Accomplishment-Saving Just Outstanding Updated 7/30/13
Forest Collaboration Produces Just Outstanding Results
For many years the Forest Service planned a project called the Ice Timber Project to thin trees in a small area of the Sequoia National Forest near Alta Sierra CA. Through the middle of this timber sale was the Just Outstanding Trail, one of the top hundred rated single track trails in California. People who enjoy mountain bike and motor bike riding travel from all over the country to enjoy riding this scenic destination trail weaving through the high elevation forest.
The contract with Sierra Forest Products called for bulldozing the narrow trail to road width in order to harvest the timber.
Just Outstanding Top 100 Trail
So in 2010 Stewards of the Sequoia contacted the Forest Service and asked them to keep the current character of this prized single track trail, which generates a lot of tourism income for the local economy, by not widening it with a bulldozer.
Problem was it would take more time and incur extra costs.
Stewards of the Sequoia then contacted Sierra Forest Products owner Larry Duysen asking him to please work around the Just Outstanding trail. Larry said he would see what they could do about not widening the trail.
While pleased to hear Sierra Forest Products wanted to help, the future of the trail was still uncertain.
This trail is on an old logging road built sixty years ago. Like many forest trails, Just Outstanding would not exist if not for past logging projects.
Sierra Forest Products crews avoided bulldozing the trail by spending two extra days working at their own expense.
Fast forward to the completion of the project in 2011 and the Just Outstanding Trail is still a scenic single track. The area can tolerate wildfire much better with a few less trees.
We owe Sierra Forest Products a debt of gratitude for going above and beyond to help support recreation and our local economy. Perhaps when we think about logging projects we need to remember they not only provide jobs, pay taxes and a renewable resource that we all use, but can also promote forest health by reducing fire hazard and providing access for recreation.
More recently a new Forest Service Rancheria fuel reduction project proposed to bulldoze another section of Just Outstanding as well as a section of Mud Hen into roads. Stewards was able to work proactively with Forest Staff to change the proposal to not only recoginize these important single track trails but to "restore or improve these sections of the trails in order to maintain the character of the existing riding experience"
One could not ask for more.
This is just another example of how Stewards of the Sequoia activism and involvement pays off bigtime. We will continue to work with Forest staff and will most likely organize Trail Apprectiation volunteer projects to restore these trails once the Rancheria fuel reduction project is completed.
Read Stewards letter which coupled with a two hour private meeting with Forest Staff was able to not only stop these trails from being bulldozed but also restore or improve the single track character.