Birch Canyon Happenings
The cat's out of the bag, Birch Canyon has a great trail which paralells the road to the upper wilderness boundary. Loved by local mountain bikers, hikers, and runners, it is without a doubt, a fun trail. But the problem is, its an illegal trail. No one consulted the Forest Service before building it. No one thought to measure where wilderness boundaries begin, or review for impacts to streams and sensitive species. It was just a 'get-er-done' trail, assembled by various groups of locals over the past few years. But due to wilderness boundary violations, among other issues, the Forest Service needs to close the existing Birch Canyon SIngletrack.
If the story stopped there, it might feel like bad news, but it doesn't stop there, and good news follows.
Working in close partnership with the USFS and Cache Trails Alliance, we're developing a proposal for a reroute within Birch Canyon that utilizes some of the existing trail, creates some excellent new alignments, and fosters improved communication and relationships between the land managers and the community. It's important for trails advocates to recognize that as a land manager, the USFS is tasked to protect the land for not just recreation, but for ecological habitat, archeological value, and all users, and we're working to communicate to the USFS that there are multiple benefits, in a situation like Birch, to working with the community to preserve a recreational resource, rather than fighting to remove it.
The approximate timeline for this project is as follows:
Summer 2018 - Initial Proposal for reroute developed (big thanks to Cache Trails Alliance volunteers!)
Fall 2018 - Proposal Reviewed by USFS
Spring - 2019 - Proposal Approved by USFS, volunteer work begins to create approved re-route segments - This is where we'll need everyone's help. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay abreast of volunteer opportunities!
Fall 2019 - First Phase of reroutes completed, Birch Canyon singletrack officially reopens.
Check out the explanatory posters below, or in person at the upper gate in Birch Canyon, and contact us with any questions you may have.