The Trail Companion
Along the Trail
Member and Volunteer Notes
I forwarded an announcement about a
Tahoe Rim Trail Crew Leader training workshop in
mid-June to former TC Crew Leader Trainee David
Crosby. He immediately wrote back, saying, "Damn
you! Now I'm booked for this weekend for trail
I got back a report the
following Monday. He reported that "they have LOTS of
volunteers, seemingly a big problem managing them; for
example: 40 scouts, 50 from this, and so on. As usual at
the meeting, most middle aged, middle class men; of 30+
there, only five women and one African American. Most were
representing groups, so perhaps that is why no real
"Hard hats are mandatory, as
officially Forest Service employees during the work.
Volunteers can get workman's comp if they fall down, break
legs, etc. Long sleeves/pants also mandatory.
"Tahoe Trails allow mountain
bikes, a talk given showed little damage to the trail, only
a couple of switchbacks. Problems are downed trees, and the
basic message was that the danger to the trail was water,
water, water. Still snow on high parts.
"No training on tools at all
on Sat. Trail is to be 24 in wide, only four ft clearance,
10 ft high for horses. See the Tahoe Rim Trail Guide to
"Three full time paid types,
the biggest time spent with government types making sure
they don't go near archeological sites, wild flowers, etc.
Some approvals take several years to get. Forest Service
type finally does the flagging. Rock drills used to break
up rocks -- power tools are allowed in much of the
"No mountain bikers on the
PCT or wilderness areas. They have been brought in to work,
so perhaps they'll learn not to ruin the trail.
"I learned about saws. Other
than that, no mention of ticks, hantavirus, French drains.
Rock walls are a specialty; mainly forest service types do
the heavy lifting, many hundred-pound rocks used.
"Sara, the TRCA volunteer
coordinator, gave a talk on leadership. Data handouts,
"I think I'll try to work on
PCT, I think they need help more."
Although the workshop
continued on Sunday, David decided they had enough people
and returned home to Quincy to go out and hike or work on
Pacific Crest Trail, which passes near his house.
Castle Rock Trail reroute
volunteer Harley Adams recently departed
for Durham, North Carolina to pursue an MBA at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. I asked him
for details and he wrote, "For the next couple of months
I'll be studying up on calculus and other fun stuff in
between great hikes throughout the Rockies (zig-zag journey
back to the old man's place in Montana, with stops in
Idaho, Utah, and Colorado). Before I left, I was proud to
take my mom on a tour of the Castle Rock trail while she
was out visiting. I really enjoyed the backbreaking work
this past year, as well as the extremely pleasant fellow
Former TC President
Bern Smith was appointed to the San Mateo County
Parks and Recreation Commission, giving the San Mateo
coastside its first representative in more than a decade.
Since leaving the Trail Center a few years ago to pursue a
new career as a park ranger with the City of San Jose, Bern
has live in El Granada and is also proprietor for
Landsmiths, a land management consulting firm that is
providing interim management for the Coast Dairies Project
for the Trust for Public Land. The 7,000-acre
property south of Davenport, which includes seven miles of
undeveloped coastline, hundreds of acres of grasslands and
forest, and nearly 800 acres of cultivated land, will
eventually be transferred to public ownership. Bern also
founded Midcoast Park Lands, which purchased and manages
Quarry Park in El Granada.
Finally, I got in touch with
former Trail Center Executive Director David
Sutton, who left the TC many years ago for an MBA
in non-profit management. After a stint in New Mexico,
David returned to the Bay Area and has been with the Trust for Public Land's San Francisco
office for most of the past decade. He is currently
directing TPL's Sierra Nevada Program, focusing on the
Tahoe Basin and northern Sierra, including the Sierra
foothills. One of his areas of concern is preservation and
management of the blue-oak woodlands in the foothills,
particularly in areas such the Grass Valley/Nevada City
region of Nevada County, where nearly all such woodland is
under private ownership and facing development pressures.
He is also addressing the checkerboard of public and
private ownership within the Tahoe National Forest.
Along the Trail focuses on
our members' and volunteers' activities both inside and
outside the Trail Center (is there really a life beyond the
TC??). If you have interesting tales to tell, have created
a website that may be of interest to our membership, or
basic gossip that you'd like to share, we'd like to hear
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