Congressman Sherman Celebrates Completion of Backbone Trail
Congressman Sherman celebrates the completion of the Backbone Trail with the National Parks Service, Betty Weider, and former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Sherman Oaks – On Saturday, June 4th Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) along with the National Parks Service and several elected officials, including former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, celebrated the completion of the 67-mile backbone trail which traverses the Santa Monica Mountains.
The celebration took place at Will Rogers State Park, where Congressman Sherman delivered a speech discussing his work to help secure funds for the project, as well as his efforts to preserve and protect national park lands.
The National Park Service is also seeking designation of the Backbone trail as a “National Recreation Trail,” one of 1,500 in the country acknowledged for their value in promoting health, conservation and recreation. The title will make the trail more of a national destination and help the park service secure additional funding for maintenance and other acquisitions.
“The Backbone Trail provides thousands of hikers, bicyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts with an unparalleled recreational experience through the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains,” said Congressman Sherman. “I want to thank the Parks Department for their tireless work as well as Governor Schwarzenegger and Betty Weider for their unbelievable generosity. The completion of this project is a major milestone for Southern Californians who have envisioned an uninterrupted trail from Pacific Palisades to Point Mugu for nearly 50 years.”
Congressman Sherman led the effort to acquire remaining parcels of land along the Backbone Trail for the National Park Service. During his time in Congress, Sherman has secured nearly $20 million for land acquisition, trail construction, and other park related amenities – much of the funding has gone to construction of the 65-mile long Backbone Trail from Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades, across the Los Angeles-Ventura County line, and through Point Mugu State Park near Oxnard.
Funding secured by Sherman in 2003 helped acquire land and new trail construction including the Sandstone Peak trailhead, the Kanan Road trailhead, the Mishe Mokwa to Yerba Buena segment, and the Trancas segment. Later in 2011, funding secured by Sherman helped acquire land in Zuma Trancas and Etz Meloy to complete trail segmnets from Encinal to Etz Meloy and Rogers Road at Will Rogers State Park.
Sherman has worked with the National Park Service to maximize every dollar for over a half-dozen projects including land acquisition for the Backbone Trail, Backbone Trail rehabilitation projects, Backbone Trail improvements in Topanga State Park, and trailhead enhancements at Cheeseboro Canyon.
In 2008 Sherman worked to persuade Governor Schwarzenegger and his business partner, Betty Wieder, to allow the National Park Service to acquire or otherwise grant an easement of their parcel in the Santa Monica Mountains for the completion of the Backbone Trail
In 2009, Sherman helped allocate 9.5 million in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to build the Anthony C. Beilenson Visitor Center which opened in 2012.
“I will continue my work in Congress to ensure that the Backbone trail is preserved for generations to come, and receives its proper designation as a National Recreation Trail. We have a responsibility to preserve our national parks and keep them accessible to the millions of urban residents in Greater Los Angeles, many of whom have never visited a national park.”