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Folsom Lake plan gets first update in 30 years

Revisions to reflect changes in lifestyle, population growth
By: Susan Belknap Press-Tribune Editor
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Several local equestrians are not happy about the details of the preliminary general plan for Folsom Lake State Recreation Area that was presented Wednesday at a public meeting held at Cavitt Junior High in Granite Bay. Much of the public comment portion of the meeting focused on the possible closure of Shadow Glen Stables, a horse boarding and riding facility located at the Mississippi Bar area in Fair Oaks. The 900-plus page general plan document that has not been updated in 30 years states a desire to emphasize trail access and public recreation at the Shadow Glen equestrian facility and not the private boarding of horses. Jim Micheaels, project manager for the report, told the packed room that, Shadow Glen is a stable, which provides boarding of horses and riding opportunities and is operated as a concession. State Parks offers concession opportunities for recreation related services that the department isn't able to provide like stables, kayaks, rentals and food concessions. The updated plan looks at the balance between providing boarding for horses and trail-riding opportunities. State Parks believes providing access to trail riding is an important function of this concession opportunity, he said. But Micheaels also stated that while the intent is to continue a concession operation at this location, a change in use in this area could occur if the concessionaire decides to leave and a viable replacement is not found. In that case, the area of the stables may be used for access, parking, trailhead/staging facilities, or other day use facilities consistent with the other direction provided for the area according to the plan. According to Bonnie Houston, who along with her husband, Ken, are owners of Shadow Glen, the horse facility has been in the Houston family for 35 years. What concerns the Houstons is the lack of formal notice about the State Recreation Area plan updating. When this plan came out the first part of February, we didn't know anything about it, Bonnie Houston said. We found out from our customers who kept coming by and calling us about it. I went to the Parks Department on Feb. 22 and picked up a copy. The possibility of Shadow Glen being shut down angers many of the stable's clientele and Bonnie Houston said she hopes instead of closing the facility, the Parks Department will save, support and embrace Shadow Glen and assist them in obtaining a long-term contract that will enable the Houstons to obtain bank loans for business improvements. We are currently in discussion with park officials, Bonnie said. This is not about us personally. It's about Shadow Glen. It needs to stay here. Granite Bay resident and equestrian Paula Campbell understands the importance of being able to board a horse on the lake like where Shadow Glen occupies. It means so much because you don't have to have a trailer or truck. You can just ride from the lake, Campbell said. In addition to wanting to keep Shadow Glen, Campbell is also concerned about the tone of the updated plan. It's all about control, she said. Parks can't be controlled. What needs to happen is that people need to know about this general plan update. In addition to the changes that could be made at Mississippi Bar, the updated plan proposes increasing launch capacity for motorized craft on the lake, expanding the marina capacity at Brown's Ravine, reconfiguring the entrance to Beal's Point and Granite Bay to relieve traffic congestion, prohibiting use of off-road vehicles in non-designated areas, restoring disturbed riparian and flood plain habitats and expanding the 5 mph speed limit of motorized boats to the North Fork lake area. Micheaels said there is a 45-day review period for the public to voice their opinions. We want to hear their input and consider the public's ideas on the preliminary plan, Micheaels said. Written comments can be sent to Laura Caballero, Bureau of Reclamation, 7794 Folsom Dam Road, Folsom, CA, 95630. For more information call Jim Micheaels at 988-0513.