Action Alert! Speak Up for Cotoni-Coast Dairies

We need your help! The northern access point for Cotoni-Coast Dairies is being reevaluated, and we need you to speak up for parking and restroom facilities so that these trails can open swiftly.


How to Participate

Submit a written comment via the form on this page (or email your thoughts to [email protected]) by April 18.

Please add your own voice to the draft message within the form. The BLM places a higher value on original written comments rather than a copied/pasted form letter.

Key Messages

  • The BLM began investigating the environmental and social impacts of a northern parking area at Cement Plant Road more than five years ago. The updated analysis continues to show that the effects of construction are vastly outweighed by the benefits of a well-designed parking lot to support public access to this new trail network.

  • The most responsible use of funds and time is to move forward with the existing plans for trail access and develop recreation facilities for visitors to use and enjoy Cotoni-Coast Dairies.

  • Substantial progress toward parking lot construction has already been made and large amounts of public funding and volunteer efforts have already been invested in this access location.

  • The community has already invested $834,000 and 6,800 hours of volunteer work into this project, and trail design is focused around the proposed parking area and trailhead access on Cement Plant Road.

  • Waiting for decisions related to a new southern parking and trail access location is an irresponsible use of funds and time.

  • There have already been significant delays in opening this new and vital trail network. Without a BLM parking area, visitors will end up parking on the side of the road like other places on the North Coast where traffic and safety are major concerns.

  • The BLM is required to provide public access and recreation at the Cotoni-Coast Dairies property. Trails are nearly complete, and the public has already had multiple opportunities to weigh in on access conversations.

  • After years of opening delays, now is the time to finalize the northern parking area for safe and secure public access to this property.

  • The local community needs these trails, and we hope to see access move forward soon.

Please add your own comments about why these trails are important to you.

  • This trail access will provide new recreation opportunities to mountain bikers and Santa Cruz North Coast visitors, who currently lack available trail access to meet existing demand.

  • Recreational trail use is extremely high in Santa Cruz County, and these new trails are essential to dispersing trail users across open spaces. Parking and trailhead facilities would improve public safety and infrastructure for visitors services on the Santa Cruz North Coast.

  • Access to this land will bring new outdoor opportunities to adaptive users (like handcycle and wheelchair users)

Why Are We Advocating Again?

Following numerous public meetings and efforts to address community concerns throughout 2019 and 2020, a small but vocal group appealed the parking lots, which are how users will access the trail network that we are currently five miles into building. Please note: the trails are not included in this public comment period; only the access facilities like parking and restrooms are included in this appeal.

Following the appeal, the BLM conducted an additional environmental impact report for a standalone northern access point. They are now seeking public commentary regarding the findings of their newest report to determine how the project will proceed. The report found that any negative effects of parking development are vastly outweighed by the positives of opening this new trail network to the public.

Previously, the BLM analyzed the parking for both the northern and southern parking lots together. This latest report evaluates the environmental effects of constructing a northern parking area and trailhead with no parking area on the southern portion of the BLM-administered lands. There is still a parking lot and overpass planned at Panther Beach for the Rail Trail, which will provide access to trails on the southern end of Cotoni-Coast Dairies. Please note: There is currently no trail development at the proposed southern access point.

This appeal continues to delay opening of the northern trail network, and will delay public access until it is resolved. Construction on the northern parking lot at Warrenella Road was in progress and rough grading was completed before the appeal was upheld and construction had to stop.

We feel that continuing with the parking lot at Warrenella is the responsible thing due to the completed environmental reviews, and the amount of resources already invested in creating this northern access point. Additionally: the northern and southern trail networks do not connect, and users will have to park at either the northern or southern lot in order to access its respective trail network. Someone could not access the northern trails by parking at the southern lot, so the lack of a southern lot is not expected to affect northern trail use.

Please submit a written comment via the form on this page and share your support for the existing northern access point plans. If we do not see support for the existing trail access plans, the BLM will have to start from scratch. Expert planning resources, funding, and time will all be wasted… which will delay the opening of this brand-new trail network.

Thank you!

Your comment was submitted. We appreciate your voice!


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