The Beckwourth Peak Recreation Project area includes the construction of a new 19.79 mile long trail.
The Beckwourth Peak Recreation Project includes the NEPA/CEQA (environmental documentation and surveys) and the construction of a new 19.79 mile long multi-use trail, connecting the City of Portola with the recreation community of Gold Mountain.
The Beckwourth Peak Recreation Project is located on the Beckwourth Ranger District of the Plumas National Forest, and the Sierraville Ranger District of the Tahoe National Forest within Plumas County. The project area ranges from approximately 5,000 feet to the slopes of Beckwourth Peak at approximately 6,000 feet above sea level. The habitat is mixed conifer, areas of meadows, open rocky areas, rock outcrops, and mountain tops.
Description of Proposed Action:
As part of the NEPA documentation, field surveys will be conducted and include coverage for Heritage, Wildlife, Hydrology and Botany. The survey area is defined as a 100 foot wide corridor that is 19.79 miles long, which equals 380 acres. A buffer of 100 feet from field identification, will be utilized to avoid areas of sensitivity and for best management of resources.
The proposed action also includes the construction of 19.79 miles of trail to and around Beckwourth Peak. Approximately 6 miles of trail, on the south side of Beckwourth Peak, is located on the Tahoe NF. Designated trailheads will be located in the city of Portola and the Gold Mountain Community.
The trail’s designed use would be for mountain bikes and the managed use for all non- motorized uses (hike, bike, and horseback). Trail specifications would reflect Trail Class 3 development. Standard width of the trail will be 24 inches, with the trail widening slightly on the side slopes and other areas as necessary to promote safety and resource protection. The native surface and material will be utilized with no foreign materials being incorporated into the trail. Gravel and rock will be acquired on site. Target grades will not exceed 10% with maximum short pitches within 15%. When necessary, vegetation will be cleared from the trail corridor approximately 72 inches wide and 96 inches high. Turning radius for switchbacks will fall between 4 and 8 feet.
The required NEPA/CEQA documentation and surveys is estimated to cost $76,450. Construction is estimated to cost $522,456 (104,491 feet @ $5 per foot).
The Beckwourth Peak Recreation Project is a 19.8- mile long multi-use trail connecting the City of Portola, from Main Street downtown, with the recreation community of Gold Mountain. The Beckwourth Peak Recreation Project is also a key component to the Eastern Plumas County Trails Master Plan that was developed through a series of public meetings happening between 2008 and 2019. With more than 70% of the surrounding lands being managed by the USDA Forest Service, recreational trails and access to public lands were identified as the highest priority, and what came to be called the Beckwourth Peak Recreation Project was seen as the #1 project priority. The downtown Main Street will be the trailhead for the eastern terminus of the trail and the community of Nakoma will be the trailhead for the western terminus of the trail. The adjoining properties are owned by Eastern Plumas Health Care and Plumas Unified School District. There are currently no public recreational opportunities on these Forest Service lands or private properties.
- April 2009 – Route concept identified and mapped from Portola to Carmen Saddle, via Beckwourth Peak (route concept is part of current BPRP)
- October 2009 -Route concept approved by Plumas National Forest, Beckwourth Ranger District, City of Portola, Woodbridge at Portola (private landowner adjacent to City of Portola and Plumas Forest property), Plumas Unified School District, Eastern Plumas Health Care, Plumas County Chapter of Fish & Game.
- January 2010 – SBTS secured $50,000 in matching construction funds from the Plumas County Chapter of Fish & Game
- February 25, 2010 – Grant submitted on behalf of SBTS to Plumas County Resource Advisory Council (RAC), with the support of Beckwourth District Ranger, to perform the flagging and GIS mapping, NEPA/CEQA documentation and new construction of a 12- mile long multi-use trail connecting Portola with Carmen Saddle
- RAC Grant was approved and awarded $34,853
- Plumas Forest Supervisors Office later decided NEPA/CEQA documentation and new construction activities were not allowed under these types of Federal grant funds (Secure Rural Schools) and grant funding was denied
- SBTS returned $50,000 in matching construction funds from the Plumas County Chapter of Fish & Game
- October 29, 2019 – NEPA/CEQA completed and Decision Memo signed by Beckwourth Ranger District, Plumas national Forest
- October 29, 2019 – Project “Shovel Ready”. Estimated cost to construct $530,000
- June 1, 2019 – Portola City Park SBTS hosted community meeting to collect public input.
