Thursday, October 7, 2004

New Damage to the Old Big Granite Trail

Hi all, Tom Martin wrote,

Last Sunday, October 3, 2004, Tom Martin, Judy Martin, Leslie Gault, and
Jimmy Green hiked from the trailhead on Huysink Lake Road to the Upper Big
Granite Trail to the old logging road to the Cherry Point Trail to the
Salmon Lake Trail and back to the trailhead.

We noticed that the road off of the Huysink Lake Road was freshly graded.
First we thought that the loggers graded the road to the logging pad at the
end of the road. We were wrong.

They graded past the road leading to the hunters' camp but quickly turned on
the old logging trail just past the turnoff. They graded parallel to the
road to the hunters' camp and continued grading parallel to the Upper Big
Granite Trail for approximately one-third of the distance to the creek
crossing. The grading was done so close to the trail that debris and rock
covered this portion of the trail.

The middle third of the Upper Granite Trail to the creek crossing was
completely destroyed. The remaining third of the Upper Granite Trail to the
creek was untouched, but the logging equipment was still there. An old
logging trail was part of the Upper Granite Trail from the other side of the
creek to the old logging road. This trail was re-graded as a road again
with big earth berms. The entire length of trail was hard to hike.

The US Forestry posted the Upper Granite Trail with a sign at the old
logging road. I always thought that the US Forestry recognized this trail.
Apparently, the US Forestry failed to identify this trail in the
timber-harvesting plan. The loggers did stay approximately 100 feet away
from the creek.

Another well established trail might become extinct due to logging.

The Big Granite Trail once began at Cisco Grove and, passing Huysink Lake at the very head of Big Valley, crossed into Little Granite Creek and dropped down and around east into Big Granite Creek, crossed, and dropped to the North Fork American not far downstream from New York Canyon. Following the construction of roads into Huysink Lake and Pelham Flat and Sugar Pine Point, parts of the Big Granite Trail became roads, and most of the old Sugar Pine Point Trail was utterly destroyed. The section of the Big Granite Trail, from the ridge making the Big Valley/Little Granite Creek divide, down to the crossing of Little Granite Creek, was almost ruined by logging, some twenty years ago or less.

Now it appears it has been further damaged.

Tahoe National Forest, I have heard, thinks of this section of private land, owned by Sierra Pacific Industries, as being "in the queue" of future land acquisitions. I'm afraid I mistakenly though that SPI would hold off on further logging until the purchase could be made.

This is bad news.

No comments: