In 2013 the BLM released their final Resource Management Plan (RMP) which proposes to keep virtually all existing trails on BLM lands open in the Lake Isabella area. including popular and fun trails such as Dutch Flat, Willow Gulch, Long Canyon, Slick Rock and many others.
Stewards of the Sequoia have been working as a stakeholder with the BLM for years to help ensure our trails remain open in this BLM RMP. The trail information Stewards provided to the BLM has allowed them to include many more trails in their proposed action.
Stewards of the Sequoia has reviewed the BLM's over 2800 page plans and submitted written comments that have effectively kept routes and areas open to the public.
Who Will Determine The Future Of Keyesville UPDATE 2014-
The BLM has held three meetings to gather public input and another meeting is set for 1/24/2015 at 9am at the Lake Isabella Senior Center to help them determine the future of Keyesville.
Opportunities and Challenges were the subject of the prior meetings. There was a broad spectrum of users and for the most part everyone agreed on the need to continue to share the area among all types of recreation.
Many people were concerned about the closure of roads, trails and areas that have been instituted over the past two years. Stewards are talking with the BLM and other organization about the need to preserve all existing public access, especially so the public can visit the old mine sites.
Considering Keyesville has been bulldozed, blasted and mined one would think it would be the perfect place to allow continued recreation use. Interestingly most everything in the area is considered archeological by the BLM and therefore they may feel public access via roads and trails needs to be restricted in order to protect arch sites- including garbage piles left by 1900's miners, drainage ditches and broken down mine sites.
Stewards are trying to figure out a way to bring common sense to this issue. We are also looking at adding new trails, like two miles to the Keyesville Classic. Bottom line is Stewards other organizations and the public will have to be heavily engaged while the planning moves forward over the next year or so to ensure trails do not get needlessly closed.
A Vision for the Future of Keyesville letter cosigned by 21 organizations and local businesses was submitted to the BLM by Stewards of the Sequoia which outlined the community vision to keep the area open to recreation.
Read Who Will Determine the Future of Keyesville article in the Kern Sun
Click here to read the BLM's notes from the public meeting
Read the BLM Press Release here
Stewards continues to work with the BLM to ensure existing routes remain open to all forms of use, as well as to build a connector section of single track on the Keyesville Classic trail.