1) Of course, there needs to be public hearings statewide on this topic that effects the respectful, free use of the public’s lands; it is your obligation to ensure that this happens;

2) Different uses have different impacts, and logically should be recognized as such. For example, generally, person by person, hiking has a more minimal impact on a natural system in comparison to mountain biking and equestrian use. Therefore, there should be appropriate, differentiated regulation of uses (by level of impact);

3) I as a hiker create very little impact on the land, except I do understand there are locations where (because of high use or concentrated facilities, or sensitive habitat) there arises an appropriate need to regulate off-trail use. But I would be absolutely opposed to a broad brush of restriction on off-trail exploration and appreciation of our wilderness. Wilderness is for the habitat, and for its deepest realization, it also needs to include a human expression to freely personally manifest wilderness;

4) I have extensive experience with our own Mt. San Jacinto State Park region, where there is almost no impact between the tram station and San Jacinto Peak of off-trail use, and I want to preserve the right to freely walk through our wilderness, as an expression of my wilderness.

5) To put in place restrictions on off-trail use of public lands, there should be definite demonstrative evidence of human-caused impact and degradation, and not just broadly applied everywhere without specific rationale, and at the cost of damaging human beings’ right to explore wild nature.

6) I have decades-long experience with off-trail exploration and appreciation in my local region, and have witnessed little to no negative impact. But, I do have many hours of deep and satisfying exploration, discovery and appreciation. Just because someone blazed a trail through the world doesn’t mean it’s everyone’s path to have to follow.

7) If the state parks administration loses or alienates some of those most inspired and engaged by wilderness, they run a real risk of losing a base of support for protecting these vital and inspiring lands that the people have gratefully entrusted them to steward.

David Lilieholm