More on Forest Cleanups

MSTA and Clean and Safe Volunteers:

Despite the considerable risk of boring all of you to death, I feel compelled, in fairness, to post the exchange that has taken place the last three days between me and Carolyn Napper, District Ranger for the Forest Service, following her request that we cease our forest cleanup efforts.  If it’s too much, just ignore it.

PLEASE READ FROM TOP TO BOTTOM:

 

Hi everyone, this morning I had a very good call from Thom Wick to discuss options for continued support by the public on ensuring our forests are well managed. I then followed that conversation up with a long meeting with my staff to look at options for ways to  continue to work with the public yet at the same time follow our necessary protocols.

 

I don’t want anyone to think that we don’t appreciate the help, enthusiasm, and strong desire by the community to support us in our efforts to ensure that the National Forests are well cared for. I feel that  collectively we can send a strong message to people who may be abusing the National Forest by littering, leaving trailers, placing encampments, etc. So I would like to offer that a possible solution is to help us be our eyes and ears and report trailers, garbage, encampments, fires, etc. WE really do need that support and once we have that information we will have someone go out and check it out. In many cases there can be garbage that we will pick up. Last year we cleaned up over 55 different sites across the unit. Maybe we didn’t get them all but we treated the majority of the ones we know about.

 

Perhaps what you don’t know is that we do track the sites that are reported and in some cases we have to have trailers tagged or we perform an investigation to identify who may have left the materials. Yes, those reviews may not happen in a day or two, and there have been occasions where it has been months. No one likes that but we still are persistent and we have gotten trailers and areas cleaned up even if it took us a little longer.

 

So my proposal is to continue to have your help in identifying sites and we will not only track them but once those sites are clear we will organize clean-ups. I will then invite the public to help if we have a large amount of material that the public can safely remove. Not all sites are the same so some sites can be cleaned up much faster than others but I have to ensure both public and employee safety before I can have volunteers helping us. If you all are willing we can try this over the next several months- say until September and see how we do. We can then evaluate where we can improve and what we have to change. As I mentioned to Thom some of the value we have learned from tracking things is we can see patterns and also we can make other management changes which could be a Forest Closure, blocking of roads, barriers, modifying use patterns. We have lots of tools to use and I do want the support of the community and this may be a way for us to work together.

 

Please understand as an agency we do have processes that we must follow and at this time I am simply asking your support in following those processes. Perhaps since I had been gone for a couple months our communication broke down and our intentions were not clear but believe me we are truly dedicated to our motto of Caring for the Land and Serving the People. Let’s do that together.

 

Respectfully yours, Carolyn

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Thanks for the note, Carolyn.  We would like to work with you.  We just don’t want to lose the interest and momentum we’ve built up over the last 18 months.  There are many people who have become excited about keeping our local area (city, county, and USFS lands) clean.  Many are outraged over the abuse of the land by illegal campers and dumpers, and feel that they are accomplishing something by participating in the cleanups.  I’ve been shocked by the level of interest.

 

Most everyone knows that the USFS doesn’t always have the resources to keep up with the problem.  Therefore, we remain ready and committed to help when we can.  Please be aware that my post was widely shared yesterday mainly to call off the team that had been preparing to clean up the Everitt Memorial site.

 

Do you mind if I share your email with the groups with whom I communicate?

Thanks.

John Harch

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Hi John, no my intent was to have you share that widely and what I am hoping for is that we can schedule a once a month clean up between my staff and any volunteers. I was more concerned that perhaps people felt we didn’t care which is not true we just have to make sure we follow our process.

 

I hope that by tracking sites that we can identify on a monthly basis what sites we can clean up and then get that scheduled. I also am working with the County for some other larger clean ups in the Hotlum area and perhaps with some of their equipment we can get that area looking much better. So please share our intent to be vigilant and as we have cleared sites identified we will offer volunteer days/afternoons on roughly a monthly basis. Just encourage folks to report to 926-4511. Much thanks, Carolyn

 

 

SLIGHT CHANGE OF PLANS

Dear MSTA Volunteers:

Officials at the Forest Service have asked that we stop removing garbage from USFS land.  The reason given is liability concerns.  Therefore, the cleanup on Everitt Memorial Hwy for next Monday, April 23, 2018 is cancelled.  The USFS is suggesting that we call their office (530-926-4511) and report transient encampments and dump sites, and they will put them on the list to review and remove per their regulations.  We may occasionally be asked to assist with these cleanups, using liability release forms.

We can still clean up on city and county property, as well as private property, with permission.

As you might imagine, I am really disappointed, because I get such a kick out of picking up garbage!

