Governor Jerry Brown signed a compromise bill today that will re-open the upper portion of the popular 'Bump and Grind' hiking trail as of January 1st, 2013.
Assembly Bill 880, authored by Assemblymen Brian Nestande (R-Palm Desert) and Manuel Perez (D-Coachella), will re-open the upper portion of the trail which was closed by the Department of Fish & Game (DFG) in 2011. DFG closed the last half mile of the trail due to habitat protection concerns related to the endangered Peninsular Bighorn Sheep, yet the department was unable to provide scientific data to support its decision.
“This compromise strikes a good balance that enables people to use the trail for recreation, while still being respectful of the wildlife that makes it so unique and distinctive,” said Pérez. “I am pleased to have worked with Mr. Nestande and Coachella Valley residents on this locally relevant legislation.”
The bill initially called for the full opening of the trail but a compromise was struck with DFG, opening the trail for nine months out of the year and closing it during the three-month lambing season. The new law will sunset in five years and during that time a study must be conducted to assess the impacts of hiker access to the trail relative to the sheep population.
The bill goes effect on January 1, 2013.