Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Need for Trail Volunteer Workforce Continues to Grow

Clearing 50-inch OHV Trail
Mendocino NF

Between April 27-30, 2017, up to 4 trail clearing crews comprised of certified volunteer chainsaw operators,  other volunteers, and Forest Service recreation staff worked together to clear recreation trails and roads impacted by downed trees and/or overgrown vegetation. 

Private Sector/FS Trail Clearing Crew

The coordinated effort took place at the Stonyford OHV Area on the Grindstone Ranger District which is located on the Mendocino National Forest in Northern California.  This is part of the ongoing volunteer trail program managed by agency staff in cooperation with private sector recreation stakeholders.

Trying out the Kobalt 80 Volt Electric 14-Inch Chainsaw

 According to the agency, the south end of the Grindstone Ranger District offers over 200 miles of some of the most enjoyable and challenging OHV routes in the nation. The "Mendocino OHV Corridor" is a designated 40 mile, east-west route across the south end of the Forest connecting the Stonyford OHV Staging Area and the Upper Lake OHV Staging Area.

Before Brushing on Trail 20

The riding area varies in elevation from 1,700 feet (at Fouts Springs), to almost 6,000 feet (near Goat Mountain). Vegetation varies from low elevation chaparral to tall pine and fir forest in the high country.

After Brushing on Trail 20

The Grindstone Ranger District not only offers access to high quality OHV recreation, but its extensive route network provides motorized access to non-motorized activities such as equestrian use and hiking in various Wilderness areas, fishing in streams and lakes, and dispersed camping in the backcountry.

Clearing Log on Forest Road M10 for Motorized Access
to Non-Motorized Recreation

The Forest Service states it established a policy for training and use of cross-cut and chain saws. Sawyers covered by those policies often maintain trails on national forests and grasslands, help fight wildfires, and work in wilderness where crosscut saws are required. The national saw directive standardizes training, evaluation, certification, and safety procedures for sawyers operating on lands managed by the agency.


Volunteers taking the chainsaw course need to become Red Cross certified in First Aid, CPR, and AED.  It is a requirement for chainsaw certification. QWR encourages trainees to take the course well ahead of the chainsaw class.

Monitoring Soil Catch Basins/Trail Conditions 
Example of Functioning Sediment Catch Basin and Rolling Dip

Managing sustainable OHV and other recreation programs on federal lands is a complex challenge in the 21st Century.  QWR believes the need for a trained professional volunteer workforce will continue to grow as federal agencies roll out new programs such as the Forest Service’s National Trail Strategy or face fiscal impacts such as budget cutbacks.

A Motorcycle-Based Chainsaw/Swamp Team
Steve Freitas/Valley Climbers MC (L) and Don Amador (R)

QWR wants to thank the Mendocino National Forest, Oakland Motorcycle Club, Polka Dots Motorcycle Club, Valley Climbers Motorcycle Club, and the other work party volunteers for their commitment to helping maintain access to high quality motorized and non-motorized recreation on public lands.

No comments:

Post a Comment