Brush Trimmer, Pole Saw, Handsaw, Chainsaw are names of tools that appeared numerous times in our trail reports this past year. A combination of drought and intense rain in above average amounts created a sizable workload for our dedicated trail crew. Several times a month we received reports of trees down and blocking a trail. Depending on the size of the tree trunk, our team would be dispatched to cut up and move the tree out of the way. The above average rainfall brought many spectacular blooms to the mountains. The flip side of that is the dramatic amounts of non-native Mustard & Thistles, mixed in with lots of native tarweed that were crowding out our trails. If you were to have traveled along any of the trails this past Spring/Summer - you might remember the feeling of brush scraping against legs! We marshaled the resources and volunteers to keep trails open where we could, but the task we attempt is a job that will never be finished. It is worth repeating that the majority of trails we worked on would not have been cleared without our efforts. Government budgets for Trail Work are anemic at best - NPS and State Parks depend on us and in turn we depend on you to join us for an event or two each year. Consider joining us for a work event in 2018!
78 events were held in 2017.
70 of those events took place on trails in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
4,181 hours of volunteer labor performed on the trails.
285 unique volunteers provided 1,630 hours of labor
12 dedicated volunteers accounted for 2,551 hours!
58 volunteers from CSU Channel Islands worked 348 hours
6 Events and 326 volunteer hours in Channel Islands National Park
Along the way, we worked with CORBA, Trail Runners, employees from Farmers Insurance, Air Force personnel, Sierra Club Task Force, and North Face Employees. With a shared appreciation for our trails, we repaired and worked together for a common cause.
The Winter storms of 2016/2017 changed the landscape of trails in Point Mugu State Park. The loss of several feet of canyon bottom obliterated several trails in Pt. Mugu State Point Mugu State Park. From February thru April, downed trees blocking the path were removed, stream crossings rebuilt and the trail relocated in several places where the old trail was missing. Later in the Spring, we were back to trim the vegetation now pushing its way onto the rebuilt trails. The gas powered brush trimmer and pole saws saw significant action as our crew made the pathway visible once again.
In the Fall - over a period of eight work days - the crew rebuilt a section of Upper Sycamore. Severely damaged during an intense storm in 2014 made passage by equestrians treacherous to dangerous. This restoration project involved the building of a stone retaining wall about 28 feet long, 4 feet wide and varying in height from 2 to 6 feet. This section of trail is now usable by equestrians, hikers, and trail runners.
The Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council (SMMTC) has put together a project to improve a select group of trailheads with amenities defined below. The project provides improvements to twelve BBT trailheads, broken down into four subprojects.The Four Project Groups
Implementation of the project will be by a team comprising agency representatives from National Park Service and California State Parks along with SMMTC members and volunteer organizations. Three of the twelve sites have been completed as part of an Eagle Scout Project. The young men worked hard planning, organizing, digging, installing and learning skills that will be useful in their future careers.
The Agencies and the SMMTC will provide guidance and much of the funding and materials. This project will continue thru 2018.
Trailhead amenities were designed to provide a BBT user with a satisfying entry/exit to the BBT. Not all amenities will apply to every trailhead but will be applicable depending on usage and accessibility.
Towards the end of the year, the winds came and toppled more trees. Our crew with their saw blades and loppers bid a sad fair well to the newly fallen trees.