There is a lot of public land, managed by the U.S. Forest Service, California State Parks and Rec and BLM on the divide. Many of the trails are on public lands and we have found it very easy to work with our local officials.
There are also many trails that are very important that go through private property. These are the ones that are closest to our homes, which our children use and which we regularly use for transportation and everyday exercise. They also provide the connections from our neighborhoods to the trails on public land and the rivers. The best situation is when a property owner grants a dedicated easement for the trail. By granting an easement the property owner gains protection from liability and ensures the future of the trail.
We have a member (Bob Schuster) who is a lawyer and has helped us understand the legal options for property owners who are willing to allow trails through their property. He can help with the legal procedure of granting easements. He has also developed an Example Agreement to Allow Access for trails which provides some liability protection to granters.
The Placer County Board of Supervisors have provided a Trail Development Information Packet which includes examples of:
We have also learned about the legal options for preserving trails without the cooperation of the owner. These options are not optimal and we would have to have an over-riding need before we would consider pursuing them. So far we have not found such a need.
A prescriptive easement is an option for trails where people have essentially been using the trail without permission for more than 5 years. A dedication is an option when the property owner has allowed the public at large to use the trail without even trying to block use.
We have a political action committee which
Is participating in developing the Foresthill Community Plan
Researches who owns property where a trail has been blocked and tries to work with the owner to resolve problems
Works proactively with developers to try to include trails in their designs
Interfaces with the County Board of Supervisors on trail issues
Works with State Parks and Rec and the Forest Service to coordinate trail enhancement and maintenance efforts and address issues
Networks with other trails groups
Keeps the Foresthill Chamber of Commerce informed of trail events and promotional opportunities
Promotes trails within the community
-- Theodore Roosevelt