Five Bucks A Foot is back! With the generous help of our friends at Santa Cruz Bicycles, the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship is proud to announce another installment of our wildly popular Five Bucks A Foot campaign. For those of you not already familiar with the concept, here’s how it works:
Every foot purchased enters you a chance to win the Santa Cruz bike of your choice.
There is NO limit to how many feet of trail you fund.
ALL the funding generated goes into SBTS trailbuilding efforts.
This is a win/win situation. By entering, you stand a chance to win the bike of your choice, with a value of up to $10,000. And, with every foot of trail purchased, you help us build and maintain an expanding network of world class singletrack (the perfect place to ride that new bike you just won), employ local trailbuilders, and bolster the economy of our local community. Read More »
What is the Lost and Found? It’s a bike race, or a bike ride, depending on your state of mind, taking place on May 31st, and it is best explained here.
Beyond the basic nuts and bolts of the ride itself, The Lost and Found is a very important event for us here at SBTS. This event, along with the Lost Sierra trail run and the Downieville Classic, is a crucial component of our fundraising. We put on these events in order to bring people to this area, challenge their abilities, and showcase a place that we are proud to call home. The money raised from entry fees for these events then gets fed directly back into our trail restoration, maintenance and building efforts. Our trail crews are all locally hired, and we gear our work toward enhancing not just the trails in this area, but also bringing some economic life into the region.
At both the state and federal level, grant funding is becoming scarce. This is a basic, hard to swallow reality of the current economic climate. If we were to rely solely on grants, we’d have to put down the tools and close up shop at some point. As such, these events, as well as other fundraisers such as Trailfest and our Five Buck a Foot campaigns, along with our membership dues, become more and more important in helping us continue to do what we founded this whole stewardship thing for in the first place – build, restore, and maintain the best trails on the planet. Read More »
The first part of 2014 has tested our resolve on several fronts, and at times those of us central to the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship have had some grim thoughts about the future of recreational trail access in this area. In light of that, it is a great honor to announce that The California Trails and Greenways Conference has noticed that we’re doing some good work up here, and has recognized our Storrie Student Trail Program with a merit award.
This program is something that has evolved out of our growing sense of community, and is tied in with our belief that sustainable trails are part of a broader community health. It ties our desire to see better, more carefully built and planned trails in with our goal of hiring and training a local workforce, and dovetails in with our conviction that education about the environment and the benefits of being involved with its stewardship are something that people of all ages and all walks of life should be able to get behind.
As the program took shape and came to life, it became a labor of love for us, and especially for our determined crew leaders Cody Clayton, Morgan Koons and Mandy Beatty. For them, it was a summer-long commitment, taking a crew of local high schoolers into the backcountry and immersing them for weeks at a time in all aspects of trail work. The kids emerged at the end of the summer strong, focused, and with new skills ranging from wilderness first aid to rock wall construction. Read More »
The SBTS crew went back to work on the Spanish Traverse trail where conditions remained very rocky digging with excavator and lots of thick brushy areas that had to be logged out to clear the way for the excavator. Some of the heavy wooded areas had more then a foot of duff that needed to be raked out to keep the excavator moving. The Spanish Traverse trail has been very rocky and slow moving with the excavator. So any advantage to keep excavator moving as quickly as possible is being taken. Also super volunteer days are scheduled to do some finish work on the Spanish Traverse trail taking advantage of the nice weather.
The crew has had great successes in these past weeks, with more than a mile of trail being built. With a strong showing of super volunteers, more than 1,300 feet of trail is 100 % finished. The crew is now dropping down to Spanish Creek at Oakland camp and switchbacks are being installed. These are very time consuming with the very rocky terrain, but turning out nicely. The weather has been very warm on the south-facing mountain in the afternoon. We have received some much-needed rain that was nice to keep the dust down. It’s been very dusty and dry! Every day we’ve seen hikers or mountain bikers come by and they are very excited about the work being done.
With the lower traverse connecting to both ends of the Spanish Ridge trail, users now have a full loop to do and loving it.
