Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Trail still closed but volunteers can go up!

The trail is still technically closed but you can easily get some good skiing or snowshoeing in as long you come up
to volunteer to help. Below is a message from Lynn Bjorklund of Espanola Ranger District who
has been working tirelessly to help with trail recovering and opening of the area with our club. This
message has info on volunteer opportunities as well as a great summary of efforts
put into our trail recovery. Thanks everyone!
The snow conditions are superior right now with temperatures staying below freezing.  It doesn't get any 
better. For those who want to volunteer on the trail over the weekend, there is lots to do.  The shade fencing 
has come loose in several places, so bring a few twist ties.  Then there are those pesky aspens still poking up 
through the snow, and some limbing where tree branches encroach on the groomed areas.  A few twist ties 
and some clippers are good to have with you.   Although not nicely groomed yet, the course is very do-able 
with classic or skate.  I met several visitors on the course confused about the status of the trails or completely 
unaware of the closure, but happy to volunteer for the club until it is officially open. 

People who have not seen the course since last year barely notice much difference.  They don't have a clue 
about the massive amount of work that was done to get it to this point.  Well over 400 volunteer hours in 
about 90 days were donated by the club and those volunteering under the club, to fell and buck trees off the 
trail, help with the fencing, and generally repair the trail tread. These hours are worth over $10,000 dollars 
that can be credited to $20,000 of supplies and contract work to help restore all our trails in the Los Alamos 
area that were affected by the fire.  And this is just the volunteer hours on the Nordic trails.  There has been 
almost as much volunteer time donated to other fire affected trails in the Los Alamos area as well this Fall. 

What an incredible dedicated and giving community we have!  Special thanks should go to Clay for leading the
 efforts on the Nordic trails and wading through all the contracting paperwork and frustrations with having to 
do and redo the government forms to utilize the funding that the club was given for rehab after the fire.  
Another special thanks to the Rocky Mountain Youth Corp who put up the fence in the snowy, frigid 
conditions of late November, and to Reineke Construction who is our contractor for the BAER contract.  
The energetic sawyer team of two cut the really huge dangerous trees on the course and then several hundred 
hazard and downed trees that made it possible to open the trails all the way to the rim of Guaje Canyon and 
along the Nail Trail.  In the Spring this contract will resume with more hazard tree removal and then the use of 
a tandem trail dozer and mini excavator to re-establish some of our most damaged trails. Your volunteer hours 
this winter will help to meet the matching contribution that will fund continuing restoration. 

As the year draws to a close, the Espanola Ranger District Recreation team would like to say Thank You 
to all the wonderful volunteers for your time, efforts, and dedication to make this ski course a reality for the 
community and visitors, and especially for the extraordinary efforts these past few months after the 
devastation of the Las Conchas Fire.  It couldn't happen without you.   Here's to a safe, snowy, and 
excellent season in 2012. 
Lynn Bjorklund
Recreation Staff
Espanola Ranger District

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