Category Archives: News & Announcements

March 2017 Meeting Minutes

Altadena Crest Trail Restoration Working Group (ACTRWG) Steering Committee
…from Arroyo Seco to Eaton Canyon

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 DRAFT Agenda
Altadena Community Center, 730 E Altadena Dr., Altadena, California

0. Attendees: Steve Messer, Marietta Kruells, Mitch Marich
1. Desired Adjournment time for this meeting? 8 pm
2. Decision on meeting Secretary & recorder of action items. Steve Messer will serve as secretary.
3. Review Minutes and action items from December meeting. Minutes were approved without
4. County/City/U.S. Government announcements: No reports. Check with Dennis about returning
to meeting. His presence is needed.
5. Any serious new trail conditions or problems: CORBA/MWBA removed downed trees from
Gabrielino, Sunset Ridge and Sunset Ridge. Mitch has inspected the trail from Eaton Canyon to
Zane Gray and from Cobb Estate to Canon, and from Chaney Trail to Sunset Ridge Road since the
big storms. Both the easternmost and westernmost segments have serious erosion, deep ruts,
undermined drains and slides that partially block the trail. Major maintenance is needed. Bench
above Cobb Estate has been repainted, hiding graffiti.

6. Current Tasks:

a. Major Objectives for 2017

i. Construct La Vina Trails.
ii. Construct Rubio Canyon Gateway trails.
iii. Re-Grading to new County standards on vulnerable trail segments
iv. Restore Crib Trail Segment N. of Gymnasium
v. Restore driveable-in-emergency fire road from Millard Campground to the top
of Lincoln Ave.
vi. Remove encroachment at 3636 Skylane Drive on Canon. Update: the trail is
being blocked by sweepings from the property owner’s stable.
vii. Get 200’ fence in compliance from segment of ACT above Windfall Ave. No
viii. Create well-marked and publicized trail hub/junction in Hahamongna
Watershed Park.

b. Ongoing projects:

i. Acquire Easement to close Skylane Gap from Penny’s barn to Fair Oaks Ave
(through Zorthian property) ii. Restore driveable-in-emergency Brown Mountain fire road from top of Lincoln
to Arroyo Seco ranger residence
iii. Remove “dropped” (abandoned) pipe on Chaney Trail, from Coulter reservoir to
Chaney Trail. Does not have a County easement, unknown if it is a FS trail:
LAWC Board meeting coming up. Suggestion to attend the board meeting.
iv. Replace dying Coulter Pines at the Loma Alta staging area.
v. Sign trails for “no hunting”
vi. Open Pinecrest gate to the public 24/7
vii. Restore water amenities and trough at West. Coulter Reservoir

7. Other Old Business.
8. Other New Business.
9. Review of task list for the next meeting.
Task List carried from previous meeting: Lori will call Graham about LAWC pipeline. Robert E. to
look for Skylane gap easement in Sapphos report. Marietta will connect Arron and Rosa to
discuss Hahamonga Hub. Suggest attending Hahamonga Watershed Park Advisory Council
10. Upcoming events: The next ACTRWG meeting falls on Tuesday, April 11, 2017.
11. Adjourned at 7:25.

October 12, 2016 – ACRTWG Meeting Minutes

Altadena Crest Trail Restoration Working Group (ACTRWG) Steering Committee

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 DRAFT Minutes

Altadena Community Center

1. In attendance: Mitch Marich, Robert Staehle, Lori Paul, Steve Messer, Marietta Kruells, Robert Ettleman (LA County), Arron Tschida (trail runner).

2. Desired Adjournment Time:  7:45. Steve Messer will serve as secretary.

3. Review minutes from September 13, 2016 meeting. Minutes were not available for review.

4. Los Angeles County:  Robert Ettleman displayed a photo of the ACT at Canon Blvd, near the Village Playgarden. They were encroaching on the ACT easement, and an adjacent property. Lori has notified Sussy Nemer. Robert will send a letter to the property owner. Were considering an “end of county maintained trail” sign, but easement continues.

USFS:  Pilot program shuttle service from Arcadia Gold Line Station to Chantry was well-utilized over the past three weekends carrying over 100 people per day.

5. Trail conditions. No new problems reported. Steve surveyed the Gabrielino for trailwork. The Forest Botanist must wait until spring next year before she can survey the trail and sign off on the work. Chaney Trail connector to the ACT with Lincoln Avenue Water Company does not have a county easement. Erosion along the pipe is worsening.

6, A. Fire Season road maintenance. Maintenance budgets are being cut, and fewer roads will be maintained in the coming fiscal year.

