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Re: USFS reply to cutting off bushes

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June 08, 2003 09:05PM
Of course any changes or suggested solutions will have to have the endorsement of the USFS for starters. I personaly am also interested in working with the consensus position of the DCV group. Since, of the current most active five members of this group, 4 access through the Bowen Ranch, I'm sure the interest of that party of folks will be well represented in looking at this problem. One observation I would make is the factors that essentially created this situation of the usage of the canyon that the Route 3 trail follows. First the Moss Mill road access to the USFS parking lot was closed which was passable by 2 or 4 wheel drive vehicles. That access route was in the past used by many folks to reach the springs and the USFS parking lot. Then after the Willow Fire when the new routes were opened up, the access to the USFS parking lot through the Bowen ranch ( a 2 and 4 wheel drive road after the USFS grading ) was gated by the BLM, closing that Route to the USFS parking lot. Also around the same time it was discovered that old Route 2, west of the Bowen Ranch, actually crossed private, Rancho Las Flores property, so that 2 and 4 wheel route of access to the USFS parking lot was also closed. So in a couple of years 3 routes which did provide for 2 or 4 wheel drive access to the USFS parking lot were not options anymore. So the remaining choice of vehicle travel from the western side of the USFS parking lot became Route 4 to 3 as named by the BLM. The road getting the name of Route 3 saw very little use before the closing of the three other 2 and 4 wheel access roads to the USFS parking lot because of its difficult spots for vehicle travel. With Route 4 to 3 becoming pretty much the " only " Route of consideration to the USFS parking lot and trailhead 3W02 it picked up the visitor travel that had before, mostly entered through the three other, easier vehicle routes to the USFS parking lot. The steep hill on Route 3 is a natural barrier to many vehicles going around that way. Various people who were seeking access to DCHS by way of Route 3 found themselves stopped at the steep hill, they parked and then sought the " trail of least resistance " to thier destination of DCHS. Just south of this spot is a natural canyon that when followed leads you to a point on a ridge just 50 yards or so above trail 3W02. The canyon the Route 3 trail follows has had a trail of sorts for many years. I would not be supprised if the Indians who frequented the springs did not use that canyon in thier travels to higher ground from DCHS. In more recent years the cattle that ranged in the hills used that path of least resistance in thier wanderings. Cattle are big animals and they seek natural easier routes to get around. Thier activity was a factor in maintaining that path as a trail. When Route 3 became the main avenue of traffic to the USFS parking lot people naturally began to find out about this route. The problem for the USFS came when the trail appeared to have been worked with tools rather than just from the continual walking of it by peoples feet. That was about 2 years ago. This spring after the good rains the vegetation everywhere has grown well and the Route 3 trail, in my opinion, was essentially transforming itself back into a simple walking path. The natural process of erosion and plant growth continually works to transform the land back to a more natural state. So in my opinion, the Route 3 trail was becoming a walking path, blended well with its surroundings. That is why I found it dissappointing to see the recent cutting of the vegetation in that area. If the USFS tries to cover the walking path but people are still legally allowed to access by way of that canyon, then folks will either throw the cut vegetation off of the path which has shown itself to happen already, or they will just walk around it. If people walked around the path because of cut vegetation on the trail, they will just create, by thier walking, new additional paths, and I don't see the advantage of that. Since from what Ron says the USFS are in a position not to deny people to " walk " where they wish in USFS lands then it appears clear that people will still seek access by way of the Route 3 trail canyon. Some folks complain that people seeking to access by that canyon and path are just seeking the " easiest " way to DCHS. Not too long ago I hiked out with DCV group member Ron. We decided to meet for dinner so when I left him at the point where the Route 3 trail leaves the Bowen Trail I told him I would meet him on the Bowen Ranch road. He beat me out going out through the Bowen Ranch way of access. I have heard the same observation from folks comparing the time it takes to get out from the USFS parking lot on Route 3 to 4. It takes longer to access DCHS on these open routes than it does accessing through the Bowen Ranch. Also depending on whether your parking at the Route 3 trail spot or going all the way to the USFS parking lot by way of Route 4 to 3 it will take you an additional two and a half to three extra miles of driving past the Bowen Ranch on dirt roads that are not maintained like the Bowen Ranch Road. That extra distance of driving takes time. I think option B above is the one that makes the most sense given that people still will be able to access by the canyon the route 3 trail passes through. Why not provide USFS signs to provide information to these visitors at Route 3 where they park and get the trail in a condition that meets the USFS standards for trails. The distance from the current USFS parking lot to DCHS and the distance from the Route 3 trailhead at its start to DCHS is basically the same. The Route 3 parking area is at a higher elevation than the USFS lot and therefor, by that criteria, could be considered a more difficult hike. You don't see people coming along and working on trail 3W02 and if the Route 3 trail was up to USFS standards I think the same would be true. With the addition of information signs by the USFS I think this trail could represent a reasonable access option for visitors accessing by the public, open routes in the area. Of course, what I have discussed above is just my opinion, and I will go along with the interest of the USFS, and the DCV group members, on these issues.
SubjectAuthorViewsPosted

USFS reply to cutting off bushes

Ron 903June 08, 2003 08:58AM

Re: USFS reply to cutting off bushes

LaughingBear 592June 08, 2003 09:27AM

Re: USFS reply to cutting off bushes

Paul P. 565June 08, 2003 04:59PM

Re: USFS reply to cutting off bushes

Wizard 536June 08, 2003 09:05PM

Re: USFS reply to cutting off bushes

jobe 664June 09, 2003 02:35PM

Re: USFS reply to cutting off bushes

katrina island 1243June 09, 2003 08:14PM

Re: USFS reply to cutting off bushes

LaughingBear 588June 09, 2003 08:53PM

Re: USFS reply to cutting off bushes

jobe 665June 10, 2003 03:06PM

Re: USFS reply to cutting off bushes

LaughingBear 635June 11, 2003 07:34AM

Re: USFS reply to cutting off bushes

Wizard 619June 11, 2003 09:30AM

Re: USFS reply to cutting off bushes

LaughingBear 579June 11, 2003 10:33AM

Re: USFS reply to cutting off bushes

Free our Forests 643June 11, 2003 12:16PM

Re: USFS reply to cutting off bushes

jobe 636June 11, 2003 01:02PM

Re: USFS reply to cutting off bushes

Wizard 574June 11, 2003 07:30PM

Re: USFS reply to cutting off bushes

Wizard 967June 11, 2003 11:00PM



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