Monday, September 19, 2011

Joe Chavez Speaks to BONC

A great big thank you to Joe Chavez of the Tahoe National Forest, who spoke at our BONC gathering last night. As recreational officer, Joe talked about trail projects in four areas of the Tahoe NF: Highway 20, Downieville, Forest City and Grouse Ridge. Each region has a specific trail initiatives. We talked about many items, but like BONC, itself, this recap is focused on Highway 20 and Grouse Ridge. Joe made the following points pertinent to BONC:

In Highway 20 trail projects/re-routes include Scott's Flat and the Pipeline Trail (reroute of the steep trail down to Rock Creek Nature Study Area), whereas Grouse Ridge projects involve extension of the Bowman Mountain Trail, the Lindsey Lakes and Crooked Lakes re-routes and a new trail between Fuller, Rucker and Blue Lakes. You'll see some BONC volunteer efforts at Grouse Ridge soon.

The capitol improvement budget the USFS had for constructing and maintaining trails has all but vanished. Because of this, the Tahoe National Forest relies heavily on BONC, GCTC, etc. to fill the gap. Joe mentioned that focus on new trail projects may be metered out in coming years, as the TNF has so many other projects to focus on and no additional staff or resources.

According to Joe, there is good progress on the Scott's Flat Trail. The Land Trust required some modifications to the original route and the ologists asked for some changes as well, but these are resolved now. Next steps include finalizing the NEPA (environmental docs) for the USFS portion of the trail, then NID will need file CEQA (state enviro docs) for the trail on their lands. NID management is still sorting through all this, so who knows how long it may be before the trail comes down to the lake. Joe hopes to start construction on the trail this fall, if only on the USFS portion.

We still hope to bring in RTP funding for the South Yuba Ridge Trail project, but it may require some volunteer labor. A necessary easement across private land is still in the works.

A terrific meeting. Look for more great speakers at upcoming BONC gatherings soon! You can always support BONC by becoming a member.

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