Forest Service News Release — Gateway Phase 2

Gateway Phase 2 Trail Project gains momentum

Contact(s): Josef Orosz, Public Affairs Specailist, 530 226-2322

MT. SHASTA, Calif. — The Shasta McCloud Management Unit of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, in partnership with the Mt. Shasta Trail Association (MSTA), has finalized and signed the Gateway Phase 2 Environmental Assessment and Decision Notice which will allow for the following:

•              Construct 44.8 miles of new multi-use, non-motorized trails and 1.7 miles of trail that would be designed and permitted to equestrians and hikers only.

•              Construct two new day-use trailheads at Ten Gallon Plantation and the south side of the Everitt Memorial Highway across from the McBride Springs Campground.

•              Develop two existing recreation facilities as day-use trailheads at the John Everitt Vista Point and the Nordic Center on the Ski Park Highway.

•              Expand the McBride Springs Campground by adding a loop for 8-12 campsites.

•              Decommission unauthorized, unsustainable, user-created trails and trail segments in the project area.

The project area encompasses over 5,000 acres joining the existing 11.4 mile Gateway trail system off the Everitt Memorial Highway and Ski Park Highway, and contributes to the community’s “100 miles of Trail” campaign that launched in 2013 by MSTA and BikeShasta.

The proposed trail expansion has been designed to address multiple non-motorized trail users – hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers, and equestrian riders and incorporates consideration for trail-user objectives and desired experiences. This resulted in a “zoned” approach to the trail network that includes:

1.             Community Zone – close to town and easy to access, designed to build upon the existing Gateway network and creates more opportunities to quickly get out and enjoy the forest.

2.             Learning Zone (Discovery Center) – trailhead will be located at the Nordic Center, a short connection to the Mt. Shasta Ski Park, and mellow, rolling terrain with fantastic views all around. The Learning Zone will be ideal for those new to trails and will provide a series of loops that allow users to begin easy and add mileage if they feel up to the challenge.

3.             Big Mountain Zone – designed to provide a variety of trail experiences, but with an emphasis on mountain biking, including a portion where the “preferred-use” would be mountain biking. The Vista Point trailhead will function as a drop point in which users can descent into an assortment of routes ranging from intermediate level flow trails, to advanced downhill directionally designed trails, and connect with the Community or Learning Zones.

Over the last two years, the Forest Service has worked closely with the MSTA, who funded the NEPA analysis and completed the technical resource reports and Environmental Assessment following Forest Service guidelines. “This project was truly a community-led effort with support from all user groups, local businesses, and residents. It is an exciting time for our area with such an emphasis on recreation and tourism. This project compliments the designation of the city of Mt. Shasta as a Pacific Crest Trail Town and the larger concept of the Mount Shasta Trail Partners,” explained Shasta McCloud Management Unit District Ranger, Carolyn Napper. “This project provides the Forest Service an opportunity to work with the City of Mt. Shasta and surrounding areas to diversify the economic base of the community and promote partnerships with user groups to assist in the operation, maintenance, and developed of recreation sites and facilities.” 

With the grant funding the Mt. Shasta Trail Association received from the McConnell Foundation in 2017, trail building will begin in the spring of 2020 in the Big Mountain Zone. Construction will be a phased approach and once trail segments have been integrated into the National Forest System Trails system they will be open for public use. Both the Forest Service and the MSTA is continuing to apply for additional grant funding (Prop 68 and Recreation Trails Program) to support the construction and maintenance into the future.

“The completion of the environmental analysis and the signing of a decision for the Gateway Phase 2 Trail Project is a monumental event for the Trail Association and all of our donors and partners — especially the support we got from the local Forest Service employees,” stated Mt Shasta Trail Association board member, John Schuyler. “We see national forest lands as key to our goal of making southern Siskiyou County a destination for sustainable trail-based recreation, and this project demonstrates how we and the Forest Service can work together and accomplish common goals.”

For more information about this project visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=53089. A larger image of the trail project is available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/FSEPRD677468.pdf.

