What is the Lost and Found? It’s a bike race, or a bike ride, depending on your state of mind, taking place on May 31st, and it is best explained here.
Beyond the basic nuts and bolts of the ride itself, The Lost and Found is a very important event for us here at SBTS. This event, along with the Lost Sierra trail run and the Downieville Classic, is a crucial component of our fundraising. We put on these events in order to bring people to this area, challenge their abilities, and showcase a place that we are proud to call home. The money raised from entry fees for these events then gets fed directly back into our trail restoration, maintenance and building efforts. Our trail crews are all locally hired, and we gear our work toward enhancing not just the trails in this area, but also bringing some economic life into the region.
At both the state and federal level, grant funding is becoming scarce. This is a basic, hard to swallow reality of the current economic climate. If we were to rely solely on grants, we’d have to put down the tools and close up shop at some point. As such, these events, as well as other fundraisers such as Trailfest and our Five Buck a Foot campaigns, along with our membership dues, become more and more important in helping us continue to do what we founded this whole stewardship thing for in the first place – build, restore, and maintain the best trails on the planet. Read More »
The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS), in partnership with the Tahoe National Forest and the community of Loyalton, began work on April 1st on converting the historic Boca & Loyalton railroad grade to a Forest Service system trail for non-motorized recreation.
The Boca & Loyalton Railroad was said to have had the greatest effect in assisting with the growth of the economy in the Sierra Valley, running for 26 miles from the town site of Boca (between Verdi and Truckee on Interstate 80) to Loyalton. It was constructed in 1901 and ran until 1916, hauling timber from the outer reaches of the mountains to the sawmills in Loyalton, which at the time had 5 mills in operation.
The work will focus on restoring approximately 8- miles of the historic railroad grade to meet Forest Service specification for a non-motorized, shared-use trail. Specifically, the type of work will include: clearing brush from the trail corridor, removing root wads from the tread area, re-constructing damaged sections of tread, building rock structures and drains to armor the tread and to protect from sedimentation in the nearby Smithneck Creek.
SBTS plans to host a volunteer workday on April 19th and you are invited to participate. The event is open to all ages and abilities. In addition to tools and trail crew leaders, SBTS will provide beverages, breakfast bagels and a sack lunch.
Funding for this project is provided through a grant from Sierra County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC). Read More »
The first part of 2014 has tested our resolve on several fronts, and at times those of us central to the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship have had some grim thoughts about the future of recreational trail access in this area. In light of that, it is a great honor to announce that The California Trails and Greenways Conference has noticed that we’re doing some good work up here, and has recognized our Storrie Student Trail Program with a merit award.
This program is something that has evolved out of our growing sense of community, and is tied in with our belief that sustainable trails are part of a broader community health. It ties our desire to see better, more carefully built and planned trails in with our goal of hiring and training a local workforce, and dovetails in with our conviction that education about the environment and the benefits of being involved with its stewardship are something that people of all ages and all walks of life should be able to get behind.
As the program took shape and came to life, it became a labor of love for us, and especially for our determined crew leaders Cody Clayton, Morgan Koons and Mandy Beatty. For them, it was a summer-long commitment, taking a crew of local high schoolers into the backcountry and immersing them for weeks at a time in all aspects of trail work. The kids emerged at the end of the summer strong, focused, and with new skills ranging from wilderness first aid to rock wall construction. Read More »
SBTS will hire a total of 8 students from Chester, Greenville, Quincy, Oroville and Portola area High Schools, Ages 16-17 (ideally Sophomore of Junior level), for a summer trail work program on the Pacific Crest Trail in the Plumas National Forest.
Members will be supervised by 2- adult Crew Leaders that are familiar with the work area, are experts in trail restoration, and are well rehearsed in backcountry safety. Members will live in tents, and cook their own meals. Food and transportation will be provided.
• Basic Trail Maintenance Certification
• Hand Tool Maintenance Certification
• Cross Cut/Hand Saw Certification
• Griphoist Certification
• Assist in the Development of an Emergency Action Plan
The SBTS crew went back to work on the Spanish Traverse trail where conditions remained very rocky digging with excavator and lots of thick brushy areas that had to be logged out to clear the way for the excavator. Some of the heavy wooded areas had more then a foot of duff that needed to be raked out to keep the excavator moving. The Spanish Traverse trail has been very rocky and slow moving with the excavator. So any advantage to keep excavator moving as quickly as possible is being taken. Also super volunteer days are scheduled to do some finish work on the Spanish Traverse trail taking advantage of the nice weather.
