Upper Lake Ranger District Volunteer Team
Mendocino National Forest
Culture is described by Merriam-Webster as a set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.
QWR believes the partnership that exists on numerous Forest Service and BLM units between user groups and agency staff is helping foster a “Trail Culture” that bodes well for future collaborative efforts to maintain sustainable trails.
Pre-Event Work Day to Stage Materials
A recent example of a federal unit that has integrated a trail culture mindset into its recreation program is the Upper Lake Ranger District (ULRD) on the Mendocino National Forest.
MCMA Club Members,FS Recreation Staff, and LE Officer
Install Peeler Core Trail Barriers
To help the agency address several important trail improvement projects, the ULRD staff worked with the Hayward Motorcycle Club, Marin County Motorcycle Association, Quiet Warrior Racing, and the BlueRibbon Coalition to armor three new OHV water crossings which needed culvert bank reinforcements before the arrival of any large rain event.
Pre-Event Work Day Staging Materials at Culvert Armor Project
There was also an old forest-health project related skid-road that had been receiving unauthorized OHV use. That use was shortcutting a designated OHV route.
Culvert Bank with Cement Armor and Tread Blocks
The skid-road project included installation of several peeler-core barriers and signs which told the riders the shortcut route is closed to public use.
Volunteers Finish Culvert Bank Armor Project
Success for this trail volunteer event is directly related to the ULRD’s long-standing trail culture which has instilled a sense of shared values, commitment, and responsibility within agency staff and the user community.
FS Recreation Staffer Hauls in Materials
In the weeks and months leading up to the main volunteer work day, there was a lot of event planning that included field trips to assess the resources/materials and number of volunteers needed to complete the mission.
Most importantly there were several pre-event work days to stage key materials at the job sites to help ensure the highest and best use of volunteer time.
Happy Trail Volunteers on Job Well Done
As with other joint agency/user volunteer days there are a number of important take-a-ways to appreciate. First, the project mission is accomplished where both natural resources are protected and
responsible OHV recreation continues. Second, the project helps instill ownership and pride of public lands in the user community as they work to manage sustainable trail systems.
LE, Recreation Staff, and Users Complete Trail Barrier Project
Finally, long-term relationships and trust are cultivated between agency staff and the recreation community as they share sweat equity out on the trail.
QWR wants to thank all FS and BLM units that have embraced the trail culture concept on their unit.
And, we look forward to working with other units that are in the process of creating successful trail-based recreation programs. Working together is a good thing.