdoor experience across all user groups. I encourage all of you to join the San Diego Mountain bike association or your local trail advocacy group to help us fight. We need more trails, not less.

  • Doug

    After decades of people hiking and biking these trails wildlife still thrives in this area. Anyone that visits this area would be able to see the wide variety of wildlife including coyotes, snakes, deer, birds, not at all struggling to survive despite the wonderful network of trails that has existed and evolved for decades in this area. The Federal government is completely manufacturing these issues at MTRP, the Del Mar Mesa, and many other areas around SD in a, so far, successful mission to strip us of our rights to enjoy land that belongs to us.

  • JSatch

    "the illegal trails have “adversely impacted sensitive biological resources” in the area "

    as a frequent visitor to the area i can say this is a lie. anyone can made such a statement, but where are the facts to support it?

  • gaper

    not to mention the city dump within 700 yards of the trails if not less.
    So…what actually happened at the meeting they mentioned in the clip.
    who was there? what was the outcome?
    Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?

  • Scott J

    Look at the map. See that big white scar just to the right of the red zone? That's the lovely Santee Landfill. It's within view of many of the trails in question.

  • Guest Bob

    Sensitive habitat? The federal government bombed the hell out of this area decades ago, and is filled with remnants of those explosives, not to mention, the landfill right next door that gaper and Scott J pointed out. Sensitive habitat my rear-end. All undeveloped land can be considered sensitive habitiat to something using the logic in their letter.

    And has anybody remembered FANITA RANCH?!? HomeFed wants to grade and pave the area next to Sycamore Canyon preserve for a 2600 acre tract home development. Right next to an actual preserve! How in the h*ll does a developer even accomplish getting that in front of our elected officials? Money!!!

    Money. Which means, you and me people… we're all screwed. Unless, we all start running for elected offices.

    The truth of it is plenty of people have been using the area for decades and you can still see active signs of wildlife in the area. Go out there at night to see all of the deer, coyotes, and rabbits, or head out in the day to bird watch, hike or ride a bike. Sure there's recent trail cutting and what not, but to say that these trails are endangering the entire ecosystem is a farce. We all know it, and the Feds do too.

  • Darren

    Thank you Fox 5 for your coverage;
    I maybe wrong but I didn't see any coverage in our news paper on this. Shame.
    This protest was started from a grass roots level- just mountain bikers telling one another and we managed to get close to 500 riders out there on our first protest. This is big and needs to be addressed. I suggest everyone to NOT let up, contact your local representatives and all media outlets and make your voices heard. You can sign a petition at: https://sites.google.com/site/missingtrails/home

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