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Trail People

The County Supervisors vote to appeal Marin Superior Court Alto Bowl Trail Ruling

On Tuesday, July 17th, the Marin County Board of Supervisors voted to accept the recommendation of the Office of the Marin County Counsel and appeal the ruling by Judge Haakenson, which prohibited in change of use on the single track Bob Middagh Trail in the Alto Bowl Preserve, to allow mountain biking.


The Alto Bowl Preserve was the result of decades of community involvement and financial support to create a place of solitude in nature for hikers and equestrians. CVP supports and respects that legacy.

However, CVP's legal action against the Marin Open Space District and the Judge Haakenson's carefully worded opinion (which can be read in full at the link above) were not about whether biking per se is good or bad, but rather, based on the legal argument that the County had violated the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in making their change of use trail's decision. That is the issue at hand: whether or not the County dutifully followed the law, as required.

Based on our review of the County's approval process for past projects and a number of their currently proposed projects, it is our opinion that the County of Marin has repeatedly failed to follow the law (CEQA) and ignored community pleas and recommendations to the contrary.

The county apparently disagrees. That is their right. We will see them in court.

It is impossible to predict the outcome at the Court of Appeal, but we pray the higher court sees the wisdom in Judge Haakenson's decision.

We want to thank all of our donors who have helped us bring forward our legal challenge and ask that they considering continuing to donate to the CVP Marin Open Space Fund, to allow us to continue and defend this attempt to reverse Judge Haakenson's ruling.


Bob Silvestri is the founder and president of Community Venture Partners, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community organization funded solely by the support of individuals in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area.