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Antonovich receives Trail Advocacy Award for California

Posted: June 6, 2013 10:37 a.m.
Updated: June 6, 2013 10:37 a.m.

For his longstanding commitment to protecting, preserving and expanding the trail system throughout Los Angeles County, Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich has been selected by the national organization American Trails to receive the Trail Advocacy Award.

Given as part of the National Trails Awards, the prestigious honor was awarded to the supervisor for his “successful efforts to influence public policy relating to trail planning, trail protection, trail development, or maintenance.”

"The amazing thing about Supervisor Antonovich is that in the midst of one of the nation’s most pervasive car cultures, he worked tirelessly and effectively to provide the people of Los Angeles County with a variety of trail options for walking, biking, and hiking,” said Marianne Fowler, Vice-Chair of the American Trails Board. “Those who run against the tide occupy a special place of honor in our book."

A longtime advocate for increasing the number of trail miles throughout the County, Antonovich in 2007 led the Board of Supervisors to vote to increase the number of miles of trails proposed for the County’s multi-use trails’ master plan. The master plan included approximately 191 miles of proposed new trails in the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys.

Two years later, he awarded grants of County funds to expand, rehabilitate, and improve 15 trails in 19 cities from Claremont to Lancaster, in amounts of up to $150,000 each. The trail improvement projects included the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park Access Improvements Project; the Armagosa Creek Pathway Trail; the Warnack Nature Park Trail; the Catalina Verdugo Trail; the East Walker Ranch Trail System; the La Crescenta Regional Trail Link and the Cherry Canyon Trails Improvement Project.

“Supervisor Antonovich’s vision for trails has been a tremendous benefit to the people of Los Angeles County, especially for the tens of thousands of people who use them every day for hiking, exercise and equestrian purposes,” said County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation Director Russ Guiney. “This national award is a well-deserved testament to how important his commitment has been to all of us who value our incomparable County trail system.”

The issue of trail preservation holds particular resonance in the Fifth Supervisorial District -- which Antonovich has represented since 1980 and encompasses an area of more than 2,000 square miles across all or part of the San Gabriel, Pomona, San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys, including 79 County Parks and the Angeles National Forest. Over those 33 years, he has approved the allocation of millions of dollars in County funds to create, improve, and expand park and recreation facilities such as bike paths, multi-use trails and public access points such as trailheads and trail staging areas.

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