Thursday, August 25, 2005

Visit to Four Horse Flat

This morning (Wednesday the 24th) Ron Gould of the North Fork American River Alliance (NFARA) and I met Ed Moore of Tahoe National Forest (TNF) and drove up to Yuba Gap, Lake Valley, Forest Road 38, Huysink Lake, and at last to the pass on the divide between Little Granite and Big Valley creeks, to take a look at the recently damaged sections of the historic Big Granite Trail (BGT).

John Skinner, retired Forest Supervisor of Tahoe National Forest, had spoken highly of Ed, suggesting he was just the man to take the matter in hand.

The damage occurred in the late summer and fall of 2004, during a "10% Exemption" timber harvest in Section 9, T16N, R13E, by Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI).

Ed was suitably astounded by the magnitude of the damage. He and Ron discussed the possibility of having volunteers from NFARA fix the trail under TNF's "Adopt a Trail" program, and this looks likely to happen.

There are still many many flowers in bloom down around Four Horse Flat.

There are also still mosquitos.

We walked south and examined the trail crossing of Little Granite Creek, a problem area, but nothing to do with logging, in fact it is in TNF Section 16.

Ed helped me understand how little time and money TNF has to work on these old trails. There is a curious and unfortunate pattern going on: as population increases in California, and the demand for recreational opportunities increases too, TNF's budget has steadily shrunk.

Ed is a tall lean man who has an aura of the Old West about him and has worked here in the Tahoe National Forest since 1970. I'm very glad he somehow found the time to come take a look at this wonderful old trail. It feels like progress.

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