CAMP (Community Association for the Modoc Preserve) is a group of concerned citizens that were brought together to oppose the destruction of 63 mature healthy trees along Modoc Road and the Modoc Preserve in June, 2022 for the construction of a 14′ wide multi-use bike path (MUP) by the County of Santa Barbara.
The CEQA required noticing was an abject failure, under pressure from both sides of the issue, the County was forced to restart the environmental review process. Very few of the people that live in the neighborhoods that are adjacent to the Modoc Preserve were aware of the County’s plan to use 2300 tons of road base and asphalt, along with 2000′ of concrete retaining wall to construct this bicycle road in the protected Modoc Preserve nature preserve.
This nature preserve is protected by a Conservation Easement “forever” and “in perpetuity”.
To battle the some of the misinformation and mischaracterizations that one “journalist…not journalist” has spewed about CAMP…here are 10 things you should know about CAMP’s efforts to save the Modoc Road Trees and stop the construction of the proposed hydrocarbon (asphalt) based 14′ wide destructive road in this fragile 25 acre protected nature preserve:
1). We started a petition to Save Modoc Road Trees that has 5869 supporters and over 200 comments.
2). We have filed a lawsuit against SB County Public Works and SB County Board of Supervisors for approving an inaccurate and incomplete environmental review document that would allow irreparable environmental and aesthetic damage to occur.
3). We have been successful in getting over half of the MUP out of the Preserve and protected wetlands…and, up on existing asphalt infrastructure on Modoc Road. (View map)
4). The MUP can be finished on Modoc Road IF the westbound bike lane on the north side of Modoc Road is REPLACED with the MUP on the south side of Modoc Road as the County proposed to the Caltrans ATP grant commission in 2018 to secure $5.35MM in funding. According to the County this 3/4 mile long segment is going to cost over $8MM to construct.
5). There are 24 potential collision points of contact between vehicles and bikes on this 3/4 mile long segment of westbound bike lane. Replacing the westbound bike lane will increase bike safety.
6.) Not replacing the westbound bike lane would expose SB County to a NEGLIGENCE lawsuit if/when a serious bodily injury or fatality occurs between a vehicle and bike on this segment.
7). CAMP’s recommended Obern Trail Extension would be 10′ wide with a 2′ wide vehicle barrier that includes heavy planting containers (native plants)…we have attached a rendering below (CLICK)…and, a wood pole fence to help mitigate bike encroachment into the Preserve which is currently an issue…trail rutting and pedestrian/dog walker near-misses…etc…constructed entirely in the existing asphalt infrastructure County ROW (right-of-way)…with a Modoc Road reconfiguration that eliminates the existing Class II bike lanes as originally proposed in the $5.35MM ATP grant to secure the bulk of the $8MM cost.
8). CAMP’s equestrian supporters do not want an equestrian trail that is shared or adjacent to any trail or path with mechanical transportation devices.
9). CAMP is for saving and maintaining ALL healthy trees, be they native or non-native…
CAMP is for native plant and tree restoration in the Modoc Preserve. Mature healthy trees have more biomass which sequesters more of the greenhouse gasses that are contributing to global warming and the climate change crisis. We support the Land Trust of Santa Barbara County and La Cumbre Mutual Water Company in these conservation values efforts. This is a common sense approach to this fragile ecosystem in light of our current climate change challenges.
10). SB County is planning 1000’s of new high density housing units within 1/2 mile of the eastern part of the Modoc Preserve. This proposed new population pressure on the Preserve makes it even more imperative to strengthen the Conservation Easement for the Modoc Preserve and we support Land Trust of Santa Barbara County and La Cumbre Mutual Water Company in these conservation values efforts.
Common sense solution…artist Rendering of Saved Trees with MUP in Existing Asphalt Infrastructure with Vehicle Barrier of Self-Watering Planter Boxes Containing Native Plants & Pole Fence Separator / Wildlife Pass Through Protecting Nature Preserve from Mechanized Encroachment…