Protecting Habitat along the Bump and Grind Trail
Opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument are found by those who venture out on trails -- on foot, on horseback or on a mountain bike. In some areas, access to trails is limited as a measure to protect natural resources, including the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep, as well as other desert animals, plants and the fragile desert ecosystem.
The popular Bump & Grind trail complex is located within the Magnesia Spring State Ecological Reserve, managed by the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG). As this Ecological Reserve was acquired to preserve habitat for bighorn sheep, CDFG plans to replace the gate to identify the previously closed upper portion of the trail.
More than a decade ago, CDFG negotiated the closure of the upper part of the Bump and Grind Trail because the sheep use a canyon near the trail to birth their lambs and to access known water sources in the upper-elevation Ramon Creek area. As part of the negotiation, other parts of the Bump and Grind Trail within CDFG’s Magnesia Springs Ecological Reserve were allowed to remain open. To provide alternatives, the cities of Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage collaborated with BLM, CDFG and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to build alternative trails in the area.
The gate replacement will now likely occur this summer, after bighorn sheep lambing season is past. The gate will reinforce the existing closure of what is locally known as the “Upper Bump & Grind Trail”. Trail users are asked to use only authorized trails, including the remaining authorized Bump & Grind area trail sections. Your respect for the National Monument and the fragile desert ecosystem is appreciated.
The BLM, in cooperation with CDFG and other Monument partners, will work together to provide public information about the gate installation and trail closure.
Please visit the California Department of Fish and Game website for general information about California Ecological Reserves: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/er/