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Indian Valley Record
Greenville, California
June 29, 2011     Indian Valley Record
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June 29, 2011

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Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter Wednesday, June 29, 2011 5C | Mountain bikers hike the still snowbound Butcher Ranch Trail, part of the course for the Downieville Classic mountain bike race. Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, the race organizer, is asking for donations and volunteers to help remove snow and clean up the trails in time for the July 8 event. Photo courtesy Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship Trails need help Organizers of the world- famous D0wnieville Classic mountain bike race are pulling out all the stops to help clear snowboundtrails for the July 8 event in the Lakes Basin Recreation Area. "Mother Nature has dealt us a tough hand with all the snow, yet this act is somehow the moment we've been gear- ing up to handle over the past 16 years of producing the Downieville Classic," said Gregg Williams of the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS). "We've endured for- est fires, blizzards, opening day of dear season and even a few appearances in court while an angry ex-partner tried to shut us down." "But no matter how .dialed we have things on our end," Williams continued, "there are things entirely out of our control that try to throw us off course. This year will be no different." Williams remained opti- mistic that the recent sunshine would improve trails conditions, but last week he realized those temperatures would not be enough. So he sent out an all-points bulletin for help. The cost of snow removal is projected to be $20,000. The event is big business in Sierra County. In hopes of retaining local businesses, attracting visitors, creating jobs and Jncreasing transient occupancy and sales tax revenue, the Sierra County Board of Supervisors has pitched in some big equip- ment to remove snow from the upper reaches of the race course. Local inns are opening their rooms and restaurants are feeding all volunteers willing to help restore the trails. SBTS has appropriated $15,000 for its professional trail crew to do needed trail maintenance. Peter Berridge of Clif Bar, a longtime sponsor for the event, has donated $1,500 for snow removal efforts. Organizers are also asking all racers to contribute $10 to the snow removal fund. They cannot make this a mandatory contribution, but ask racers to keep in mind that the alternative is to cancel the race. Racers will be asked to kick in when they arrive at registration. "The trails are beatup. Water is running every- where. Trees and branches cover the trail," said Williams. "It looks as though we've paid no attention at all to these wonderful pathways. In some ways it breaks our hearts and it is certainly breaking the back of Sierra County businesses not having the trails open." If you can lend a hand and want to volunteer to get the trails ready, visit fro" a com- plete schedule and volunteer information. New trails open at Susanviile Ranch Park Sam Williams Staff Writer Hikers, mountain bike riders and equestrians have another new section of trail to enjoy at Susanville Ranch Park. Stan Bales, outdoor recre- ation planner for the Bureau of Land Management, re- ported June 14 to the Lassen County Board of Supervisors on a recently completed three- mile section of non-motorized trail on BLM land adjacent to Susanville Ranch Park. Bales said members of the Lassen County Hotshots built the trail. This is an experi- enced fire crew; members did the trail work during a lull in their firefighting duties. "I've walked the new trails and ridden my bike on them, and what an awesome addi- tion tothe park," Jim Chap- man, Lassen County District 2 supervisor and board chair- man, told Bales. According to Bales, the project was a partnership between Lassen County and BLM. "We've worked together for at least 10 years now through a cooperative agreement," Bales said. "The county contributes two-thirds of the funds and BLM con- tributes one-third to support the Lassen County trails coordinator position." Over the years, the county and BLM have created 14 miles of trail at Susanville Ranch Park. Bales said the Hotshots, a 20-man crew, worked like a human road-building machine knocking out about half a mile of trail a day. "They're like a paving machine that tears up old road and spits out new road behind it," Bales said. "These guys just went up a piece of hillside where we planned the trail, and out of the back end of these 20 guys came a smooth, walkable, rideable trail. It's just impressive." Much of the trail is designed for mountain bikers, so it features banked turns rather than tight switchbacks. The trail also .avoids long straight- aways to minimize erosion and keep mountain bikers from picking up speed and endangering other trail users. "There's a lot of meander- ing, a lot of dips so it sheds the water beautifully," Bales said. "Through the rains we've had, we haven't seen any erosion problems, and you have a lot of curves so you don't see a downhill rider blasting down the trail to blow off a hiker or spook a horseback rider." Bales said the trail will be open to equestrians, but right now it's closed to them until the trail firms up a little more. ., ....................... o ....   ................. ::::::-:.:, .......      . o:.:  .. :t : }.::;:; ::::, :::, .. . -,   .:::;: :? . /  *:.:. :.::::.?!:::;..:9:  ..... t:.::::: , - L   " :  , "; ' :,: ;:::: ;: :! -  ,' .::. .. 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