The Pro Trail Crew, along with the help of many volunteers, had a productive year on the trails.
Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) finished off the season completing 3 miles of the new Cal-IDA Trail in Downieville that has 15 of 18 miles already built for outdoor adventurers to enjoy in 2020.
Here are the 2019 stats — miles maintained: 219 (141 in 2018); miles built: 8.1 (3.4 in 2018); miles planned: 57.79; volunteers: 1,383.
Of those volunteering, 567 were under 18 years old and 14 were employed on the high school summer crew.
SBTS has been working closely with the U.S. Forest Service, local land trusts and trail enthusiasts since 2003 to make the Lost Sierra — Downieville, Graeagle, Quincy, Portola and all of the small communities in between — an international recreation destination. It was nearly a year ago that the group got busy with a regional map, a box of Post-It notes and a dream of connecting communities throughout the Lost Sierra region via a world-class network of multi-use trails. The plan includes more than 250 miles of new trails.
The Sierra Nevada Conservancy approved a SBTS grant application Dec. 12 for Phase 1, the planning element, of the Lost Sierra Connected Communities project. That project will link up the northern Sierra communities of Loyalton, Sierraville, Sierra City, Downieville, Quincy, Graeagle, Portola, Taylorsville, Greenville, Chester, Westwood, Susanville, Jonesville in Butte County, Truckee/Tahoe and Reno.
According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation is an $887 billion industry with trail sports accounting for $201 billion annually. Outdoor enthusiasts who come out in support of the program visit local businesses.
That additional traffic is making a difference in helping the mountain communities thrive. The team at SBTS say they have big plans for the next decade creating more Dirt Magic and connecting communities.