Hike the Gateway Trail with the MSTA on Saturday, May 19th, 2012

The Mount Shasta Trail Association invites you to join us on a moderate 7 mile loop hike Saturday, May 19th, 2012, on the brand new Gateway Trail on the flanks of Mt Shasta. We will start out with gorgeous views of the Eddys, Black Butte and Mt. Shasta and then enter the serene forest. We will climb a total of 700 feet.

The Gateway Trail, just constructed last fall, was created for hikers, bikers and horses by the Mount Shasta Trail Association in partnership with the Forest Service. The extensive network of Gateway and (existing) Tunnel trails have lots of opportunities for loops. This volcanic area used to be large brush fields dominated by manzanita brush. Hikers will see evidence of the herculean efforts made to convert the area to conifer plantations. This accessible trail is right in our own back yard, off of Everrit Memorial Highway.

Participants meet at the Fish Hatchery in Mt Shasta at 9 am. Bring lunch and water. We will return by 2 pm. For further questions call Joan Roemer at 926-0647.

 

IMBA Trail Building Workshop in Mount Shasta May 11-12, 2012

The Mount Shasta Trail Association Presents:

IMBA Trail Building Workshop: May 11th and 12th, 2012

201 N Mount Shasta Blvd, Mount Shasta, CA 96067

Overview:

  1. Presentation on the economic benefits of trails (Friday evening, 7pm @ Black Bear Gallery)
  2. Classroom workshop on essential trail building elements (Saturday morning, 9am-12n)
  3. Field instruction and hands-on trail building workshop (Saturday afternoon, 12.30-3pm)

Friday May 11 @ 7pm at the Black Bear Gallery (upstairs)

Join us for a presentation by IMBA crew on the economic benefits of recreational trails in small towns and an update on the construction of the Gateway Trail and future plans.

Saturday May 12 @ 9am-3pm: meet at the Black Bear Gallery (upstairs), Lunch provided!

IMBA’s Trail Building School teaches IMBA’s philosophies and trains local volunteers and land managers on how to build and maintain sustainable trails.  The school involves a classroom session in the morning and a hands-on workshop in the afternoon.  Elements covered:

  • Introduction to the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew
  • Trail building theory
  • Essential elements of sustainable trials
  • Designing the trail
  • Rerouting and reclaiming trails
  • Advanced trail construction techniques

*Morning will be spent in classroom and then we will carpool to Gateway Trail for a hands-on building clinic.  Please plan on attending both classroom and outdoor sessions.

Who Should Attend this Workshop?

  • Any trail user (bike, pedestrian, equestrian, etc.)
  • People interested in or tasked with trail design, building and maintenance, such as land managers and city planners
  • Community service: those who oversee a community service program, those who need to complete a community service project
  • Anyone who would like to understand the elements for trail sustainability
  • High school mountain biking teams and local scout troops
  • Cycling teams, urban planners, parks and recreation majors, etc.

Lunch and Tools Included!

The Mount Shasta Trail Association will provide all tools necessary for the hands-on trail building workshop and also provide lunch for all participants. Please bring appropriate work clothes, shoes, rain gear, gloves, etc.

For More Information: Contact Andrew Braugh, 530-440-5921 or drewbraugh@gmail.com

International Mountain Biking Association Trail Building Workshop May 11 and 12, 2012 in Mount Shasta

The Mount Shasta Trail Association Presents: International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Trail Building Workshop: May 11 and 12, 2012

Upstairs at the Black Bear Gallery – 201 N Mount Shasta Blvd, Mount Shasta, CA 96067

Overview:

  1. Presentation on the economic benefits of trails (Friday 7pm @ Black Bear Gallery)
  2. Classroom workshop on essential trail building elements (Saturday morning, 9am-12n)
  3. Field instruction and hands-on trail building workshop (Saturday afternoon, 12.30-3pm)

Friday May 11 @ 7pm at the Black Bear Gallery (upstairs)

Join us for a presentation by IMBA crew on the economic benefits of recreational trails in small towns and an update on the construction of the Gateway Trail and future plans.