When we founded this stewardship, there were plenty of companies that didn’t quite know what to make of us. We were at the outset a bunch of mountain bikers who were getting our heads around a much bigger picture that would ultimately embrace all forms of recreation, but at the time were still viewed by some strictly as “those mountain bikers.” From those early days, one company chose to see past that, and believe in the journey we were setting out upon.
Today, Patagonia has many core members in the SBTS, and Patagonia matches their employee donations 100%. Patagonia employees are encouraged by the company to come out and work on trails with us, to the extent that we can host dedicated Patagonia trail work-days on a quarterly basis. Patagonia has offered its employees paid internships with the stewardship, and those interns logged over 160 hours of trail work last year. Patagonia has adopted the Long Lake Connector Trail. Patagonia contributes frequently and generously to our raffles and auctions, which in turn greatly helps our fundraising efforts. And Patagonia donated 500 shirts to our program last year, allowing us to outfit new members, volunteers and staff. Read More »
Formed in 2003, the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) is a volunteer driven 501c3 non-profit whose primary goal is the maintenance and enhancement of trails throughout the Sierra. SBTS employs as many as 15 full-time employees, most of which are Plumas and Sierra County residents, with an annual payroll of right around $425,000. In addition to a paid trail crew, SBTS has donated over 40,000 hours of volunteer labor to National Forests and State Parks, maintaining over 150 miles of shared use trails, including the creation of 50+ miles of new trails. While these trails see over 200,000 users per year, they continue to maintain a level “A” standing, due in large part to all the hard work of SBTS staff and volunteers. This organization is not only a shining example of what a small group of dedicated, passionate people can do for an area, it is a demonstration of economic efficiency when no alternatives exist.
We had a small but mighty crew of volunteers on Saturday to help us complete a 2.5 mile section of the Boca & Loyalton Trail that the SBTS crew has been working on for the past month. In the morning, we were joined by local Loyalton trail enthusiest Tony, who has been working to get the trail open prior to it becoming a Forest Service trail. Tony had some photos and stories to share with our group about the old railway. We were also joined by Tahoe National Forest District Ranger, Quentien Youngblood. He was very excited to have SBTS volunteers and crew working on the trail.
The morning started off with our usual bagels and coffee, then we packed lunches, had a quick safety breifing from crew leader Henry, grabbed tools and headed out. By the end of the day, we completed 3000 feet of trail. The sun was shining and we were ready for some cold libations from the Brewing Lair and some dogs off the grill.
Thank you to all the folks who came out to dig with us, and the Forest Service for the ongoing efforts to get this trail shovel ready.
Stay tuned for the next trail day out on the Boca & Loyalton hopefully in 2014!
The SBTS crew went back to work on the Spanish Ridge trail using the excavator to build new trail that will include more switchbacks with gradual grades that are under a 15% grade. We are building this trail with proper drainage to eliminate erosion problems and ensure a good line of sight to keep all users safe. The old trail was very steep and had a lot of erosion problem with a poor line of sight and was no fun climbing up. The new trail went through some heavy vegetation and very rocky ground that made it a challenge to get good lines up the mountain and made some days very slow moving with excavator. The goal for the SBTS crew was to get the Spanish Ridge trail roughed in with excavator and logged and brushed. We they were focused on getting finish work completed on both the Traverse and Ridge trails. Read More »
The SBTS crew had to push back the volunteer day a week do to some much needed winter weather, but once we saw that Saturday the 8th was going to be clear, we got to work. With only a four day notice for a work day we still got 11 people to come out and work on the Quincy South Park trail system.
The plan for the day was to focus on finish work on the Spanish Traverse trail. Even though it was a small turnout there was a big punch of energy with these volunteers! We started out with our usual coffee and bagles then lunch fixings and then went to work. Trail crew leader Henry O'Donnell gave an explanation of what he wanted done and the volunteers went to work.
Throughout the first couple of hundred yards he was doing a fair amount of finish wok behind the crew, then all of a sudden they got it. He continued to do quality control behind the group but was moving along quick. We were even joined by a Quincy Trail Kid, Jackson, who kept up pace with the adults and had a great time! By the time the day was over we finished 2700 feet of trail. At the end of the day the crew picked up some pizza from Round Table and we celebrated the work we completed.
A big thank you to the volunteers who came out to dig with us! Read More »