Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tunnel Trail Survey and Winter Prep

Still sprinkling a little, myself and USFS trail engineer Garrett Villanueva headed out onto Tunnel Trail to begin Garrett's survey and trail data logging. Villanueva, an engineer from the Lake Tahoe area has been hired by the local agencies to help prepare the trails affected by the Jesusita fire for upcoming winter weather. Wednesday's task was deciding what water features to work on and then come back and log it into a database. Several volunteers this week will be accompaning Garrett and help him with the process.

Overall Garrett said, "the trail is not that bad." Clearly there is a lot of work that needs to be done in order for the trails to still be here when Spring comes around. Garrett pointed out dozens of "water bars" and other water features that needed to be improved in order to prevent massive erosion this winter. There are three major risks to trails following a fire Garrett pointed out to local agencies: increased waterflow on the trail, slope failures, and rockslides. All three risks were found today as we hiked Tunnel Trail.

The good news is the three major risks can be minimized if preventative measures are taken. Garrett will be teaching local trail "Crew Leaders" and other interested trail users these techniques this Saturday followed by a work session on Tunnel Trail to put that learning into action. Garrett will also be teaching and leading the CCC these same things over the next few weeks on our trails. He said that with the amount of work that needs to be done, it will be a difficult task to get all the work done in the time and resources allotted. Dave

If interested in helping out this Saturday, contact Ranger Kerry Kellogg for more info:

The paved part of Tunnel Trail with rockslides (and trespassers)

Some of the Cal Trans/County damage prevention on Tunnel Trail
New fencing near the bridge
Hydromulch up close- look no garbage! A hydromulched section of the trail with hillsides still intact but showing signs of water runoff damage.
Garrett flagging a section for improvement
Rutting of the trail thanks to slide material and poor water control
This waterbar is still working
A large rockslide covering the entire trail
Tunnel Trail Toad- must have come from the creek(actual size 1 quarter)

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