- June 7, 2019 – Portola Jr/Sr High School SBTS hosted community meeting to collect public input
- July 2, 2019 – Portola Rotary Club SBTS hosted community meeting to collect public input
- July 10, 2019 – Portola City Council SBTS hosted community meeting to collect public input
- July 11, 2019 – Portola City Park (Trailhead) SBTS hosted community meeting to collect public input
- 4- Portola community meetings were held:
- April 23, 2013, May 21, 2013, November 26, 2013 and February 21, 2014
- Meetings focused on the planning and development of motorized and non-motorized recreational trails in the Portola area.
- Meetings were advertised through personal invitation, posted flyers in the City of Portola and Beckwourth Ranger Station, SBTS social media outlets: Facebook, mass email notices and website.
- Attendees included residents and business owners of Portola and residents of surrounding Plumas and Sierra County communities, Plumas National Forest staff, Plumas County Supervisors, Plumas County Public Works staff, City of Portola Mayor and Council Members, Portola Rotary Club, Trails for Recreation and Community, Sierra Access Coalition, Backcountry Horsemen, Plumas Unified School District, Portola Jr/Sr High School, Feather River Land Trust, Eastern Plumas Health Care, Plumas County Chapter of Fish & Game, Plumas Audubon Society, Eastern Plumas Chamber of Commerce, Plumas Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative.
- April 23, 2013 and May 21, 2013 – Topographic maps were made available for meeting attendees to provide input on potential routes they’d like to see developed.
- April, 2013 – June 2013 – Topographic maps were posted at Portola City Hall, Portola Public Library and at the Brewing Lair (a popular local business).
- July 2013 – October, 2013 – Topographic maps were collected and all public route information was input into 1- Draft Trails Master Plan map for the Portola area.
- November 26, 2013 – Draft Trails Master Plan map for the Portola area was introduced and Final Trails Master Plan was approved by the public.
- February 21, 2014 – Trail priorities were discussed and developed as a result of Final Trails Master Plan.
- Beckwourth Peak Recreation Trail was established as the number one priority for the community of Portola.
City of Portola
- March 12, 2014 – Adopted Resolution of Support #2198 for Trails Master Plan
- January 18, 2017 – Adopted Resolution of Support #2304 for Beckwourth Peak Recreation Trail
PNF Beckwourth Ranger District
- June 2016 through November 2016 – Trail flagged and GIS mapped by volunteers and Beckwourth Ranger District staff
- September 25, 2017 – Project Description and proposed route map posted to Plumas National Forest website – https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52465
- Public Comments solicited –
- Information about the Beckwourth Peak Recreation Project and how to provide comments was posted to Plumas National Forest website on September 26, 2017 and letters were mailed to the public and government agencies on October 3, 2017
- Area Tribal Council was informed of the project and consulted with 2017/2018
- No comments were received from tribes
- Public comments were received from September 26, 2017 through November 6, 2017
- 188 comments total- majority in support of the trail
- Scope of Work
- April 30, 2019 – Scope of Work signed by Tahoe National Forest, Sierraville Ranger District and Plumas National Forest, Beckwourth Ranger District
Gold Mountain Community and Gold Mountain Board of Directors Meetings
- November 9th, 2018 All Gold Mountain Homeowners Association members were invited to a town hall gathering to discuss the Beckwourth Peak Recreation project. The event was held in the theater of Altitude Recreation Center. Presenters will included Greg Williams of Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship and Forrest Huisman, Director of Capital Projects, Tahoe Donner Association
- Meeting was advertised through group email, personal invitation, posted flyers and mailed letters
- March 18, 2019 Gold Mountain Board of Directors voted to approve the connection between the community of Gold Mountain and Plumas National Forest and the Beckwourth Peak Recreation Trail