B. Re-grading of ACT. Over the past few meetings segments of the ACT have been identified where a small amount of maintenance will prevent major damage in the coming winter. Suggestion to use the County trails web site to report problems and maintenance needs. Trail maintenance is reactive, no maintenance plan exists. County is trying to establish a maintenance plan and increase funding for maintenance.
C. Chainlink Fence. No new reports.
D. DPW Devil’s Gate Reservoir sediment removal.  No new reports.
E. La Vina Litigation:  Trail alignments have been determined, including line of demarcation between what SMMC will own and La Vina Homeowners will own. There is to be a conservation easement owned by the SMMC, on land owned by the LVHA, between the proposed trail and the homeowners. Land on the other side of the trail will go to SMMC.
F. Rubio Canyon Gateway trail planning. County has expended funds towards three property owners, acquiring easements; an overlay easement from MRCA. They are asking for an easement from AFC as well. The proposals would remove four street crossings that don’t have crosswalks. Also trying to get an easement from Rubio Cañon Water Company.
G. Pinecrest Gate: No new reports.
H. Old Crib Trail.  Robert presented a draft letter regarding the Old Crib Trail, asking for it to be put back on the trail map and signed. People are using it, though it does not have official trail status. Should be signed “Crib Trail.”  Related, the bathroom is usually locked, but could easily be opened by Loma Alta park staff. Motion made to approve the letter, with the addition of explanatory maps by Steve, approved unanimously.

I. Loma Alta Trailhead & Staging Area. No new reports.
Old Business:  Draft a letter regarding the Lincoln Ave Water Company pipe on Chaney trail to Ranger Blount.

New Business: San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Management Plan public comment period was extended until November 1st. Collaborative comments will be shared for review with this group.

This Thursday, McDonalds at Lincoln and Woodbury will be a Coffee with the Captain Vicki Stuckey, Altadena Sherrifs Captain.

Task List:

Robert will send a letter to the property owner encroaching on the ACT at Canon Blvd.
Lori and Rob to add a map to the letter before sending.
Get comments on the Draft Collaborative letter to Steve.

Task List carried from previous meeting:  Mitch to complete maintenance needs report for Olga.

Marietta: Send a written request to reinstate the Crib Trail into the County’s trail inventory, and bring it back up to County trail standards. Include that we were promised a route around what is now the site of the Gymnasium on the west side of Sunset Ridge Road.

Steve: Draft a letter regarding the Lincoln Ave Water Company pipe on Chaney trail to Ranger Blount.

Upcoming Events: Next ACTRWG meeting will be Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at the Altadena Community Center. November meeting will be cancelled due to election day.
Meeting adjourned at: 8:12 p.m.

April 2016 Meeting Minutes

Altadena Crest Trail Restoration Working Group (ACTRWG) Steering Committee

…from Arroyo Seco to Eaton Canyon

Tuesday 2016 April 12 (Yuri Gagarin Day), 7:00 PM meeting at Altadena Community Center (730 E Altadena Dr.)

DRAFT Minutes

  1. Attendees: Dennis Merkel, USFS, Rob Staehle, Olga Ruano (LA County), Mariettan Kruells, Steve Messer, Lori Paul, Kevin Singleton

2. Desired adjournment time for this meeting? 8:00 pm.

3. Decision on meeting Secretary & Recorder of Action Items. Steve Messer will take minutes.

4. Review Minutes and Action Items from March meeting. March minutes were approved with a correction to the date posted.

5. County / City / U.S. Government Announcements of any items not covered later on agenda.

County will be hosting a “mutli-use trails day” on June 4th at Pathfinder Park in Rowland Heights.  Dennis Merkel announced California Trails Day this Saturday will work on Slide Mountain trail in the Santa Clara Mojave district. Agents of Discovery app has been released by the Forest Service at Vogel Flat with a theme of Pollinators in the Environment, an educational game/app that is already in use at Chilao and Grassy Hollow visitor center. The Forest Service will eventually have 75 sites around the U.S. included in the App.

6. Any serious new trail conditions or problems requiring immediate attention (firsthand reports strongly preferred; photos much appreciated)?

Steve, Mitch and Mike McGuire cut a downed oak tree from El Prieto trail.  Ken Burton trail will be opened to the public at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 1st as a part of the MWBA Pancake Breakfast.  CORBA and MWBA have been restoring the trail for the past six months, and expect to complete work on April 17th.

On March 22, Mitch saw the ACT and reported that ACT is getting overgrown, especially one section east of the water tank. No county work recently. A significant landslide above Skyview drive did not block the trail at that time.  Hans Ghekere worked on the section near the private gate above Eaton Canyon at the east end but the undermined drain I have already reported is getting worse. Also, there is a long reach of in-sloped trail near Eaton Canyon where the collected flow is eating across the whole tread.

