Sunday, September 27, 2009

National Public Lands Day A Success!

About 30 people came out this past weekend to help bring Cold Spring Trail back to life. Work consisting of tread repair, brush work, and trail restoration was completed between Camino and Montecito Peak. One major reason for this work was when an injury occured due to dangerous trail condtions on the upper part of the trail. Several months ago, someone doing trail work left debris on the trail forcing users to create a secondary trail. Removing this secondary trail was one of the main objectives of the day.

Groups including ourselves, SBMTV, Bicicentro, Crahtac, SBTC, LPNF Engine 46, and others all participated in making the day a success. Work wrapped up by about 12:30 just as the temps began to rise and all the volunteers were met on Camino Cielo by a meal catered by the Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch. Thanks to the work done this past weekend, no one else will get injured on Cold Spring Trail from substandard trail conditions.

Pre-Work Pep Talk
LPNF Engine-46 Helped With Chainsaws
One Of Many Damaged Sections- Before
Same Section- After
Another Example of Damaged Trail-Before
The After Party

Thursday, September 24, 2009

National Public Lands Day Is This Saturday 9/26!

As you may have heard, NPLD is this Saturday 9/26 and will be celebrated locally by the repair of Cold Spring Trail. The agencies wanted us to pass some last minute info about the event.

Meeting Location: Skofield Park, 1819 Las Canoas Rd

When: Saturday, 9/26/09-- 8 am until 2 pm. *Due to possible hot conditions this weekend, the agencies may shorten NPLD as deemed necessary.

What: Work on the brush and tread of Upper Cold Spring Trail. Good news-- there is little to no poison oak on this part of the trail!

Things To Bring: Long pants, Long sleeve shirt, Sturdy boots or shoes, bike helmet, gloves, Lots of water, sunglasses, sunscreen, snacks, your favorite lopper or handsaw
(just in case of large turnout and shortage of tools)

Other Info: No experience in trail work is necessary, you will be trained before getting out on the trail. The agencies will provide a lunch following this event.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Paradise Road/Snyder Trail Fire Is Under Control

According to our friend at the USFS, Snyder Trail is open and the fire that started yesterday along Paradise Road, aka the "Paradise Fire", is out. The Indy had good coverage with some photos HERE. We would recommend calling the USFS before heading out just to make sure about trail and condition status- (805) 968-6640

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My First Rattler Of The Year

Usually I see one of these little guys earlier in the season. Spotted this one on Cold Spring Trail today lounging by the side of the trail until he saw me. No mistaking what a rattler sounds like!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Let The Hydromulching Begin

There will probably be hundreds if not thousands of photos soon online of these little planes hydromulching our mountains. I was out for a bike ride along Mountain Drive when I noticed these planes buzzing overhead this afternoon. I decided to head up into Mission Canyon to take a look. I found a great spot to watch somewhere below the Tunnel-Rattlesnake Connector Trail on the top of a little hill. The planes dove below my vantage point then pulled up in front of the hill I was watching from. I watched one plane make as many as ten passes without dropping any mulch, just making some tight aerobatic turns. These guys must really love their job. Dave

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Trails Affected By The Jesusita Fire To Close Monday 9/14/09


The Forest Service, City of Santa Barbara and the County of Santa Barbara will close the Jesusita Trail and Rattlesnake Trail in the Jesusita Fire Burn Area on Monday, September 14, 2009, due to County of Santa Barbara Flood Control District sponsored aerial hydro-mulching for erosion control and subsequent U.S. Forest Service trail restoration efforts.

The Tunnel Trail and Tunnel Connector, also within the Jesusita Burn Area designated for aerial hydro-mulching and U.S. Forest Service trail restoration, are currently closed and will remain closed.

Use of these trails is not allowed until further notice. Trail use may be unsafe during the aerial hydro-mulching erosion control project and will increase soil erosion, impact environmental resources, and contribute to trail damage.

Front Country Trails that remain open for use include Cold Spring Trail, San Ysidro Trail and Romero Trail.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Station Fire Damage Photos

Thanks to our friends over at the 3F Bike Club for posting these amazing photos. This fire has killed two fire fighters, burned dozens of homes, and burned thousands of acres in the Angeles National Forest. It is now at the base of our favorite ski resort, Mt Waterman on Highway 2.

Mt Wilson Cam Photo: LINK

Highway 2 Photos: LINK

Thursday, September 3, 2009

9/2/09 FCT Task Force Meeting Re-Cap -- Trail Closure Information And More....

Dear Trail Users,

Last night's Front Country Trails Task Force meeting was informative and revealed future trail closure dates on trails affected by the Jesusita Fire. Other topics included: information about the Front Country Trails Coordinator Position, everything you wanted to know about hydromulch, and the September 26th National Public Lands Day event.