Saturday May 12 @ 9am-3pm: meet at the Black Bear Gallery (upstairs), Lunch provided!

IMBA’s Trail Building School teaches IMBA’s philosophies and trains local volunteers and land managers on how to build and maintain sustainable trails.  The school involves a classroom session in the morning and a hands-on workshop in the afternoon.  Elements covered:

  • Introduction to the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew
  • Trail building theory
  • Essential elements of sustainable trials
  • Designing the trail
  • Rerouting and reclaiming trails
  • Advanced trail construction techniques

*Morning will be spent in classroom and then we will carpool to Gateway Trail for a hands-on building clinic.  Please plan on attending both classroom and outdoor sessions.

Who Should Attend this Workshop?

  • Any trail user (bike, pedestrian, equestrian, etc.)
  • People interested in or tasked with trail design, building and maintenance, such as land managers and city planners
  • Community service: those who oversee a community service program, those who need to complete a community service project
  • Anyone who would like to understand the elements for trail sustainability
  • High school mountain biking teams and local scout troops
  • Cycling teams, urban planners, parks and recreation majors, etc.

Lunch and Tools Included!

The Mount Shasta Trail Association will provide all tools necessary for the hands-on trail building workshop and also provide lunch for all participants. Please bring appropriate work clothes, shoes, rain gear, gloves, etc.

For More Information: Contact Andrew Braugh, 530-440-5921 or drewbraugh@gmail.com

Mount Shasta Trail Association 2011 Highlights

Here’s what Mount Shasta Trail Association president Joe Wirth said about the many MSTA accomplishments for 2011 during our recent annual meeting. He discusses the importance of partnerships and how that has been relevant to much of MSTA’s work.

Joe Wirth’s Comments

If I were to choose one word that characterizes the Mt. Shasta Trail Association’s accomplishments in 2011 it would be PARTNERSHIPS. What do I mean when I say that?  Quite simply, when we review all of the projects we’ve been involved in, our PARTNERSHIPS were the consistent reason we were able to get things done.  And in 2012 one of our primary goals will be to continue to build and strengthen our partnerships.

Here in our small community, which has seen some tough economic times over the past months, we see building strong relationships and partnerships as a cost effective way to significantly expand our resources and everyone wins.

Here are three concrete examples of our current  PARTNERSHIPS: The Gateway Trail, The Hedge Creek Falls to Mossbrae Falls Trail, and the work being done to keep Castle Crags State Park open.

The Gateway Trail Project

Let’s start building the case for partnerships by looking at the Gateway Trail project. This has been a PARTNERSHIP between MSTA and the Forest Service plus the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) and a number of local mountain bikers. CA State Parks and Recreation Department has also been involved and been a major source of funds to build the trail.

Each of these groups and organizations I mentioned played an important role and without all of these groups working together, especially the Forest Service, the project could not have moved forward at all.

As we think about the future of the Gateway Trail and how to make Mt. Shasta a destination for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians it is clear that creating a strong relationship with IMBA is very important and has great economic benefits for the Mt. Shasta area.

Hedge Creek to Mossbrae Falls Trail

Now let’s move on to our second example, Mossbrae Falls.  Mossbrae Falls has long been a popular destination for hikers in this area and the only way to get there is to hike along the railroad tracks. Those of you who have taken this hike know that there are several places where meeting an oncoming train presents a serious problem.  If you’ve been there you seen the steep bank down to the river on one side a high embankment on the other with not enough distance from the railroad tracks to feel comfortable. But many folks every year have decided that the risk is worth the reward.

However, this past November the feared accident did occur. A woman did not succeed in getting far enough out of the way and was hit in the head by a locomotive. Surprisingly, she was not killed and is expected to recover fully over time. That’s the good news. But clearly this shows that beyond the shadow of doubt the time has come to fix this problem

Before this event we began working in with the Dunsmuir City Manager, Union Pacific Railroad, and the St. Germain Foundation to create a trail to Mossbrae Falls that would branch off from the existing Hedge Creek Falls Trail and cross what is now St. Germain property. This is the first time that the railroad and St. Germain Foundation have been willing to consider this idea.

