Title 14 Law on CHER
Currently under Title 14, the law that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife uses to classify the property there are some rules. Here’s a brief summary and the potential impacts of increased enforcement of the land. Note that the CDFW is not a land management agency, they are an enforcement agency that typically handles: Poaching, Illegal Fishing, Wildlife Protection and Research. They do not manage recreation, use or sustainable preservation.
It is unlawful and illegal to use any unauthorized trails on the CHER property. This means it is off limits to hikers, bikers, equestrians etc. The only authorized trails on CHER are the main access road, and a couple small trails on the west side of the park. All the trails that have been used by bikers since before CHER was created are illegal. This means even if you are a hiker, you do not have permission to walk off the legal approved trails. The Volcano has zero legal trails on it. If you are hiking, biking or recreating on the Volcano you are breaking the law.
It is never appropriate to vandalize property no matter how frustrated you are with Title 14 and the CDFW’s management of CHER. Two wrongs never make a right and technically it is illegal to use the property for any form of recreation unless it’s approved by the CDFW
CDFW does has a process to change Title 14 on their property. This Coalition is working on gaining community support to get this problem solved in a transparent manor that encourages multi use and sustainable recreation for generations to come. Let’s not let the actions of a small loud group impact our quality of life.
Possible Impacts of Increased Enforcement of CHER:
Increased enforcement of CHER will result in less use on the land, that is the intended result of the enforcement. The restoration and elimination of the non authorized trails will mean the land will be more “wild”. As proven in other parts of San Diego County, this type of land attracts squatters, migrant camps and other non desirable users.
Less people in the land means less safety for users. This is not a recreation space, it is not managed by a staff. The land is “wilderness”. While it is surrounded by development, as Title 14 is written, there are no safety officers on site. Response time in the middle of the park is slow. This is wilderness. You can call 911 but it will be 3 - 5 times as longer for them to arrive vs a typical managed recreation site with staff present.
Fire Danger: the CDFW does have fire prevention plans but their agency does not focus on this aspect of management. As seen with the Paradise Fire, unmanaged land is an extreme risk to residents. Managed recreation areas have better fire prevention measures and defensible spaces.
Quality of Life and Potential Financial Impacts to Residents: The CHER area provides tremendous value to all of North County and specifically to those who live within walking or biking distance from the Preserve. Without Access to the property, and limited use, the value of being near the property could be impacted in a negative way. Open space like this are rare in North County. Many people moved near this area to use the land and recreate in some form. Loss of this will change how people perceive the space. And it could become a negative situation with fire risk, squatters, homeless camps or migrant camps on the property. Recreation and proper management limits this impact.