Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How Do We Build A Trail?

This following article appears in the latest Bear Yuba Land Trust newsletter. It describes how the Land Trust successfully creates so many local trails:

"Bear Yuba Land Trust has been successful in building a number of trails in recent years in an area where prior to that the only trails were those on public lands managed by the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the State Parks. How did we do it? We did it with partners in each and every case. Trail building is a complex and often difficult task requiring securing trail easements, permits, completing environmental studies, and lining up funds and resources for trail construction. This is where the partners come into the picture with various degrees of involvement.

The Hirschman Trail is a joint venture with the City of Nevada City, the property owner. A Memorandum of Understanding set out the responsibilities of each party. The Land Trust prepared the grant application, designed the trail, prepared specifications and provided oversight during construction while the City was the grant applicant, completed environmental studies, secured permits, assumed accountability for all expenses, contracting, signing, and completion of the grant stipulations. Working together as partners, the trail was completed.

Another recent trail project is the Rattlesnake Ridge Trails which were constructed by volunteers from the Rattlesnake Neighborhood Association and the Land Trust on trail easements donated by the developer of Rattlesnake Ridge and on County Road Right-of-Way. The Neighbors came to the Land Trust for assistance in designing and construction of the trails, providing additional volunteer assistance and securing a County encroachment permit to build the trail. Without this cooperative effort, it’s not likely that the trail system would have been completed.

The Deer Creek Tribute Trail on the north side of Deer Creek was built with the involvement of a very large number of groups including Friends of Deer Creek (Sierra Streams Institute), American Rivers, Champion Road Homeowners Association, City of Nevada City, Bureau of Land Management, Nevada Irrigation District, Sierra Fund, and the Land Trust. Each had a role in the building of the trail which provides a route through Nevada City and downstream paralleling Deer Creek on a combination of sidewalks, roads, trails, and canal banks to a bridge crossing Deer Creek at the lower end of the project. This 8 mile long trail system will soon be complimented by a trail on the south side of Deer Creek from Jordan Street to Providence Mine Road following the abandoned Rough and Ready Ditch. Partners for this project are the City of Nevada City and Sierra Streams Institute.

Other trails and partners include the Loma Rica Trail (Loma Rica Ranch, County of Nevada, Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District), the Cascade Canal and Orene Wetherall Trails (Save Our Historic Canals, Banner Mountain Homeowners, Rotary, Bureau of Land Management and Nevada Irrigation District). The Alan Thiesen Trail was built by Alta Sierra Property Owners Association (ASPOA) and the Land Trust. ASPOA provided funding for the brush clearing and volunteers to assist Land Trust volunteers with the construction and on- going maintenance. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the “Adopt-A-Trail” program where routine trail maintenance is accomplished by volunteers who have agreed to take care of the trail.

Our volunteer with the longest stint, Deane Dvorcek, has been caring for a portion of the Litton Trail since 2004. We currently need Adopt-A-Trail volunteers for Litton, Cascade Canal Access, Orene Wetherall and Hirschman Trails. If you are interested in adopting a trail segment, contact Bill Haire.

Bill Haire Trails Coordinator"

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