The plan is to obtain funding to purchase St. Germain land that would then be owned by the City of Dunsmuir and build a trail on that land. To that end we obtained a $10,000 grant from the Union Pacific Foundation and used the money to lay out the trail, survey the land (5.35) where the trail would located and get a appraisal of land value. We are currently negotiating with St. Germain Foundation on a purchase price for the land and hope to find a mutually acceptable answer in the next few months.

I have hiked the proposed trail route with Tom Hesseldenz and others and it is very scenic trail that winds down a steep hillside with numerous springs to the level of the river and to the falls. We will work hard to take advantage of the opportunity to resolve this safety hazard forever and create a hiking attraction for this area.

As you’ve listened to this, I hope you’ll agree that the Mossbrae Falls project clearly illustrates the power of partnership and it’s importance, not only for the community but, in this case, especially for trail users.

Castle Crags State Park

Finally, I would like to talk about one of our most publicized park and trail challenges, the proposed closing of Castle Crags State Park, because the progress we’ve made to date, once again exemplifies the power of partnership.

On May 23, 2011 CA Department of Parks and Recreation announced the planned closure of 70 State Parks including Castle Crags. Shortly after that announcement the Mt. Shasta Trail Association began working with Parks and Recreation, the Castle Crags Interpretative Association and recently with the Bioregional Ecology Center to find a way to keep the park open or at the very least to keep the trails accessible and in good condition.

Here’s where we are: We have negotiated an agreement with State Parks and Recreation that will allow us to work on trails within the park to provide trail maintainance and promote educational and interpretative activities around the trails. Since Castle Crags Interpretive Association’s contract with State Parks expired at the end of 2011 they have transferred most of their funds from activities in the park to MSTA and we have put those funds in a separate account earmarked for use only within Castle Crags. Specifically here’s how this will work:

  • Our agreement with the state includes a listing of trail projects for use of these funds.

We will most certainly need a corps of volunteers to work on Castle Crags trails this year and into the future. There us a volunteer signup sheet in the back for those of you interested in working in Castle Crags

  • Trails are only a portion of the Castle Crags operation and recently the Bioregional Ecology Center has become involved to find a way to keep the park completely in operation and they are actively working to mobilize community support for the park.
  • We are working with them to develop short and long term plans for keeping the park in operation – while State Parks is continuing to work on new models for park operation that narrow the gap between park costs and revenues.

The planned closure date of July 1st is rapidly approaching. Keeping the park open is important economically and for the quality of life in the communities of south Siskiyou County. Now is the time to come together individually and as organizations to keep Castle Crags open.  Now is the time for us to show the power of partnerships

Finally, I hope you’ll leave here tonight an advocate for teamwork and partnerships, if you’re not already, and that having heard the progress reports on the Gateway Trail, Mossbrae Falls Trail and Castle Crags project, you too are now convinced of the power of working together.

Your Thoughts…

Please share your thoughts and ideas about these issues and any others you think relevant to the mission of the Mount Shasta Trail Association in the comments below.

Local Screening of Pedal-Driven: A Bike-Umentary

The Mount Shasta Trails Association, the US Forest Service, and the International Mountain Biking Association will be showing the new documentary film “Pedal-Driven” on Friday, February 3rd, 2011, at 7 PM at the Black Bear Gallery in Mount Shasta.

This award winning one-hour documentary examines the issues surrounding mountain bike trail management and conflicts between mountain bikers and public land management agencies like the US Forest Service.   “Our primary theme here revolves around sustainability”, said writer/director Jamie Howell.  “Mountain biking is exploding around the world. We have to find new, cooperative approaches that both allow it as a legitimate use and manage it in a way that prevents the destruction of our precious and limited natural spaces.”

