Upgrades to the Olsen Barn and meadow property, including public parking, signs and access to onsite water will begin in early 2017 with monies raised from contributing donors. Photo by Stacy Fisher

Land Trust offers 2017 Olsen property update

The Feather River Land Trust, headquartered in Quincy, is working with a local surveyor/civil engineer to develop a plan for a gravel parking area south of Highway 36. This purpose of the project is to provide visitors a safe, legal point to access the Olsen property.

The county requires a drainage plan with calculations approved by a licensed engineer.

The Land Trust is also engaged with staff from Caltrans regarding site parking. The parking area will be accessed from Highway 36 and thus an encroachment permit is required from Caltrans; the engineer will assist with the completion of the permit.

Once the permitting process has been completed, the Land Trust will develop a request for proposals to be shared with local contractors.

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After the parking area has been completed, FRLT will install signage that will introduce and orient visitors to the property.

Members of the Olsen Management Group are eager to have a large post and beam entrance structure constructed after the parking area encroachment apron has been completed leading into the property.

Additionally, the Land Trust is working with two adjoining landowners to develop a service access to the barn, with access controlled by a locked gate. The Land Trust is currently developing signs that will be posted along Melissa Avenue. The signs will inform visitors that there is no public access to the Olsen property from Melissa Avenue.

The service access should be installed and functional by spring 2017.

Barn stabilization

The Land Trust is working with local civil engineers to complete a foundation plan for the barn. Once the plans are completed, The Land Trust will submit them to the Plumas County Building Department for review.

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Work on the foundation repairs will begin when the ground is dry enough to support vehicles in the spring 2017.

The Land Trust is also planning to make repairs to the roof structure/fascia on the south side of the Barn. And in the spring of 2017, Land Trust staff and contractors will make repairs that include the replacement of the outriggers and fascia as well as the installation of roof sheets to replace the roofing that was blown from the barn in previous winter storms.

Utilities

The Land Trust has been working with the Chester Public Utilities District to navigate the process required to tie into its water delivery system and install a water line that will provide drinking water and fire suppression capabilities to the barn.

Currently, FRLT is waiting for a surveyor to perform the fieldwork necessary to locate the existing easement that will be use to tie into the water source.

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Management plan

As a nationally accredited land trust, FRLT is required to develop land management plans for all of the properties that it owns and monitors.

The Land Trust has been working closely with the Olsen Management Group, with the Stewardship Committee, with local resource professionals and others to develop the LMP for the Olsen property. The plan has been reviewed internally during the fall/winter of 2016 and will be recommended to the Land Trust Board of Directors for approval in February 2017.

Fundraising

Land Trust staff, local volunteers and key donors campaigned to raise funds for the implementation of the projects listed above. Funds will be used by the Land Trust to cover capital costs (permitting, concrete, water lines, concrete contractors, signs and public access improvements) as well as the staff time required to manage the property and to coordinate the fundraising efforts.

Over $100,000 was raised during the “Raising the Barn Campaign” which wrapped up Sept. 30 — but funds are still coming in.

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Endowment

Whenever the Land Trust purchases a property, it tries to have an endowment that goes with the purchase in order to provide for management of the property for years to come.

In the case of the Olsen Barn Meadow, the Land Trust knew it wouldn’t be possible to raise the funds for the transaction and the endowment in the eight months available to complete the transaction. So now, the Land Trust is putting out the word that it needs to raise an endowment for ongoing management expenses, which include staff time, property tax and infrastructure needs.

Help protect the places that define the Feather River region by donating online at: chi-cash-advance.com/sforms/appeal951/Contribute.aspx.