Board Members 


Our Board is composed of experienced trail volunteers and trail professionals that have worked on local, regional, and statewide trail and greenway issues.

Several of our CTGF Board Members work for public agencies dealing with trail, open space, and greenway systems at all levels of government. Board members have volunteered to serve on Trail Committees, Park Commissions and non-profit organization at the local and state level. We are advocates for equestrian, hiking, mountain biking, and water trails throughout the state.

Four of our current CTGF Board members (Marayanne Vanico, Cathy Haagen-Smit, Ilse Byrnes, and John Mercurio) served on the former California Recreational Trails Committee. This was a Governor appointed position that advised State Parks on trails and greenways. 

In 1999 Ilse Byrnes was presented with the "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the State Trails and Greenways Conference. This award recognizes Ilse for more then 25 years of volunteering her personal time on behalf of California Trails and Greenways.



Contact Information & Biographies

 Ilse M. Byrnes  - San Juan Capistrano

Ilse Byrnes was appointed to the CRTC in 1986 by then Gov. Deukmejian. In 1978 she was appointed to the city of San Juan Capistrano's Open Space-Trails and Equestrian Commission, and still holds that position today.
Ms. Byrnes was instrumental in getting the 501(c)3 for CTGF. Ilse is currently a member of the California Roundtable on Recreation, Parks and Tourism. She advised the Board of Supervisors in Orange County and worked on the Green Vision Report and is still involved with that program for open space and trails in Orange County, California.

 Mary CahillNewcastle

Mary Cahill is the General Manager for the Cameron Park Community Services District. She has been in the Park and Recreation profession for over 20 years. In addition to being a board member for the California Trails Foundations, she is on the Executive Board for the California Roundtable on Recreation, Parks and Tourism, a member of California Parks and Recreation Society and the National Recreation and Parks Association and the initiator and Director of the California Special Sports program held for 30 years in Mammoth Lakes.

Bob GageButte Valley

Bob, is the current Backcountry Horsemen of California Vice President for Public Lands. He is an avid trail rider and the current President of the Sutter Buttes Unit of the Back Country Horsemen of California. Bob was raised in Chico, California and is a Viet Nam Veteran. He attended Butte Community College, CSUC and Stanford University to complete his education. He retired from a career in the Medical Field in 1992 and currently owns and operates a small horse ranch in Northern California.


Cathy Haagen-Smit  (Secretary)- Newcastle

Cathy Haagen-Smit is both a road and mountain bike advocate in public lands protection with various groups, volunteering as an International Mountain Bicycling Association state representative and as a member of the local Sierra Club (Placer Group) Executive Committee. She is a member of the Placer County Trails Forum, which works with county parks staff and other user-group representatives on multi-use trails issue in her region.  Her more than fifteen years in volunteer trail activities, includes attending six trail building schools, a dozen California Trails Conferences, and World Mountain Bike Summits. One of the newest board members, Cathy serves as the current secretary.  


 John Mercurio  (Treasurer) - Concord

John Mercurio has been active in trail issues sine the late 1980s, beginning in his home town of Concord. His involvement, initially local advocacy, has expanded to service on various governmental boards, commissions and committees having involvement with trails. Soon after realizing his passion for non-motorized trails, John began participating in volunteer trail construction and maintenance projects. His interest in trails has also led him to attend many state, national and international trail conferences, providing educational and networking opportunities. With his wife and two daughters, John is a trail user among several user groups including hiking, biking, running, in-line skating and cross country skiing. John was appointed to the California Recreational Trails Committee by Governor Davis in 2001, reappointed by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2005, and was serving as chair when the committee was disbanded in 2012. He currently serves on the East Bay Regional Park District Park Advisory Committee and the California Recreational Trails Program Advisory Board. He is former chair of the Concord Parks, Recreation and Open Space Commission. His memberships include the Pacific Crest Trail Association and the Rails to Trails Conservancy of which he is a charter member.


Maryanne Vancio (Vice-President) - San Diego

Maryanne has been an advocate for non-motorized, multi-use trails for more than 25 years. In June 2002, the County of San Diego hired Maryanne as the lead staff to coordinate and manage the planning, design and development of a new County Trails Program that was unanimously approved by the Board of supervisors in January 2005. Since then, she has been able to bring statewide and national recognition to the County for its innovative approach to trails program development. As the County Trails Coordinator, she is responsible for implementing 22 individual community trail plans and the countywide regional trails plan.


Jeff Weinstein (President) - Riverside

Jeff Weinstein is a private consultant for parks, open space, and trail issues. He is a Certified Interpretive Guide with the National Association for Interpretation. Jeff has over 30 years of experience in project management, volunteer coordination, parks and trails planning. In the past he has held the position as the Trails and Open Space Specialist for the City of Glendale and the Trails Coordinator for Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and the City of Riverside. Jeff is currently working with the City of Glendale Community Services and Parks Department on interpretive and volunteer programs. He is a Volunteer Field Naturalist with the Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo in Orange County and a Volunteer at the Ameal Moore Nature Center in Riverside.