(l also posted this in the local So Cal forum)
As a docent for Irvine Ranch, I received the following message. It continues to be a serious problem of unauthorized access to both South and North county properties. There is a reason for limited access as both areas are very sensitive ecologically. Bottom line folks - trail closures if people continue to misbehave. If you know of folks who are doing this, on behalf of the entire biking community, please ask them to stop. Their photos (yes we have photos of you guys - good, clear, concise close up photos or you and your bikes) have been given to local law enforcement and if found, they risk heavy fines and jail time. Really not worth it for alittle fun when there is so much other property out there to destroy :
The message from Irvine Open Space and Irvine Ranch:
Several months ago the City of Irvine and the Irvine Ranch Conservancy suspended self guided mountain biking on monthly access days in the City of Irvine's Open Space Preserve. The reason, the level of unauthorized mountain biking was out of control in areas that were not open 7 days dawn to dusk.
The mountain bike community threw a fit. Mountain bike riders posted negative things on message boards, mountain bike clubs contacted us, mountain bike volunteers argued with us, but in the end the unauthorized mountain bike access declined. Once it declined self guided mountain biking was reinstated on the monthly self guided access days.
Within one week of reinstating self guided mountain biking to access days there was a spike in unauthorized mountain bike access and it still continues up to today This included: Riders tearing down "closed for restoration" signs and riding through a restoration area. This area has been closed off for two years and is well on its way to being restored. Illegal night riding Individual riders attending a docent led ride to then return on multiple occasions illegally. A rider scouting the reopening of a closed trail. Multiple riders riding past multiple "docent only area" signs.
The purpose of this e-mail is so all of you are aware of who these people are the next time the mountain biker user group is excluded from using an area. Do not blame the land owner or the land manager. Blame the these people, they are the one's responsible for much of the mountain biking problems in Orange County.