2015 Trail Crew Highlights
Some of the more significant accomplishment of the Trails Council, Trail Crew in the past year:
Chumash Trail Restoration
In late 2014, the SMMTC trail crew joined State Parks staff and several other organizations in a large restoration project on the Chumash Trail in Point Mugu State Park. This trail was in very bad condition due to a backlog of deferred maintenance and greatly increased use by the local community. This work consisted for closing “shortcuts”, redefining the trail alignment, repairing erosion damage and installing new features to prevent future erosion damage. In the intense storm of December 12, 2014, much of the work was effective and survived the storm, while there was much damage at the lower half of the trail requiring additional work in early 2015.
General storm damage repair
On the night of December 12, 2014, a short but extremely intense rainstorm swept through the park and surrounding communities. The resulting damage was immediate and severe. Damage to roads and trails in the park and surrounding areas was so extensive the park was closed for over a month and Pacific Coast Highway, which provides the primary western access to the park was closed for two months. Once again, in response to a call for assistance from State Parks officials, the SMMTC trail crew sprang into action. SMMTC trail crew modified it’s already busy schedule. All volunteer trail events for the months of January and February were changed to focus on the prioritized work list provided by Dale Skinner. In addition, an extra work day per week was scheduled. Our regulars were augmented by numerous volunteers from the local community:
This resulted in over 200 volunteer days and over 1,200 volunteer hours. Almost 10 miles for trails were repaired.
Additional work was accomplished in April at Trail days.
Santa Cruz – Eagle Ridge restoration
On June 18th, 2015, The Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council joined with two new partners, Island Packers and The North Face to begin the restoration of the Eagle Ridge Trail on Santa Cruz Island, in the Channel Islands National Park.
The Eagle Ridge Trail is about .7 miles up Navy road from the pier at Prisoners Harbor and has not been maintained in over ten years and is currently impassable.
On June 18th a volunteer crew of 24, consisting of two new partners, “Island packers (NPS boat transportation concessioner) and “The North Face” store in Camarillo joined the SMMTC trail crew to begin work on the project. Due to the travel times involved, it was a very short work day. However, we opened up about .25 mile of trail. There is still about a mile of trail to be completed in will be future trips to complete the project.
Due to a change of personnel at CHIS the project is currently on hold.
Elliott mountain Trail
In February 2015, the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA) board of directors, voted to name a geographic feature in the Conejo Open Space after Burt Elliott in recognition of his many years of selfless volunteer service to COSCA. The selected feature is a peak in the Western Plateau area and has been named “Elliott Mountain”. COSCA later decided to build a trail to the peak. Therefore, the SMMTC trail crew stepped forward and offered to help plan and build the “Elliott Mountain Trail”, as a tribute to our past leader.
COSCA planned and flagged the new .3 mile trail route. The trails council planned and organized a volunteer crew to build the new trail. On May 30th, a crew of 31 volunteers, joined two COSCA Rangers to undertake the project. The volunteer crew consisted of near equal numbers of SMMTC trail crew and local geocaching enthusiasts. Burt was an avid geocacher and was known to, and admired by most other geocachers in the local community. By the end of the six hour work-day the project was completed.
La Jolla Pond Trail - Campout
In 2014, the Trails Council and Boy Scout Troop 730 of Newbury Park are teamed to restore the La Jolla Valley Hike-in Campground, destroyed in the 2013 Springs Fire. The Trails Council committed to spend nearly $10,000 to purchase equipment and materials for the restoration. Four Eagle Scout candidates from Troop 730, Newbury park, committed to perform the labor for the project.
Since the completion of the campground restoration, the Scouts of troop have joined SSMTC on two additional routine maintenance projects in and around the campground.
The latest of these project was in September of this year. SMMTC and the Scouts had a joint campout and trail work week end at the campground. The Trails council hauled in tools and water to the campground and the Scouts hiked in and out of the site. On Saturday 17 scouts and adults joined the SMMTC crew to restore an extremely trenched section of the La Jolla Pond Trail. On Sunday the joint crew performed routine maintenance on the remainder of the trail.
Our ongoing partnership with California State University Channel Islands continues to yield great benefits to both SMMTC and CSUCI. The program provides many additional volunteer hours to SMMTC and the student are provided with a unique outdoors experience and an opportunity to satisfy service requirements for their Environmental Science Classes.
2015 (to date) volunteer hours: 330
Volunteer hours – totals
2015 (to Date) 4,950 hours
Crewmembers with over 100 volunteer hours: 12