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John Stewart

Club Clean-up Challenge Nets Donation to BRC

The 2010 Club challenge participants included extreme 4x4 clubs such as the Pirates of the Rubicon, The Rock Gods, the Nor Cal Night Crawlers, the Sonora Posse, the CWB, and the Nor Cal Rock Zombies.  Each club had five vehicles crawling through a timed course, with the fastest time winning. In keeping with the theme of the event, trail awareness is practiced throughout the competition insuring that competitors stay on designated trails and that no environmental damage is done by any competitors, or spectators. After the competition portion, all clubs then proceed to clean-up the entire area of all waste left by others, leaving it cleaner than they had found it. All participants were given custom printed event “Feed bags” to hang as garbage bags of the back of their vehicles, as well as event T-shirts.

Rock Zombie founding member Rob Cook explains, “This competition has become so successful, that 4x4 clubs have formed just to participate in it. It is our clubs goal is to show that our sport, our lifestyle, is not as harmful to the environment as most people are led to believe.”

This year the Sonora Posse won the challenge, and $600 will be donated to the Blue Ribbon Coalition in their name.

The Nor Cal Rock Zombies (www.rockzombies4x4.com) are one of the most extreme 4x4 clubs in Northern California. Members of the California Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs, the Rock Zombies have held many fund raisers for land-use, raising literally thousands of dollars for various pro-access organizations.

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If you would like more information on this topic, or to schedule an interview with Kurt Schneider, Please e-mail Kurt at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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John Stewart

Grizzly-Helena Trail Crossing - OHV makes a difference

The additional year won't be wasted, though.  With support from the Jackson County Commissioners, the Forest Service has obtained a generous grant from the Colorado State OHV Trails Program to construct a new multi-user crossing at the North Fork of the North Platte River.  $357,865 in OHV registration sticker receipts are coming back to Jackson County for the Grizzly-Helena Trail Crossing Project.  In addition to staff time already spent on the project, $80,000 in Forest Service Legacy Road and Trail funding has been committed to come up a design for a safe, sustainable crossing at this complex site.  Forest Service Rocky Mountain Regional Office engineering staff will be providing expert oversight of a design contract with HDR, a consulting firm headquartered in Nebraska with offices and subcontractors familiar with the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests.  HDR will develop preliminary and final designs to meet the backcountry objectives and multi-user safety needs for the crossing, which is envisioned as an extended boardwalk similar to those seen along the Yampa River in Steamboat.   Forest Service engineers, hydrologists, and trails specialists will reconstruct the  existing trail on either side of the crossing and put into action a restoration plan for areas that need extra help to recover.  

Forest Service Trails Coordinator Jon Myers says that volunteers will be a key part of implementing this project.  "We expect construction to happen in 2011, and we'll be looking to our motorized user groups to help reconstruct the trail to the crossing."  Recreation Program Manager Paula Guenther agrees, "We're also hoping to involve volunteers to collect native seed from wetland plants to use in stabilizing the areas that have been damaged by off-trail use."  Volunteers and students may also grow the collected seed into seedlings, and then help replant sensitive wetland areas with the locally grown grasses and shrubs.  Partnerships the District Botany Program has with North Park High School and outdoor groups that focus on restoration of wildlands will be important for restoration efforts.    

Busy beavers have kept trail users guessing at the trail crossing for years.  As quickly as trail managers added culverts, stepping stones, and even short board walks to provide safe crossing for hikers, mountain bikers, OHV riders and horse packers, the beavers moved dams and changed the stream channel location from one side of the wetland to the other.  Meanwhile, OHV riders forged their own paths to find shallow water, creating ruts and damaging wetland vegetation in the process.  In August, 2008, based on recommendations from District Ranger Mike Wright, Forest Supervisor Mary Peterson signed an order closing the trail crossing to motorized uses until a safe, stable crossing was constructed and resource damage could be repaired.  

Receipts from OHV registration stickers are used to fund trails projects like this one around the State.  The Grizzly-Helena Trail Crossing Project grant has already been in the works for two years -- through application, review, and agreement steps that allow the State and Forest Service to exchange direct and in-kind funding.  The Parks Ranger District's proven commitment to OHV trail management has also earned another $60-80,000 each year in Good Management grant funding from the same source, much of which is focused on clearing hazard trees from popular trails this year.

Helena Trailhead and the northern sections of the Grizzly-Helena Trail can be reached from other access points than Forest Road 660 to Helena Trailhead.  The Lone Pine North and South Trailheads offer the closest trailhead access.  Motorcyclists can ride directly north from Lone Pine North Trailhead, and ATV riders can detour along the Brown's Creek Road (Forest Road 650) north to where it joins the portion of trail suitable for and open to ATVs.  The Grizzly-Helena Trail itself is open as far as the south side of the North Fork North Platte River crossing, so riders can return the way they came.

For more information on the Grizzly-Helena Trail Crossing Project, please contact Paula Guenther, Parks District Recreation Program Manager, at 970.723.2721.  For additional information on Bark Beetle management activities on the Parks District, please contact Mike Wright, District Ranger, at 970.723.2701.  