7. Current Tasks

i. Tentative plan for expanded child care facility along ACT, 3636 Skylane Drive.

Lori Paul reports that there is nothing new to report. The validity of current permits are being verified

ii. Re-grading to new County standards for erosion control on vulnerable ACT segments.

Thank you Pasadena for west end of ACT into Hahamongna! One segment of the trail has been restored at the end of Altadena Drive by the City of Pasadena. The trail has been repaired, graded and compacted, but have not included any drainage along the segment of trail. Fence was replaced and extended. We are wondering why the boulders were removed. Olga will check with the trail maintenance crew to see if there is anything scheduled for the ACT.  No reports on the removal of the Lincoln Ave water company pipes from the Chaney Trail connector.

iii. Millard Canyon:  Graffiti removal; restore natural rocks after tagging painted out by County crew?

We now have a campground host at Millard, he is living in a tent. Working to remove the old trailer from the site. Problem is that we need to get equipment to remove the trailer from the site to where it can be picked up by a metal recycler. Law enforcement considers it Lonnie’s responsibility (former camp host). On the 19th the FS dozer operator will move it to the parking lot to be dismantled. New Host is Keith Ping. Volunteers have attempted to remove the graffiti from the area, but it was difficult to remove, so they painted over some of it.

iv. Any update re: New fence erected along ~200-foot segment of ACT above Windfall Ave (E. of Rubio Gap and Stonehill). Fence obstructs drainage culverts and the view to south from the trail. Policy changes to prevent future fence / wall obstructions? Olga Ruano / LA County, Dennis Merkel / USFS.

Olga reported that aerial imagery shows that the fence is encroaching on the trail easement. They are planning to send a letter to the property owner stating that he needs to remove the fence from the trail easement. Nobody has contacted the property owner directly; this group feels personal contact would be a good first step. Fence appears to be on two different parcels, both of whom need to be contacted to determine why they put up the fence, and what can be done to ease their concerns. County and Forest Service need to coordinate efforts. First step is to send them a friendly, non-demanding letter requesting them to remove the fence from the easement. Fence was erected on top of a small retaining wall structure that may have been part of the trail. No fencing permits are required for a fence 6’ or less that is not a retaining wall.

v. DPW Devil’s Gate Reservoir (Hahamongna Watershed Park) / ACT Trailhead / Recreation impacts? Arroyo Seco Foundation Litigation? JPL / NASA  Security Gates Project? Marietta Kruells or Lori Paul

Altadena Heritage newsletter is going to include a story discussing the creation of a four-way trail junction site in Hahamongna.

vi. La Vina litigation resolved: update & resumption of trail planning. Marietta Kruells, Olga Ruano / LA County

No new reports.

vii. Rubio Cyn Gateway trail planning status / discussion with AFC. Olga Ruano / LA County

A geotechnical report has been done for a proposed trail alignment through the AFC property, and the County is waiting for the AFC to get back to them on the proposed easement. Samir Etman sold the property with a condition that an easement for the ACT would eventually be granted. There are current rumors of a gate being considered at the Mt. Lowe Railway right of way trail, access to Rubio Canyon. The County needs to be proactive in preventing a gate from being installed at this location.

viii. Update on locked Pinecrest Gate.

New sign on the back side of the Pinecrest Gate that says “If locked inside call county Sherriff.”

Existing county ordinances prohibit smoking, trash, alcohol, shooting, hunting, etc from County parks, which include trails. Trails that access the Forest should not be closed. County asserts that trails close at Sunset, yet people have been using the trails after dark for decades. Enforcement of existing ordinances is needed, not a gate keeping honest trail users out.

Olga has produced a map showing the gate is on County DPW property. Olga will check with DPW to see if they have any claim over the gate. County Parks needs to look into an MOU with the DPW.

8. Other Old Business

Nothing new to report.

9. Other New Business

10. Review of Task List for next meeting.

  • Olga to check on trail maintenance crew schedule to see if ACT is on the schedule.
  • Dennis will check with Graham about the Lincoln Ave Water Company permit requirement to remove the pipe from the Chaney Trail/Sunset Ridge connector portion of the ACT.
  • Rob will look for a copy of the sale agreement between Sameer Etman and AFC, including conditions of the sale requiring a trail easement be granted.
  • Olga to check with DPW about the Pinecrest gate and the road right-of-way.

11. Upcoming Events: The next ACTRWG meeting falls on Tuesday, 2016 May 10 (2nd Tuesday of each month, unless cancellation is announced, 7pm at the Altadena Community Center).

15. Adjourned at 8:16 pm.