Pedal Driven: Mountain Biking DocumentaryFor more than two years, the film-making team traveled across the Western United States, compelled to tell a story of clandestine groups of rogue mountain bikers who build illegal trails on America’s public lands. Footage was collected from both sides of the conflict, battle lines were drawn, illegal trails were ripped out and existing trails were shut down.  Along the way, a shift occurred with both sides coming to the table, new partnerships were forged and sustainable biking opportunities were built.  The film aims to inspire a dialogue about where mountain biking belongs on the American landscape and to explore the responsibility we all have to balance our personal interests with the need manage our public lands in a sustainable manner.   The film is laced with stunning scenery, thrilling ride scenes with professional riders, and candid interviews with land managers, mountain bikers, and community leaders from around the West.

Representatives from the US Forest Service, the Mount Shasta Trail Association, and the International Mountain Bike Association will be on hand to discuss the issues raised by the film and to foster a constructive dialog about mountain bike trail management and opportunities in our community.   In addition, there will be an update on the Gateway Trail project, an exciting new recreation trail built in cooperation between the Forest Service and the Mount Shasta Trail Association.

You can find out more about the film and watch a trailer at www.pedaldriven.org.

For additional information, please contact Joe Wirth at the Mount Shasta Trail Association at 926-2858 or Kai Allen at the US Forest Service at 926-9610.

Trail Building Workshop in Mount Shasta November 4-5, 2011

The MSTA is pleased to present the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Trail Building Workshop on November 4-5, 2011 in Mount Shasta.

There’s no cost, and you’ll even get a free lunch. (And who doesn’t love a free lunch?)

Overview

  1. Presentation on the economic benefits of trails (Friday evening)
  2. Classroom workshop on essential trail building elements (Saturday morning)
  3. Field instruction and hands-on trail building workshop (Saturday afternoon)

Friday November 4 @ 7pm at the Gallery in the Black Bear Building (upstairs)

Join us for a presentation by IMBA crew on the economic benefits of recreational trails in small towns and an update on the construction of the Gateway Trail.

Saturday November 5 @ 9am: meet at 701 South Mount Shasta Blvd. (CalTrout office)

IMBA’s Trail Building School teaches IMBA’s philosophies and trains local volunteers and land managers on how to build and maintain sustainable trails.  The school involves a classroom session in the morning and a hands-on workshop in the afternoon.  Elements covered:

  • Introduction to the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew
  • Trail building theory
  • Essential elements of sustainable trials
  • Designing the trail
  • Rerouting and reclaiming trails
  • Advanced trail construction techniques

The workshop will finish around 4 p.m.

Who Should Attend this Trail Building Workshop?

  • Any trail user (bike, pedestrian, equestrian, etc.)
  • People interested in or tasked with trail design, building and maintenance, such as land managers and city planners
  • Community service: those who oversee a community service program, those who need to complete a community service project
  • Anyone who would like to understand the elements for trail sustainability
  • High school mountain biking teams and local scout troops
  • Cycling teams, urban planners, parks and recreation majors, etc.

 Lunch and Tools Included!

The Mount Shasta Trail Association will provide all tools necessary for the hands-on trail building workshop and also provide lunch for all participants. Please bring appropriate work clothes, shoes, rain gear, gloves, etc.

For More Information: Contact Andrew Braugh, 530-440-5921 or drewbraugh@gmail.com

 

Construction Begins on the Mount Shasta Gateway Trail

We’re finally making it happen with the Mount Shasta Gateway Trail folks!

Map of the project: click here.

And here’s our press release…

Mount Shasta, October 9, 2011. The Mt. Shasta Trail Association (MSTA) is pleased to announce that work has begun on the Gateway Trail project.  MSTA President Joe Wirth stated, “The Gateway Trail is an important piece of our overall vision for trails serving the community and its visitors.”

This project will result in the development of approximately 7 miles of shared-use non-motorized trails on National Forest System lands immediately east of the City of Mt. Shasta.  The trail network will be open to hikers, runners, mountain bikers and equestrians.  It is primarily being funded by a Federal Highway Administration Recreation Trails Program grant administered by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.  Additional efforts – in the form of labor, funding or materials – are being provided by the MSTA and the Shasta-McCloud Management Unit of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.  The Forest Service conducted an environmental analysis of the project earlier this year, giving the project the “green light.”

