Anybody seen the trails lately? I haven't been up there as much this summer, but I'm sure that with this rain we've had, they're pretty badly "overgrown." There are also several trees down and logs to be cut and moved.
The soft plants are not a problem, but the aspen shoots are going to be bad. Further, we still have a few areas where the fire actually burned the ground (consisting of organic materials) and subsequent erosion resulted in a pretty significant loss of trail.
I plan on going over a maintenance/rehab plan with the Espanola Ranger District. Hopefully, we will be able to do a little more mechanized trail reconstruction, but that is not for sure at this point.
At any rate, we will need to plan on doing some tree cutting and aspen shoot/brush clearing to get the trails in shape this fall. Personally, I won't be planning on doing any "heavy" work until October, but might find some opportunities to go cut some aspen shoots.
We now have an "official" club-owned brush cutter that works like a weed-eater, but has a pretty serious blade on it that can cut up to about a 2" tree stalk. If anyone is handy with that and wants to get a jump on things, we can meet to get it up and running. I've used my own personal one for a few years now, and it can clear those aspen/locust shoots about 100 times faster than the hand loppers that we've all killed our backs while using over the years.
Over the next several weeks, I'll try to get some things organized for our annual fall work parties. I'll also try to get a list of things we will need to do to get prepared for the season.
For sure, we have:
1. cut & clear the aspen/locusts
2. string up the ~1,500 meters of shade fencing
3. clear the downed trees from the trails
Those are the three primary things that we must get done. Cutting the downed trees is not so much of a problem for the club, but the aspen shoots and fence hanging always take a lot more time and effort than we all realize. We don't have to get it all accomplished all at once. The fencing can be the last thing we do, sometime in November.
Hope you've all had fun, healthy and active summers. Looks like we might be in for a somewhat improved winter. Usually, if there is more active rains in the summer, then the winters are better...we'll see!