Local Assemblymen Celebrate Bump and Grind Victory
PALM DESERT- Local legislators and hikers celebrated the new law reopening the top of the Bump and Grind Trail today.
The Department of Fish and Game closed the last half a mile of the popular Palm Desert trail last year, saying it was a lambing area for big horn sheep. But many hikers didn't buy that reasoning and their fight to reopen the trail went all the way to Governor Brown's desk.
"That trailhead meant everything for us," said Janet Underwood, who says she's hiked the trail frequently for the last 20 years, "It was a right of passage. It's a right," she said.
Hikers upset with the closure, requested the state documents proving it was a lambing area. A hiking enthusiast even filed a lawsuit after the Department of Fish and Game refused to release data supporting the claim that it is a lambing area.
"Quite frankly the data did not support that it was entirely a lambing area the entire year," said Assemblyman Manuel Perez.
Assemblymen Brian Nestande and Manuel Perez say this issue crossed party lines, and introduced the bill the Governor signed into law.
"This is something where there was a real outcry and we were flooded with calls," said Nestande.
But the new law isn't a total victory for hikers. The Department of Fish and Game will still close the top of the trail--- for three months out of the year, between February and April for lambing season. The law goes into effect January 1.
"In the state of California to go from 15 months ago where we started to getting some sort of legislation signed--75 percent of what we want---was quite a feet," said Blaine Carian, a hiker that filed the lawsuit.
Jessica Flores, KMIR6 News