Top of Bump and Grind Trail Could Re-Open
Fish and Game closed the gate June 2011, but now two local lawmakers are looking at re-opening it. Video by kmir6.comvideo
Good news for hikers, the top of the popular Bump and Grind Trail in Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage could re-open.
That's if local legislation passes.
The closure of the upper loop of the Bump and Grind Trail is a hot-button issue for many avid hikers.
Fish and Game closed the gate June 2011, but now two local lawmakers are looking at re-opening it.
Palm Desert hikers are getting ready for some exercise, but last year their trail was cut short.
"I was devastated, heartbroken," said Tammy Placencia, who has been hiking the trail for ten years.
"Felt some relief because I didn't have to make it all the way to the top with you all the time!" joked Neil Gussardo, who has hiked the trail for seven years.
"I was okay with it, because whatever the Bureau of Land Management feels necessary in terms of keeping our wildlife safe," said Jennifer Dewey, who has hiked the trail for eight years.
Fish and Game closed the top because of the endangered bighorn sheep.
I asked the long-time hikers if they ever spotted the bighorn sheep.
"No, I never have," said Placencia.
"I have, I was here and I saw five at one time," said Gussardo.
"I haven't, but I just trust that they exist." said Dewey.
Hundreds of people contested the closure.
And now Assemblymembers Brian Nestande and Manuel Perez are introducing legislation to open the top of the trail.
"We believe that the fish and game are not making the right decision based on scientific fact, its more what they want to do not scientifically what should be done, so we think its perfectly appropriate for the legislature to make this decision to open the gates and allow people to enjoy the hiking are," said Assemblyman Brian Nestande, representing the 64th district.
The Bump and Grind is one of the most popular trails in the desert.
"I come out here about three days a week or trying, I just love the views you get and you get a great workout, its a great trail," said Palm Desert resident, Nikki Hunter.
And many hikers say they'd love to see the top re-opened.
"A lot of people used to go all the way up there, and I know people have been missing it, so I think it's good they are trying to re-open that," said Cathedral City resident, Arturo Salome.
"I'd like to get our here a whole lot more often too if it opens all the way to the top, I think that'd be terrific," said Palm Desert resident, Dan Mahoney.
The Assemblymember's new law could pave the way to the top of this rugged terrain.
"It is nice to go all the way to the top, its a great workout, great views up there, it's a very popular trail, so I'm kind of excited for it," said Sid Kirkland who has hiked the trail for five years.
Assemblymembers Brian Nestande and Manuel Perez will hold a conference at the Bump and Grind Trailhead off Painter's Path at 10:30 on Saturday morning.