The crew has had great successes in these past weeks, with more than a mile of trail being built. With a strong showing of super volunteers, more than 1,300 feet of trail is 100 % finished. The crew is now dropping down to Spanish Creek at Oakland camp and switchbacks are being installed. These are very time consuming with the very rocky terrain, but turning out nicely. The weather has been very warm on the south-facing mountain in the afternoon. We have received some much-needed rain that was nice to keep the dust down. It’s been very dusty and dry! Every day we’ve seen hikers or mountain bikers come by and they are very excited about the work being done.
With the lower traverse connecting to both ends of the Spanish Ridge trail, users now have a full loop to do and loving it.
When we founded this stewardship, there were plenty of companies that didn’t quite know what to make of us. We were at the outset a bunch of mountain bikers who were getting our heads around a much bigger picture that would ultimately embrace all forms of recreation, but at the time were still viewed by some strictly as “those mountain bikers.” From those early days, one company chose to see past that, and believe in the journey we were setting out upon.
Today, Patagonia has many core members in the SBTS, and Patagonia matches their employee donations 100%. Patagonia employees are encouraged by the company to come out and work on trails with us, to the extent that we can host dedicated Patagonia trail work-days on a quarterly basis. Patagonia has offered its employees paid internships with the stewardship, and those interns logged over 160 hours of trail work last year. Patagonia has adopted the Long Lake Connector Trail. Patagonia contributes frequently and generously to our raffles and auctions, which in turn greatly helps our fundraising efforts. And Patagonia donated 500 shirts to our program last year, allowing us to outfit new members, volunteers and staff. Read More »
Formed in 2003, the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) is a volunteer driven 501c3 non-profit whose primary goal is the maintenance and enhancement of trails throughout the Sierra. SBTS employs as many as 15 full-time employees, most of which are Plumas and Sierra County residents, with an annual payroll of right around $425,000. In addition to a paid trail crew, SBTS has donated over 40,000 hours of volunteer labor to National Forests and State Parks, maintaining over 150 miles of shared use trails, including the creation of 50+ miles of new trails. While these trails see over 200,000 users per year, they continue to maintain a level “A” standing, due in large part to all the hard work of SBTS staff and volunteers. This organization is not only a shining example of what a small group of dedicated, passionate people can do for an area, it is a demonstration of economic efficiency when no alternatives exist.
The SBTS crew had to push back the volunteer day a week do to some much needed winter weather, but once we saw that Saturday the 8th was going to be clear, we got to work. With only a four day notice for a work day we still got 11 people to come out and work on the Quincy South Park trail system.
The plan for the day was to focus on finish work on the Spanish Traverse trail. Even though it was a small turnout there was a big punch of energy with these volunteers! We started out with our usual coffee and bagles then lunch fixings and then went to work. Trail crew leader Henry O'Donnell gave an explanation of what he wanted done and the volunteers went to work.
Throughout the first couple of hundred yards he was doing a fair amount of finish wok behind the crew, then all of a sudden they got it. He continued to do quality control behind the group but was moving along quick. We were even joined by a Quincy Trail Kid, Jackson, who kept up pace with the adults and had a great time! By the time the day was over we finished 2700 feet of trail. At the end of the day the crew picked up some pizza from Round Table and we celebrated the work we completed.
A big thank you to the volunteers who came out to dig with us! Read More »
Join us for our world-class endurance run through the Lakes Basin Recreation Area on September 6th, 2014! The Lost Sierra Endurance Run is a 50- kilometer (32- mile) long foot race, highlighting some of the most incredible terrain and scenic beauty the northern Sierra has to offer. And it includes our favorite network of trails in the spectacular Lakes Basin Recreation Area. The racecourse starts in downtown Graeagle, climbs to the crest of the Sierra, skirts the edges of a half-dozen alpine lakes, summits two rugged peaks, and then descends 4,000’ back into Graeagle for the finish.