Oct 30

Status of Trails in the Coe Fire Zone

The fire in Coe, and much more disastrous, the fires in SOCAL, have been devastating for many.

In Coe, trails in the fire zone remain closed to the public. While this consequence is a minor inconvenience for a handful of recreationists, the fire has resulted in the death of many plants and animals. They will be replaced, in time.

For an example of the damage consider that some climax manzanita on the Jack Ass Trail, that has been experienced as a classic manzanita trail tunnel, is gone; virtually gone up in smoke.That trail and the classic Middle Ridge trail are currently closed. But it will be up to volunteers like us to open these and all the rest of the up. We’ll be starting with this area to begin with, opening up the trails in the park.

I am now seeking volunteers to join in a series of survey rides to open up zones in Henry Coe. We are forming a multi-modal “trail-patrol”. The purpose of the initial rides of this group will be to explore and repair trails in the fire zone, and certify that they are okay to use. The group will serve the Trail Advisory Council which in turn serves the Superintendent. This group is not ROMP, but it is completely appropriate for volunteers, for the purposes of this email, to be drawn from and credited to the mountain bike community.

Park staff understands that some of the public are eager to explore the park within the fire zone. The experience of the park immediatley after the fire is awe inspiring. This is an experience that the public deserves, but the park staff must responsibly and methodically document the condition of the trails. Since staff is insufficient to complete the task, volunteers like us are called upon.

The survey ride dates are not set. The method used to record data, tasks performed, and work to be scheduled, will be consistent with and use the same format as DPR Trail Classification Matrix, Trail Logs, and Trail Work Records.

The opening of the trails in the burn zone will proceed roughly zone by zone, as indicated on official maps, beginning with the area west of Blue Ridge near HQ, and generally progressing southwards, with an aim to open things up west of County Line and Kaiser Aetna roads as soon as we can inventory them.

If you or your friends are interested in helping out, please contact me. Many if not all of these surveys will be assisted by vehicular access. These rides will progress deliberately and will not be typical bike rides. GPS, photography, and video enthusiasts are especially appreciated, as are folks willing to operate hand saws and loppers.

The survey of trails in the burn zone is an opportunity for you to help the park while being amongst the first experiencing the remarkable changes and mountain biking at the same time.

Thanks for your consideration. More information will be doled out later.