More the Woodbridge Wilderness Area

My story on the Woodbridge Wilderness Area Master Plan was printed in today’s record, noting that it will not be presented to the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors in December as originally planned.
There were many reasons why the county parks commission chose to hold off on the presentation, the biggest of which that the consulting firm that drew up the plan failed to include how much any of the amenities — or even parts of the project — might cost.
There were other reasons for the delay as well.
Commissioner Mary Fuhs said that many WWA volunteers and residents who live in the nearby area didn’t really want to see a lot of the amenities suggested by the consultants to be included in the master plan.
Those amenities included an amphitheater that could be used to present educational programs; wayfinding signs with information relating to how long the trail loops are; and a 200-foot-long boardwalk that would traverse the length of the meadow inside the WWA.
Many of these amenities were the basis for commissioner Christian Phillips to conclude that the more of them you put in the wilderness area, the more wilderness you’re removing from the area.
He said when you call something a wilderness area, you don’t expect many of the amenities suggested by the consultants to be present.
Parks department director Duncan Jones said amenities such as the boardwalk — an elevated wooden pathway — are becoming more prevalent in parks and wilderness areas across the state.
Boardwalks provide year-round accessibility in wilderness areas, and help reduce erosion.
However, they do take away from the natural aspect of a wilderness area, to which Phillips alluded.
Jones will be bringing a revised master plan to the commission later this year.
The master plan can be found here:

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