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2022 December 13
Chris Holden, California State Assembly
Dear Assemblymember Holden,
First, congratulations on your re-election!
Thank you very much for working hard to secure $1.5 million for restoration of the Altadena Crest Trail (ACT), specifically for development and completion of both the east and west trails that replace the section that was lost when the La Vina subdivision was constructed over two decades ago in the northwest wildlands of Altadena. Your success will enable closure of a major gap in connectivity, working toward full reconnection of the historic Altadena Crest Trail, which in the 1970s provided a continuous ~13-mile equestrian and hiking path from the Arroyo Seco to Eaton Canyon.
The Altadena Crest Trail is used every day by many residents of Altadena, Pasadena, La Canada, and other nearby communities. For many of us, it is integral to sustaining our health and well-being. I personally used the westernmost segment of the ACT several days a week to bike to and from my work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Many of my colleagues do the same, either on foot, or by mountain bike.
Many others use the trail even more often than I do, enjoying birds and other wildlife; wildflowers; the fragrance of chaparral, coastal sages, and oak woodland after a rain; observing stars and the Moon under relatively dark skies; and just the ability to be outdoors, away from the urban bustle, noise, and lights, without going far from home. Many trail users enjoy the constantly changing, expansive view over the San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles, ships off the coast — all the way to Blackjack Mountain on Catalina Island; and Mt. San Jacinto near Palm Springs. Both are visible now most days of the year. All these attributes will expand with the addition of the new trail segments, going farther up in elevation as they do, along the alignments being developed and built by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), with help from Outward Bound Adventures and local youth.
We applaud the MRCA people who are engaging our community, including our group. Our Altadena Crest Trails Restoration Working Group (ACTRWG) was established in 2003 by a County Board of Supervisors motion. Our group is open to anyone who cares to participate, from any locale. We continue to advise the County and others on matters concerning Altadena trails.
The ACT is highly valued in our community, especially for its separation from housing, with many convenient access points along its length. As result of this separation, the ACT passes through miles of our coastal sage scrub / chapparal / oak woodland ecosystem, which is extremely rare on our planet and that harbors a unique assemblage of plant and animal species, including some that are endangered or threatened. There are few locales near a large urban concentration where people can so conveniently and freely immerse themselves in such a pastoral outdoor experience.
On behalf of all ACTRWG participants and users of our trails,
thank you for supporting this valuable community resource,
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