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George and Vie Obern honored for life-long advocacy

California activists have led the fight for trails and greenways since 1960s

From the Fall 2004 issue of Trail Tracks, the national newsletter of American Trails

photo of George and Vie Obern opening a trail in the 1970s
George and Vie Obern opening a trail in the 1970s (click for larger photo)

American Trails is adding its voice to the chorus of honors received this year by long-time trail advocates George and Vie Obern. Since the 1960s they have been active with trails both in their home county of Santa Barbara as well as on the national scene. They have been regular attendees of the National Trails Symposium for many years.

A popular trail that runs seven miles along Atascadero Creek has been officially named the Obern Trail to honor the couple's efforts. The trail was first proposed in 1967 as a result of Vie Obern's work with the land development process in the Santa Barbara area.

The Oberns also developed relationships with elected officials and worked to build support for trails and greenways at every level.

photo of George and Vie Obern in 2004
George and Vie Obern in 2004 (click for larger photo)

Additional recognition came from the California Legislature and U. S. Representative Lois Capp. The citation in the Congressional Record states that "George and Vie Obern have dedicated themselves to improving conditions for bicyclists, hikers and equestrians." The couple ride their own horses and have been riding a tandem bicycle for 30 years.


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