(field notes from SBTS Crew Leader, Henry O'Donnell. week of Feb 6-10)
The crew keeps digging away at 5500’ even though we are going into the middle of February. We have been missing days here and there but not enough weather to keep us off the trail yet. The most exciting thing happening on the job is driving the few miles of dirt road to the work site. Most of it was staying frozen but now that it’s thawing out it feels like driving in six inches of peanut butter on a tile floor. Our excavator is going to be on the trail until the road freezes back up or dries out a lot. This last week was so warm Troy wore shorts and we have been thinking about camping again. The trails are starting to look really good and there is enough light to ride after work now, so I’ll probably be back in my tent unless winter decides to show up. If anyone has time and would like to volunteer with the SBTS crew please contact us. We have currently been working Monday through Friday but if people would like to camp out, enjoy the riding, fishing and do a bit of work with us we can accommodate for weekends. Food and beer will be provided for volunteers. Read More »
Thank you 2012 runners, partners and sponsors! We are looking forward to the Lost Sierra 50k run in 2013!
Join us for our world-class endurance run through the Lakes Basin Recreation Area on September 28th, 2013! The "Lost Sierra" is a 50 kilometer (32- mile) long foot race that starts and ends in the town of Graeagle in the Plumas National Forest.
Join us for our Mountain Epic weekend in beautiful Indian Valley, located 10 miles downstream of Downieville on the sandy banks of the North Yuba River. In typical Mountain Epic fashion, we’re gearing up for a fun-filled, family-friendly weekend of recreating, relaxing, BBQ-ing, camping under the stars, and restoring sweet Sierra singletrack. Read More »
Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship member and local Clio resident Phil Kaznowski is shown here having fun at Susanville Ranch Park. Besides being a killer rider and skier, Phil knows how to build sweet singletrack. Phil volunteered frequently when we built the Mills Peak Trail and he jumped at the chance to play a part in the new 1.4 mile lower loop off the main Mills Peak Trail. After the trail was scratched in on a volunteer day, Phil took over and has been out there ever since slaving away. The trail rides great now thanks to his hard work. Besides presenting Phil with a nifty SBTS Hoodie sweatshirt, we are officially naming the new trail “Phil’s Loop”. Way to go Phil!
(field notes from SBTS Crew Leader, Henry O'Donnell)
For the most part it was a pretty normal week on the trail. The job site is 1.5 hours away from our tool shed in Graeagle and nobody is camping because of the cold, so we have been taking turns driving and car-pooling as much as possible. We have been falling trees just as much or more than we have been digging. This entire trail system was burnt several years ago and the dead trees are rotting out and falling on the trail everywhere. There were so many down trees when we first got to this job that the trails were virtually closed.
There is no maintenance plan for this trail system once we leave so we are doing everything we can to make our work last as long as possible. There are so many dead standing trees lining the trail we will never be able to cut all the ones that can reach the trail, but we are trying to get everything that will obviously land in the trail. Read More »
(field notes from SBTS Crew Leader, Henry O'Donnell)
This week was pretty normal at work there was no camping in the extreme cold or dealing with animals in the middle of the night. We all decided to commute for the week so we car pooled as much as possible. The drive from our tool barn in Graeagle to the job is three hours round trip so it made for a lot of driving. We had some cloudy weather and a little rain one day. We had to cancel work on Friday because there were 60 MPH winds forecasted which would make very hazardous conditions under 100 foot tall burnt dead trees.
The SBTS crew continued doing restoration work on the Antelope / Taylor Lake Trail from the Middle Creek Trail intersection back toward Antelope Lake. This entire trail system does not appear to get much use except from the mountain lions, deer and bears. When a trail doesn’t get much use it is difficult to keep Mother Nature from reclaiming it. Read More »
(field notes from SBTS crew leader, Henry O'Donnell)
When we first went back to work at Antelope Lake, Coz and I decided we were going to camp, even though we were seeing cat tracks everywhere and knew it would be getting really cold. The first night wasn’t that bad; we had plenty of easy to get firewood and built a huge campfire. It was dark by 5:15 and as soon as the sun went down the temperature dropped below freezing and the party was over.
The second night I decided to take home some firewood, so Coz stayed and camped by himself. He said he crawled into his camper early, but at about 1:30 in the morning he woke up to the sound of a mountain lion checking out our camp ,only three feet away from his truck. He opened up his window and shouted at the cat to scare it off, but the thing came back no more that twenty minutes later. The second time it came back, Coz pulled out his 22. caliber woodsman and fired several shots into the air. This kept the cat away for the rest of the night. By Thursday morning the temperature was down to 17 degrees, so we decided that would be our last day camping on the job.
I am an avid hiker and have been a resident of Plumas County since 2007. I moved here from Seattle with my husband who is from the South Lake Tahoe area. When we were deciding where to live, we came to visit this area and instantly fell in love; we knew it was the place for us! With tons of hiking trails and lakes really close by, it was actually overwhelming. Local after local told us of this "must have" hiking book, ‘Feather River Country Adventure Trails’ written by Tom De Mund. So we picked up the book and started exploring. Each weekend we would drink our coffee and decide which trail to hike and which lake to swim all with the help of this wonderful book. Even after being here for over 4 years we still look to the book for information when we want to hike somewhere new or if we have friends in town and haven't tried a particular hike, the book gives you all the details you need! Working with the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, I’ve seen first hand how passionate people from all over are about these trails. It makes me so happy to know people like Tom, who has not only made this great book, he is also making contributions to help us maintain and build the trails we all know and love! Without people like Tom and his family, we couldn’t make it happen.
We’re putting the final touches on our 2011 trail season and we have a few exciting and humbling highlights we’d like to share with you. For starters, we hosted 18 Trail Daze events between the months of April and December (5 in Tahoe Forest and 13 in Plumas Forest). Combined, these volunteer workdays attracted 491 volunteers and produced 3,728 labor hours. These same devoted volunteers travelled 63,201 miles to help maintain and enhance our treasured trails.
And while these numbers are impressive, they’re also important. Because as part of our grants and agreements with the Forest Service, we’re required to provide a 25% in-kind contribution, which can be achieved through volunteer labor, travel, materials and tools. Our 2011 in-kind contribution towards federally funded trail projects is $175,362.
Producing an in-kind contribution of this magnitude not only requires a dedicated volunteer base, it demands a passionate and professional staff, and a sizable amount of food and beer. At the peak of this year’s trail season, SBTS employed 17 Plumas and Sierra County residents (there are currently 5 of us) with an annual payroll of $372,000. Read More »