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Connected communities through trails: Your input needed

Sierra, Plumas and Lassen counties are blessed with an abundance of public lands, but are among the most economically struggling counties in California. Building a sustainable economic future for our counties is critical, and recreation represents a significant opportunity to attract and retain working families, creating new jobs with house buying wages. But in order for this to work, we need you — Sierra, Plumas and Lassen county residents — to participate and provide feedback in a Lost Sierra Trail Survey.

Since its formation in 2003, Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, a local 501c3 nonprofit, builds sustainable recreation-based communities through stewardship, job creation and world-class events, providing quality outdoor experiences through trail construction and maintenance in the Lost Sierra.

To date, SBTS has built and maintained more than 944 miles of multi-use trails in Sierra, Plumas and Lassen counties, with 85,000 hours of volunteer labor contributed.

These trails are a public asset that have a significant positive economic impact, as well as positive physical health impacts, attracting visitors and new residents who value quality of life, the outdoors and the joys of mountain living. We like to call what we do “Dirt Magic,” because a quality experience on trails can be truly magical, even transformational for communities.

SBTS has a broader Dirt Magic vision of connecting each community across the tri-county area via multi-use trails for all trail users, both motorized and non-motorized. These trails will stretch from Susanville south through Lake Almanor, Quincy, Portola, Downieville, Sierraville, Loyalton and into Truckee and Lake Tahoe. The vision is to be one of the most trail-connected regions in North America, serving as a model for other mountain communities focused on developing recreational assets.

The Connected Communities concept needs resident input, which is where the Lost Sierra Trail Survey comes in. Conducted in partnership with SBTS by Caitlin T. Kammerer at the Center for Economic Development at California State University, Chico, the Lost Sierra Trail Survey will gather economic and demographic background data on who uses the trails of the Lost Sierra and what types of recreation residents and visitors engage in when using the trails. The study will also capture money spent in the local economy through trail use.

The data from this study will be used to support future recreational trail projects to benefit mountain communities in the tri-county area. There are no risks associated with your participation in this study and all information obtained will be kept confidential, secured in a locked facility with digital data password protection. No personal information will ever be disclosed.

To take this survey, visit our website — www.sierratrails.org — and follow the survey link. You can also take the survey in person at our Quincy location, 550 Crescent St., during business hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Questions regarding the research study can be directed to Caitlin T. Kammerer at: [email protected].

We appreciate your help and support in making our communities stronger through recreation and the beautiful backcountry terrain we are blessed with having in the Lost Sierra region.

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