Windstorm Trail Work Tomorrow

The big winds caused some trail damage this past week and though most hikers and bikers think the Forest Service clears and maintains all the trails we all love to hike and ride it’s actually volunteer groups, such as the Disciples of Dirt Mountain Bike Club (DOD), who contribute many thousands of hours to trail work each year.  The various government agencies don’t have the manpower or budgets to do it all on their own anymore. After this weeks big winds DOD is gearing up to get some of those local trails cleared. The following information comes from Paul Timm, the Trailwork Coordinator for the DOD:

Lending a Hand via Flickr: North Cascades National Park

Each spring the DOD, and our sister club in Oakridge the Greater Oakridge Area Trail Stewards, or GOATS, organize multiple trailwork parties to tackle cutting out all the trees that blow down, repair the trail where erosion may have taken a toll, and cut back brush that encroaches.  Many of our members are certified by the National Forest Service to operate chainsaws, and many of us have had field training on the right way to build and maintain trail from both the NFS and IMBA, the International Mountain Bika Association.  IMBA is the recognized leader in trail design for safety and sustainability. See  www.imba.com for more info.

Last Sunday’s wind storm caused some serious damage that everyone is aware of.  Here it is 4 days after the storm as I am writing this, and some folks are still out of power.  What do you think happened in the woods?  Lots of trees fell and are blocking trails.  To that end, we are organizing an immediate effort to reopen the trails in our winter playground near Lorane.  If you think you might like to come out to lend a hand we could use you

we are organizing an immediate effort to reopen the trails in our winter playground near Lorane.  If you think you might like to come out to lend a hand we could use you.

 If you know where the gravel pile is…show up Saturday, March 19 at 9am.  If you need directions, email me directly paul.cheri.timm@gmail.com and  I will zap directions back to you.

No need to worry about a lack of knowledge or tools.  We can provide both.  If you have a steel garden rake to drag the small blowdown off the trail, or a beefy lopper, bring it.  Otherwise, be dressed for the weather, bring a lunch and water.  Remember eye protection and gloves!  Bring your bike too!

We don’t know the extent of the the damage at this time. There might be 20 trees down, there might be 200.  I figure if we show up with an army and the battle is won in two hours, that leaves 2-3 hours for a nice mountain bike ride.

Since chainsaws will be more prevalent this weekend so here are some rules.

1. Never cut alone. Always have a buddy.
2. Always wear protective gear. Adhere to the National Forest Service standards for safety. That means:
Hardhat or bike helmet
Safety glasses
Gloves
Long sleeves
Sturdy boots
Chaps (for sawyers a must have, not for swampers)

On another note, the trail that is next most heavily used in winter is probably North Shore. I would appreciate hearing from anyone that can report the damage there. Since there is such good road access on that trail, make careful note of where the trouble is, so we can drive to it.

There will be many more work days scheduled as we near spring and the snow recedes.  Watch for future dates and announcements here on WeBikeEugene as well as the club websites (DOD & GOATS) and DOD yahoo group list serve.

Let’s all pitch in! Many hands make light work! Our playground needs some lovin’.

Author: Shane MacRhodes

Contributor & co-editor. Papa. Active Transportation Professional. BEST Board Member.