As those of you who have received your copy of the Summer 2011 issue of the VWA newsletter Ventana Wilderness Watch
will likely have noted, the VWA is attempting to raise approximately $8,000 from the membership to help complete the restoration of the Stone Ridge Trail. So in lieu of my regular project status update I've decided instead to offer up a retrospective of the restoration work we've done over the past three years, showing how selected portions of trail looked before the work began, how they looked immediately after the restoration work was completed, and how they look today.
The first sequence of photos shows a segment of the Kirk Creek Trail approximately 2.3 miles from Hwy 1. This segment is visible in the background of the photo on page 5 of the newsletter. The original repairs were done by VWA Trail Crew volunteers a few months before the Chalk Fire; major rework was done this spring by a USFS-funded CCC crew.
The next sequence of photos shows a segment of the Stone Ridge Trail on the west side of Hare Canyon, near where trail crosses from the Hare drainage to the Middle Fork drainage. The major rework was done by an ACE crew hired by the VWA. Subsequent maintenance was done by VWA Trail Crew volunteers and ACE crew labor.
The final sequence of photos shows a segment of the Stone Ridge Trail on the west side of Hare Canyon, about ¼ mi from where trail crosses from the Hare drainage to the Middle Fork drainage. The initial rework was done by VWA Trail Crew volunteers, with final rework done by an ACE crew hired by the VWA. Subsequent maintenance was done by VWA Trail Crew volunteers and ACE crew labor.
I selected these particular photo sequences because I think that they show not only that we've done a good job of restoring the trail, but also that we've also done a good job of doing the post-restoration maintenance needed to preserve the investment, even in the face of heavy winter rainfall and fast brush growth. They do not show our more recent work; a representative sample of the work done in spring 2010 may be found in the following status update:http://www.ventanawild.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=440#p1844
and representative samples of the work done during winter/spring 2011 may be found in these status updates:http://www.ventanawild.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=657#p3031http://www.ventanawild.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=694#p3222
As of this writing, we have the Wilderness segment of the Kirk Creek Trail rebuilt and in maintenance mode with a firm commitment from the Pacific Valley engine crew to finish the remaining 0.7-mile segment. We also have all of the Cone Peak Loop rebuilt and in maintenance mode except for the 3.3-mile segment of the Stone Ridge Trail between the Ojito Saddle and the point where it crosses the Stone Ridge. To help fund professional crews to work on this last part we are applying for a grant under the National Forest Foundation's matching awards program. We have $8,000 available from VWA trail funds; we have a commitment for $8,000 from a private donor; and we are asking for another $8,000 from you, the VWA membership. If our NFF grant application is successful, they will match every dollar we come up with. If you think we've done a good job so far, please vote with your wallet to allow us to continue the work.
With thanks for your support,