The ongoing work involves the clearing of vegetation and roughing in of a 36” to 48” trail tread by Trailscape, Inc., a contractor hired by the MSTA, plus additional labor is being provided by a Deadwood California Department of Corrections crew.  Specific segments of the existing “Tunnel Trails” will be incorporated into the overall trail network after reconstruction work remedies problems with drainage, alignment, and grade.

” I know that everyone will be excited about the new trail”, said Kai Allen, Recreation Manager for the Forest Service, ” but for safety and resource protection, the trail is closed, and we are asking that everyone be patient until it is completed. If construction goes as scheduled, the trails should be open for use as soon as next summer.  Prior to opening of the trails, a parking area with an information kiosk will be developed just off the Everett Memorial Highway.”

Besides MSTA and the Forest Service, conceptual planning for the trail included Mountain Runners and the City of Mt. Shasta.  The City has also recognized the importance of the Tunnel Trails in its City of Mount Shasta Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Master Plan in 2009.  Many volunteer hours have already been contributed and there will be more opportunities for volunteers in the future.

Gateway Trail Project Manager Position

The Mt. Shasta Trail Association, Inc (MSTA) is looking for a qualified person to manage its Gateway Trail Project.

The Gateway Trail involves the construction/reconstruction of 7 miles of non-motorized trail on federal lands administered by the USDA Forest Service, adjacent to the city of Mt. Shasta.  The project is being funded by a grant administered by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, and involves both trail development and a trailhead facility.  The Project Manager would be coordinating all aspects of the project, working with contractors, Forest Service employees, and MSTA personnel.

Project Manager Qualifications:

  1. Experience with non-profit grant management, strategic planning, and budgeting.
  2. Strong relationship with local community members, businesses, government agencies, and outdoor recreation community
  3. Knowledge of NEPA, CEQA, and other federal/state environmental regulations
  4. Knowledge of the Gateway Trail project site and boundaries (Also known as the “Tunnel Trail”).
  5. Knowledge of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) requirements, as administered by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

The Project Manager would function as an independent contractor, and would need to cover their own benefits, taxes and other costs such as transportation.  Work hours would be part-time, averaging approximately 8 hours per week.  The contract would establish project benchmarks and deliverables, and put limits on the amount of time the Project Manager would work.  Compensation would be $45/hour.  To apply for this position, please mail a statement addressing the above 5 qualifications to:

Mt. Shasta Trail Association
PO Box 36
Mt. Shasta, CA 96067

Or email the statement to:

Please submit all statements by September 24, 2011.

Your Public Comments For the Mount Shasta Gateway Trail Needed

One of the most significant achievements of the Mount Shasta Trail Association in the last year has been obtaining a grant (with the help of partners) to create the Mount Shasta Gateway Trail on Shasta-Trinity National Forest land on the east side of Everitt Memorial Highway and just north of the town of Mount Shasta.

It’s not official yet, however. We need your official public comments on the proposal. Drew Braugh is the very talented consultant who wrote the grant and shepherded it through the approval process. According to Drew, there are two ways you can officially make a comment:

1. Electronic comments can be submitted in an email message to:

Comments-pacificsouthwest-shasta-trinity-mtshasta-mccloud@fs.fed.us

Subject: Gateway Trail

Please attach an identifiable name to comments!

2. Or by visiting the Mount Shasta Ranger Station Office at:

204 West Alma Street
Mount Shasta, CA 96067
Office hours for hand delivery: 8am-4.30pm Monday through Friday

Comments must be submitted to:

Randall J. Gould, Acting District Ranger

ATTN: Emelia Barnum204 West Alma Street

Mount Shasta, CA 96067

(530) 926- 4511

Please submit comment by September 1st 2010.

For questions contact: Andrew Braugh, 530-926-3768, drewbraugh@gmail.com or Emelia Barnum, 530-926-4511

Environmental Documentation, Scoping Letter, and Legal Notice, can be found at:

http://data.ecosystem-management.org/nepaweb/nepa_content.php?project=29962