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Motorized trails among resource committee recommendations

Delaine Fragnoli
Managing Editor
9/1/2011

In its last funding cycle, the Plumas County Resource Advisory Committee recommended 14 natural resource projects totaling $386,000. Unless the federal Secure Rural Schools legislation is reauthorized, this will be the final set of RAC projects.

Among the most interesting projects was an $18,500 request from the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) for a motorized trail system on Mount Hough. The project grew out of negotiations between motorized users, represented by the Sierra Access Coalition (SAC), and non-motorized users.

In an earlier cycle, the RAC recommended funding SBTS to develop a 20-mile system of non-motorized trails in an area known around Quincy as South Park. The project got stalled during the Travel Management Plan process, which looked at motorized use on the Plumas National Forest (PNF).

Rather than let the project fall victim to that larger process, and potential litigation, Mt. Hough District Ranger Michael Donald brokered an agreement whereby the motorized users agreed to forego access to South Park in exchange for motorized trails on Mount Hough.

“One depends on the other,” Donald wrote to the RAC. “It is a venue for a variety of trail users to work together on both projects and gain understanding of each others’ concerns.”

“If the Plumas NF can offer users these two types of opportunities, it would increase tourism to our area and benefit the local economy,” Corky Lazzarino, executive director of SAC, wrote to the committee. SAC pledged 40 volunteer days to help with the project.

The agreement marks the first time the RAC has considered a motorized trail project.

The other RAC recommended projects include:

 

Recreation

Lake Davis Kiosk Improvements

Amount: $40,500

Proponent: PNF, Beckwourth Ranger District

Details: Remodels existing Lake Davis kiosk and installs an accessible toilet building at what will be a trailhead for the under-construction Lake Davis Trail

 

Antelope Lake Picnic Area Improvements

Amount: $18,000

Proponent: PNF, Mt. Hough Ranger District

Details: Replaces existing 40-year-old toilet, funds 10 new picnic tables, installs barriers to demarcate parking area and replaces shot-up bulletin board

 

Lakes Basin Trail Restoration

Amount: $59,328

Proponent: SBTS

Details: Rehabilitates and restores 1.4 miles of high-use, heavily eroded trails in the Lakes Basin Recreation Area, including Grassy Lake, Gray Eagle Creek and Silver Lake trails

 

Fire and fuel reduction

La Porte Road

Amount: $74,630

Proponent: Plumas County Fire Safe Council and Plumas Corporation

Details: Reduces the risk of catastrophic wildfire through fuel treatment on 75 acres of private land abutting Forest Service land off of La Porte Road

 

Feather River College Fuels Reduction and Fire Planning

Amount: $14,652

Proponent: Feather River College

Details: Reduces forest fuel build-up on campus, including 100 burn piles left over from previous treatment; in conjunction with the Maidu Summit Consortium, develops a campus fire management plan using traditional ecological knowledge

 

Education

Forestry Institute for Teachers

Amount: $15,000

Proponent: NorCal Society of Foresters

Details: Funds an intensive, six-day, hands-on field workshop for teachers from throughout California at the UC Berkeley Forestry Camp in Meadow Valley

 

The Watercourse: Plumas to the Pacific Program

Amount: $19,400

Proponent: Plumas Corporation/Feather River Coordinated Resource Management

Details: Funds a coordinator to work on the year-long experiential program that every sixth-grader in Plumas County takes; course uses the Feather River and its tributaries to teach concepts in life science, earth science, social studies and mathematics

 

Watershed

Sulphur-Barry Creek Restoration

Amount: $20,000

Proponent: Plumas Corporation/Feather River Coordinated Resource Management

Details: Funds completion of environmental analysis and permitting for proposed restoration project on Sulphur-Barry creeks (south of Mohawk Valley)

 

Upper Feather River Watershed Monitoring

Amount: $29,699

Proponent: Plumas Corporation/Feather River Coordinated Resource Management

Details: Funds watershed monitoring of stream flow, water temperature and turbidity at 10 sites to provide longevity and continuity in data

 

Eastside Meadow Restoration Additional Environmental Compliance

Amount: $10,230

Details: Provides additional funding to a previously approved project for increased and additional permits, filing fees and public notices

 

Spanish Creek in Meadow Valley

Amount: $22,000

Proponent: Plumas Corporation/Feather River Coordinated Resource Management

Details: Funds completion of environmental and permitting work and fees for a proposal to reduce gravel deposits and channel erosion in the Meadow Valley portion of Spanish Creek

 

Other

Plumas Integrated Weed Management Program II

Amount: $29,925

Proponent: Feather River Resource Conservation District

Details: Uses variety of techniques, including goat grazing, to control noxious weeds at sites in Meadow, Genesee and Sierra valleys; includes mapping, outreach and education efforts

 

Lake Davis Flammulated Owl Study

Amount: $14,950

Proponent: Plumas Audubon Society

Details: Collects baseline information on flammulated owl populations around Lake Davis: constructs and erects nest boxes; determines combined effects of timber harvest activities and nest boxes on owl population; looks at use of nest boxes to conserve populations in and near forest management projects; conducts outreach and education

 

The committee also approved $3,500 for the Plumas National Forest to cover RAC-related administration.

The Plumas National Forest supervisor must approve the committee’s recommendations, usually a pro forma exercise, before the projects can proceed.

 


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