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Cone Peak Trails Network Project Status Update 2016-07-20

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Cone Peak Trails Network Project Status Update 2016-07-20

Postby C M Heard on Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:21 pm

Hello everybody,

Notwithstanding the silence on this Forum since the last status update on 2014-06-19, we have not been idle on the Cone Peak Trails Network. We have in fact accomplished a great deal, even though we have not done all that we would have liked. Our accomplishments include:

• Completion of poison oak clearing on the upper Vicente Flat Trail (summer 2014);
• Logging out of the Cone Peak Trails Network (fall 2014 - winter 2015);
• Installation of signs at key trail junctions (NCRT/Gamboa, Gamboa/Cone Peak, Gamboa/Stone Ridge, Stone Ridge/Goat Camp, winter-spring 2015);
• Brushing on 0.3 mile of the upper Gamboa Trail (winter 2015);
• Brushing on 0.4 mile of the North Coast Ridge Trail (spring 2015);
• Brushing and tread maintenance on 0.3 mile of the lower Cone Peak Trail (spring 2015);
• Brushing and tread maintenance on 0.4 mile of the Stone Ridge Trail in the Hare drainage (summer 2015);
• Brushing on 1.7 miles of the lower Vicente Flat Trail (fall 2015);
• Maintenance of drainage structures on the upper Vicente Flat Trail and the lower Cone Peak Trail (fall 2015);
• Brushing and tread maintenance on 1.5 miles of the Kirk Creek Trail from the wilderness boundary toward the mouth of Hare Canyon (spring 2016);
• Logging out of the short Cone Peak Loop (North Coast Ridge Trail, upper Gamboa Trail, Cone Peak Trail, spring 2016).

We have not conducted any ACE crew hitches on the Cone Peak Trails Network since fall 2013, but we have had significant contributions from student volunteers with the VWA's Youth in Wilderness (YiW) program, and we have worked with two AmeriCorps National Community Conservation Corps (NCCC) teams. We have also received significant contributions from VWA Trail Crew volunteers and USFS fire personnel. Here are some pictures of the work:

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Upper Vicente Flat Trail 2014-07-04, before poison oak clearing

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Upper Vicente Flat Trail 2014-07-04, after poison oak clearing

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Downed tanoak cleared near Vicente Flat Camp 2015-02-17

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Newly installed sign at NCRT/Gamboa Trail junction 2015-02-19

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Students from Cal Poly Escapes on the Gamboa Trail 2015-02-21

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Students from UCSC Rec on the North Coast Ridge Trail 2015-05-09

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AmeriCorps NCCC Class 21 Blue 5 Team at Nacimiento Campground 2015-05-22

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Cone Peak Trail 2015-05-22, following rework by AmeriCorps NCCC Blue 5 Team and LPF E-16 Fire Crew

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Stone Ridge Trail 2015-07-02, before brushing and tread work

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Stone Ridge Trail 2015-07-12, after brushing and tread work

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Students from Cal Poly Escapes at Vicente Flat Camp 2015-10-18

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Students from UCSC Rec on the Vicente Flat Trail 2015-11-14

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Waterbar on upper Vicente Flat Trail 2015-11-29

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Kirk Creek Trail 2016-03-26, before brushing and tread work

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Kirk Creek Trail 2016-03-30, after brushing and tread work

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AmeriCorps NCCC Class 22 Silver 3 Team at work on the Kirk Creek Trail 2016-04-21

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AmeriCorps NCCC Class 22 Silver 3 Team at the Ventana Wilderness boundary 2016-04-21

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Log out in progress on upper Gamboa Trail

The VWA wishes to acknowledge the support of the National Forest Foundation in making this work possible. Matching Awards Program grants AF-514, AH-504, and AH-508 helped to fund staff time necessary to provide technical supervision for the YiW volunteers and the NCCC teams.

Although we accomplished a lot, we have not managed to keep up with the maintenance needs on the Cone Peak Trails Network. Hoped-for accomplishments during the past two years included:

• Brushing on 1.2 miles of the upper Gamboa Trail (0.9 mile shortfall);
• Brushing on 1.5 miles of the North Coast Ridge Trail (1.1 mile shortfall);
• Brushing and tread maintenance on 2.1 miles of the Cone Peak Trail (1.8 mile shortfall);
• Brushing and tread maintenance on 0.8 mile of the Stone Ridge Trail (0.4 mile shortfall);
• Brushing and tread maintenance on 2.7 miles of the Kirk Creek Trail (1.2 mile shortfall);
• Logging out of the entire Cone Peak Trails Network by the end of each season.

In addition to the shortfall on planned work on the above trail segments, natural forces have added to the backlog. In particular, the upper 0.5 mile segment of the Vicente Flat Trail has gotten extremely brushy in the three years since it was last reworked by a CCC crew in spring 2013, a large slide has damaged a portion of the Kirk Creek Trail between Espinosa Camp and the mouth of Hare Canyon, and because of downed trees the entire network is in need of logging out. In order to deal with the highest priority deferred maintenance tasks, the following work is planned for the coming year:

• Using volunteers based at Kirk Creek Campground, perform brushing and tread maintenance on the upper Vicente Flat Trail as needed to it restore to pack stock standards;
• Using an ACE crew based at Vicente Flat Camp, perform brushing and tread maintenance on 1.5 miles of the Stone Ridge Trail and 1.0 mile of the Kirk Creek Trail;
• Using volunteers and USFS fire personnel, install new trail signs at the junction of the Kirk Creek Trail and the Stone Ridge Trail;
• Using USFS fire personnel, brush out the lower 0.7 mile of the Kirk Creek Trail (below the wilderness boundary) and the lower 0.4 mile of the Cone Peak Trail;
• Using volunteers, brush out 1.1 miles of the North Coast Ridge Trail;
• Using volunteers, perform a complete log-out of the Cone Peak Trails Network by spring 2017.

We have an ACE crew tentatively scheduled for October 12-19, 2016; the work on the Vicente Flat Trail will need to be done in advance of that date in order to make pack stock support for that crew possible. The remainder of the work will be scheduled later in the season. Volunteer opportunities will be advertised on the VWA Meetup page (http://www.meetup.com/Ventana-Wilderness-Alliance-Meetup/) and on the VWA Event Calendar (http://www.ventanawild.org/aboutus/about-events.html).

Thanks and regards,

Mike Heard
C M Heard
 
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:45 pm

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