 

This Wednesday, April 18, at 9 am, we are still meeting at the Siskiyou Land Trust property, 522 Alma (across from Sisson School) to spruce up the Garden Greenway.  Bring rakes, loppers, chainsaws, hedge clippers, etc.

 

This Saturday, April 21, 2018, the MSTA is having an Earth Day cleanup at Castle Crags State Park, starting at 8:30 am.  A light breakfast will be served, as well as lunch.  This should be a fun event and won’t involve any grueling work, but rather dragging of slash, burning, etc.

 

Clean and Safe Mt. Shasta will be having an Earth Day cleanup event beginning at 9 am at the Lower Lodge in the MS City Park, also on Saturday, April 21, 2018.

Thanks.

JH

APRIL TRAIL WORK

IF YOU DON’T SHOW UP, WE’RE GONNA DO IT ANYWAY, BUT WE’D LOVE TO HAVE YOU FOR THE AMBITIOUS SCHEDULE LISTED BELOW:

 

  1. Saturday, April 14, at 8:30 am—Mt. Shasta City Park—Invasive Weed Pull
  2. Sunday, April 15, at 10 am—Clean up hillside below the repaired trail in Dunsmuir. Take I-5 south, off at Dunsmuir Ave (central Dunsmuir offramp), R on Dunsmuir Ave, immediate L onto Stagecoach Rd., go 150 yards, veer L onto Upper Soda Rd.  Go 50 ft. and park there; take trail to the R and you can’t miss us.  I’ll have all tools and supplies.  We just need a couple volunteers.
  3. Wednesday, April 18th, at 9 am– Garden Greenway spring cleanup, behind the Siskiyou Land Trust Office, 522 Alma St. (across from Sisson School). Need chainsaws, loppers, hedge trimmers, gloves.
  4. Saturday, April 21, 8:30 am—Earth Day at Castle Crags State Park. Trail maintenance, slash collection and burning.  Light breakfast and a lunch will be provided by the MS Trail Association.  Come one, come all.  Even the Boy Scouts will be there to help!
  5. Monday, April 23, time to be determined (dependent on Bubba Seuss and his dump trailer availability)—Finish the cleanup of the massive, abandoned transient encampment on Everitt Memorial Hwy. With a half dozen eager volunteers, we can do this in one hour.  Photos of this mess attached.

AS ALWAYS, YOU CAN COME FOR 30 MINUTES OR 3 HOURS FOR ANY OF THESE JOBS, BUT WITH ENOUGH HELP, WE’LL BE DONE IN AN HOUR OR SO.

JH

Introducing the Lollipop Trail

One Sweet Trail

Thanks to funding secured by the Forest Service, an accessible trail has been added to the Gateway Trail network on national forest lands.

Labeled the Lollipop Trail due to its out and back alignment, this new trail has a nice compacted surface at a gentle grade that can accommodate wheelchairs, baby carriages, and others looking for an obstacle free trail surface.

The Lollipop Trail begins at the Gateway Trailhead off of Everitt Memorial Highway. Its shown in red on the map below.  The trail’s total length is approximately 0.6 mile.  Check it out!

Trails — Front Page News!

A four-legged trail lover

Last week’s Mt. Shasta Herald newspaper featured two articles on trails on the front page of the February 14, 2018 edition.  Exciting stuff for us lovers of trails!

Both articles talk about Mount Shasta being designated a “trail town” by the Pacific Crest Trail Association.  The first article, by Tim Holt, talks further about actions being taking by the Ski Park for mountain bikers.  The second article, an opinion piece by Priscila Franco, discusses the growing demand for trail-based recreation and the economic benefits to our communities.  Here are links to the articles:

Mount Shasta_ a ‘Trail Town’

Trail Town program promotes hiking, could benefit economy

 

 

WHO CARES ABOUT TRASH?

I am happy to report that there were 13 truly bored and nutty people who had nothing better to do on a beautiful Saturday afternoon than clean up trash in the forest.  We got a tarped encampment out of Cascade Gulch (bit of a fun trek down the gully and back), the last of the wood and metal from the Shastice site, and about 1/3 of the massive junk pile just off Everitt Mem. Hwy just north of the Gateway trailhead.  By the way, the trailhead parking lot was full all afternoon!

Many thanks to Glenn Harvey, Tom Heilmann, Patrick Stalder, Mike McArron, Mike Daly, John Moreno, Perry Sims, Mark Foster, Tina Ure, Steve Scharpf, Todd Cory, and Bill Broeckel (who drove down from Yreka to help us).  The large group made short work of the mess.

When the transients are completely gone from the Everitt site (and they are removing some of their stuff), we’ll go back and finish the job.

JH