MSTA is receiving ongoing and increasing reports of motorcycles on existing, newly constructed, and partially constructed Gateway Trails. Evidence of significant damage to the trails can be seen already. When the soils dry out, this damage will become exponentially worse and will threaten all the time, energy, and money that have been expended by the USFS, MSTA, BikeShasta, and all our donors. Keep in mind that we have spent about a half million dollars on these trails and expect to spend at least another $1.3 million before we’re done. It would be a great loss to the community to see these trails destroyed. In addition, heavy, fast-moving motorcycles are a big risk to hikers, dogs, and bicyclists.
MSTA and the USFS have initiated a plan to stop this activity, but we need the public’s assistance. Please help us identify where and when the motorcyclists enter the Gateway System, where they are riding, and when they seem to be present. Photos would be useful. The USFS will step up surveillance and enforcement with increased personnel and possibly trail cameras. Please do not confront the riders yourself.
The Trail Challenge for 2022 has begun! Here’s the clue to finding “treasure” along one of the trails in the Mount Shasta area:
To begin your search for the first trail treasure, go to the Gateway Trailhead and then hike, run or bike to the trail that is named for the phase of construction for every house, the first makeup that is applied, or the name of a philanthropic organization. Continue along the trail looking for a tree that is unique to the entire Gateway Trail system. You will know this tree because it will remind you of a time at the beach when you got a bad sunburn and peeled. If you come to the trail that is named after you and me, you will know that you went too far and missed the tree.
To help you, below is a map to the treasure.
Here are the rules of the hunt. Each time you locate a treasure, send us a photo or description of the treasure along with your contact information to: email@example.com. Then, your name will be entered into a drawing for the grand prize.
In addition, the first person to locate each new treasure will receive their choice of a prize, and their name will be placed into the grand prize drawing. For example, if you find 5 treasures your name will added five times to the grand prize drawing.
The combination of blowdown, thinning, and hazard-tree removal left a rather shocking mess across the entire Fowler’s Campground. Virtually every campsite was uninhabitable.
A group of about 50 people from MSTA and the USFS got busy in there, with rakes, brooms, blowers, and chainsaws. Massive amounts of slash were piled for later burning. The trail to Middle Falls was cleared of downed trees. Every campsite was made ready for campers, and the campground will be open starting this Sunday.
Everyone was so famished by 1:00 that several people were injured in the scuffle for the front of the line at the delicious BBQ lunch hosted by the USFS. First aid was promptly administered and then everyone got a full tummy.
It was a beautiful day in the forest. If you missed it, we’ll save a spot for you on the next workday. Don’t you dare miss that one.
This is the final bother about the joint work effort with the USFS tomorrow at 9 am at Fowler’s Campground. We’ll be removing downed trees and generally cleaning up. Hope you can help us on this big job, and bring friends.
Trail Labs has been making excellent progress on new trails in the Community Zone of the Gateway II System. These trails won’t be ready to hike or ride until completed and approved by the Forest Service. Shown below is Becky Cooper, Recreation Officer for the USFS, accompanied by MSTA board members John Thomson and John Schuyler as they survey a partially finished trail.
The following is an announcement from Marcus Nova of the USFS regarding the rescheduled, jointly sponsored volunteer work event at McCloud Falls next week:
This winter, the Forest Service completed logging within the McCloud River Recreation Area. The work consisted of thinning forests to generate ecosystem restoration and fire resilience landscapes. Significant logging slash and winter debris still remain within recreation sites and along trails. There are downed trees and debris that need to be cut and moved off trails and campsites. We’re planning an Earth Day celebration and work day Thursday, April 28 from 9:00am-2:00pm (this event was moved from actual Earth Day due to inclement weather). The Forest Service will be providing a BBQ lunch. The Mt. Shasta Trail Association will be leading volunteer efforts and providing tools, hardhats and gloves. We will meet at Fowlers Campground at 9:00am. Hope to have you there!
– Low stumping with chainsaws.
– Cut (with chainsaws), drag and pile 4’X4’ slash piles. Piles will be placed outside of campsites.
– Sweeping/raking off campsite pads and roads.
– Clearing trails of brush and downed trees
– Rehabbing skid trails by knocking down berms and naturalizing the area.
– Bucking logs into rounds to clear sites and provide firewood for campers.
Directions to Fowlers Campground:
From McCloud, California, go east on Highway 89. Drive 5 miles and look for the Fowlers/Lower Falls Sign. Turn right just after the sign and drive approximately 1 mile. Once you cross the River Loop Road take the left fork into the campground. The right fork will take you to the day use/parking area for Lower Falls and the beginning of the River Trail.
If this looks like your ideal Saturday… We’ve got an offer you can’t refuse. Join us on Saturday, April 16th as we spruce up the lower portion of the Sisson-Callahan trail for the season. Bring weather/work appropriate clothing, gloves, and water. We’ll provide the refreshments!
Last Wednesday, 16 crew members from the California Conservation Corps arrived to hand build trail in the new Gateway Trail System. They worked long hours in cold, windy, dirty conditions. Showers were not possible with their usual setup due to the frigid evenings. After about 4 days, MSTA became aware of the situation and arranged with the Mt. Shasta KOA Kampground to provide showers. Wade was very helpful and generous in offering the facilities and providing towels and disposable sandals, all at a discount for this dedicated crew. The CCC members were very happy, one saying, “That shower was the most wonderful thing I’ve experienced in a long time.”
Thanks to KOA and Wade for this resource. And many thanks to the CCC for all their hard work.
The volunteer cleanup of the McCloud Falls area on April 22 is gaining momentum. Students from McCloud High School will be participating. In addition, many of the usual suspects have reported their plans to show up (they will not need to check in with their probation officers before attending).
Due to the need for organizing into teams, I suggest we meet in the parking lot adjacent to the Lower Falls at 8:30 am.
The US Forest Service will be hosting a BBQ lunch for volunteers sometime shortly after noon, so bring gloves, a water bottle, and your friends. If plans change, further updates will follow.