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  8112 Hits
John Stewart

FOE works to thin tree farm

The Friends of Eldorado National Forest continues mission of forest stewardship -- organization works with Forest Service to thin tree farm

On Saturday August 15th, the Friends of Eldorado National Forest worked alongside with the National Forest Service to thin out a 25 year old Sugar Pine Plantation. In 1984, nearly 2,000 sugar pines were planted in the Eldorado in order to study many different effects on trees. The planted trees were brought in from as far south as Mexico, and has far North as Washington in order to see how well the trees grew and survived in Eldorado National Forest.  After 25 years of growth, the plantation had never been thinned.

Sixteen members of the Friends of Eldorado worked alongside with Tim Howard, his forest service crew and the Institute of Forest Genetics to cut down over 300 trees, and limb another 300 more at eye level. Several members of the Friends of Eldorado obtained saw certification, which allowed them to work on this project.

In an effort to help out other organizations, the Friends of Eldorado set aside and limbed the downed trees for other projects in the forest. Organizations such as the Friends of the Rubicon will use these logs to build fence posts, rails, trail repair and for erosion control in the forest.

Pictures of this tree thinning project can be seen here:


On Public Lands Day, September 26th, the Friends of Eldorado will be working on route 9N22Y removing brush, downed logs and rocks in order to keep the route open to motorized vehicle traffic. The group will also be working to block a footpath to illegal motorized vehicle traffic.  The Friends of Eldorado still needs a large number of volunteers for this project. If you would like to help to keep a route open in the forest, please e-mail Kurt at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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  6330 Hits
John Stewart

Friends of Fordyce Set Trail Work Project Dates

We expect this project to take at least 3 or 4 workdays to complete. We will get a start this year and finish up next spring. The good news is that with our grant from BFG we will be able to start some of the perks we know everyone will enjoy including some food after the work is done for the day. One of the unique aspects of working on Fordyce is the difficulty in sometimes just getting to the work area. Mile 6.2 is about as far in from any access point as any place on the trail so we will meet at the work location instead of meeting at the trailhead and driving in together. This way we will have a definite start time on site. Camping there the night before is suggested. Camping after the day's work is recommended so we can all celebrate the hard day's work with a complimentary BBQ.

Please keep in mind to travel with others and plan for an expected water release of 285CFS for the September workday. Water release will be down to minimal for the October 24th workday. We suggest approaching the work area from the Indian Springs trailhead. This way only water crossing #1 will need to be traversed. It is very important that volunteers be sure of the capabilities of their rig and are aware of the proper lines to take while crossing the river so as to avoid the deeper holes that exist. When traveling up trail from Indian Springs enter water crossing #1 and veer left along the line of rocks forming a small step. As you approach the opposite shore you will need to turn to the right around the bushes to the wide area of shoreline and then back left as you exit the water. At this point the right front of most all rigs will dip into the water at the expected water release of 285CFS. On the way out the left front will dip in. If your rig has a low mounted air intake on either side as opposed to the middle there is a possibility of water entering the motor and causing it to hydro-lock. This is why we strongly recommend anyone considering this workday to have previous experience at crossing the river at the expected flow.

As always, be prepared for the worst while traversing the Fordyce trail. Weather can change rapidly and breakdowns are always a possibility. Never plan on just a day trip. Always carry ample food, water, clothing and camping gear in case the unexpected occurs. Your rig should be equipped with a CB tuned to channel 40 for FOF communications. Cell service is available on the Fordyce trail in most locations so a charged up cell phone is a great emergency link.

If you are planning on attending the workday please e-mail me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We need to get a count for food. Remember, there will be a BBQ dinner courtesy of the FOF and BFG as well as numerous other individual contributors and of course NAXJA. Because of all the support we have recently received, food will be prepared on the new trail BBQ we were able to purchase. We'll also provide gloves, safety glasses and loppers for the volunteers use. It will be nice not to have to ask our helpers to provide their labor AND use their own tools.

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  6603 Hits
John Stewart

FOE Clears Trail

Over the years the brush has overgrown the road in many places and prohibited vehicle travel. Thirty-two members of the Friends of Eldorado National Forest came from as far as the Bay Area and worked with Mike Villalobos of the Forest Service. Guided by the direction of Ron Hancock and Duane Nelson, they cut, trimmed and removed the brush from the road. Logs and rocks were also removed from the road surface as well as blocking an illegal trail to protect the hillside from further erosion. By the end of the day the 1.9 mile long road was once again open to all vehicles, something that hasn’t been possible for years.

Cathy Bounds of the Forest Service also allowed Friends of Eldorado National Forest access to the Capps Crossing campground which is closed after Labor Day weekend. The close proximity of the campground made it an ideal staging point as well as a place where the organization could hold a BBQ to feed their workers. They also celebrated with a birthday cake as the group turned 2 years old a few days earlier.

The Friends of Eldorado National Forest rely solely on volunteers for these projects. If you would like to help to keep a route open or other clean up project in the Eldorado National Forest, please e-mail Rick at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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  7299 Hits

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