The agencies are on the lookout for someone coordinated! The Front Country Trails Coordinator position is now open and the agencies want you to help pass the word. A description of the position can be found by clicking the following link. Other updates regarding the FCT recommendations included a UTAP Trail Assessment update--no known date or specifics could be given to the Task Force regarding the implementation of the UTAP. Trail signs, as previously mentioned, have gone up at most trail heads and 4 more are on the way.

An agency sponsored trail maintenance event will be taking place September 26th. Originally scheduled for the trails affected by the Jesusita Fire, this event has been moved to San Ysidro Trail (and possibly others). Montecito’s trails will be seeing a high volume of use over the next six months and need to be in tip top shape. Volunteers are the key to this happening and people like you can make this a reality. More info can be found by visiting our Volunteer Page.

Some trails affected by the Jesusita Fire will be closing mid September for hydromulching. Agency staff announced the following trail closures and dates.

Jesusita Trail (San Roque TH) -- Closed September 15 - November 12 + future wet weather closures.

Jesusita, Tunnel Trail, and Tunnel Connector (Tunnel TH) -- Currently closed and to remain closed till Spring ‘10.

Rattlesnake Trail -- Closed September 15 - October 12 + future wet weather closures.

Cold Springs Trail -- Not in hydromulch area, no closures planned; possible wet weather closures.

San Ysidro and Romero -- No closures planned.

Reasons for the trail closures include safety and ensuring success of the hydromulch project. Hydromulch is a proven method to prevent massive erosion and sedimentation of fire damaged soils. Hydromulch creates a very thin “seal” over these burnt soils that needs to stay intact for it to be effective. People using the trails may break the “seals” and create catastrophic damage.

FAQ’s About Hydromulch:

Q: Does Hydromulch contain garbage?
A: No, hydromulch is 40% paper fiber, 60% wood fiber + tack and water. Unlike hydromulch that was used in the Gap Fire which did contain small amounts of plastic and other waste products, this new mulch is 100% organic, made to careful environmental standards.

Q: Does Hydromulch contain seeds?
A: No there are no seeds in mulch, it is designed to promote native plants to regrow in burnt areas.

Q: Can I walk or ride on hydromulched ground?
A: As stated previously, hydromulch is applied as a thin continuous layer that needs to stay intact to be effective. Breaking the seal will allow water to get underneath and the mulch will lose effectiveness.

Q: Will the mulch be dropped in creeks and on fire roads?
A: No, agencies revealed that creeks, power lines, roads, and orchards are not to be sprayed with mulch.

Following the fire a "BAER" assessment of the burnt areas was conducted and options to prevent erosion problems and recovery have been identified. All these preventative measures are to ensure those who live in and below the fire area are safe come winter. A study done by UCSB last year examined the effects of erosion and possible flooding in the Mission Canyon area following a fire. View the results HERE.

Next FCT Task Force meeting will take place December 2nd, at the County Board of Supervisors Hearing Room.

Please pass this information on to anyone you know that uses the trails.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Front Country Trails Coordinator Job Announcement

Front Country Trails Coordinator Job Announcement - Please Post and Distribute

The Los Padres National Forest in collaboration with the City of Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation, and Santa Barbara County Parks are seeking to hire a part-time contract Front Country Trails Coordinator. Located within the front range of the Santa Ynez Mountains, the Santa Barbara Front Country Trails (FCT) include: Arroyo Burro, Jesusita, Tunnel, Rattlesnake, West Fork Cold Springs, East Fork Cold Springs, San Ysidro, and Romero Canyon trails. Largely within the Los Padres National Forest (and also passing through and over city and county parks and trail easements), FCT provide over 30 miles of trails for equestrians, hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers, and are extensively used by residents and visitors to the area.

Management of the FCT is coordinated by the three agencies under a Challenge Cost-Share Agreement (CCA). Multi-agency management is intended to provide efficient and cooperative management of the FCT, standardize procedures and practices, promote cooperation from trails users and ensure that the FCT system can be enjoyed by Santa Barbara residents and visitors. Toward that end, the CCA provides that the agencies establish an inter-agency FCT Coordinator position (Coordinator). The Coordinator would be responsible for the implementation of the FCT Management Recommendations include the FCT Strategy and funding plan, grant writing, education and outreach, and coordination with trail user groups and volunteers. The three agencies fund the position under the authority of the CCA. Funding is in place for the first year.

For more information, please see the attached job description and application instructions. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 23, 2009.

Jill E. Zachary
Assistant Parks and Recreation Director
City of Santa Barbara
620 Laguna Street
Santa Barbara CA 93101