State Parks files misleading Negative Declaration

On September 22, 2022 California Department of Parks and Recreation filed a Neg Dec (Negative Declaration) for the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area Road and Trail Management Plan (RTMP).

In the CEQAnet.opr submittal (Form F) one section asks the Applicant/Lead Agency (State Parks):

“If applicable, describe any of the project’s areas of controversy known to the Lead Agency, including issues raised by agencies and the public.”

State Park’s official response was:

“No issues were raised by the agencies or the public”.

It is beyond outrageous for State Park officials to make this false claim that “No issues were raised by…the public”!

State Park’s web page for this RTMP contains 36 pages of public comments, concerns, areas of controversy, and “issues raised by the public” during the public comment period which ended June 30, 2022.
Additional public comments and concerns over this RTMP were submitted in October 2022, during a brief second public comment period.

State Parks submitted a blatantly false statement in their official public “Neg Dec” filing, and they must be held accountable for willfully ignoring the public’s documented safety concerns over the dangerous trail conditions which State Park’s RTMP “multi-use” trails will create for Folsom Lake State Park trail users.

State Parks has demonstrated a consistent pattern of minimizing and refusing to acknowledge the public’s serious safety concerns over the dangerous trail conditions which will occur when speeding bikes are added to trails with slow moving trail users. State Parks has also ignored information sent to them about documented injuries and even the recent death of pedestrians hit by speeding bike riders on local (N. California) “multi-use trails”.

The RTMP is based on 9-10 year old user surveys and outdated user demographic studies. State Park trail planners using this invalid information came to faulty conclusions and made poorly considered, unsupported recommendations in the RTMP to convert various existing trails to “multi-use trails”. Additionally, State Park officials have refused to adequately analyze or even consider other safer alternative solutions, such as separate parallel High & Low speed trails, which were repeatedly requested by non-biking trail users during the public comment period.

Contrary to State Park’s claim in its CEQA filing (CEQA = California Environmental Quality Act), the RTMP does not “ensure equitable access”, and does not “promote public enjoyment of the parks’ natural, cultural, and scenic resources.” Instead, it will reduce equitable access and public enjoyment of Folsom Lake State Park. Implementing the RTMP’s “multi-use trails” will cause displacement of current Park trail users and will cause them to seek safer trails elsewhere.

Therefore, Ace 4 Safe Trails is now stepping forward on behalf of many very concerned State Park trail users and is filing legal action against State Parks for its ill-conceived and poorly developed Road and Trail Management Plan dated September 22, 2022.