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FW: SOS-Staying the Course for Trails
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From: Chris Horgan-Stewards of the Sequoia
Sent: Friday, January 1, 2021 12:24 PM
Subject: SOS-Staying the Course for Trails



Sequoia Trail News

January 2021

Staying The Course

It is truly unfortunate that Sequoia Forest District Ranger Al Watson wrongfully terminated Stewards of the Sequoia volunteer trail maintenance agreement back in March turning our incredibly successful 16 year trail partnership into a battle.

Ranger Watson and his superiors Supervisor Benson and Regional Forester Moore have chosen to double down at every opportunity by making new allegations against Stewards while being unable to provide any proof or specific examples of when Stewards have done anything wrong. We know Stewards have always been professional, honest and helped to meet the Forest Service Mission by doing more trails work than any other group in the Sequoia National Forest.

Stewards continue to work on BLM trails and BLM staff are stunned that Sequoia Forest Ranger Watson has turned away our volunteers.

It certainly seems odd that Stewards are having to fight just to be allowed to provide a huge amount of much needed free labor to the Forest Service. We had hoped that State and National organizations would stand with Stewards to stop this discrimination against volunteers, but found that most groups are afraid of retaliation if they join us. We think that is the strongest reason we need to all join together. We want to offer our sincere thanks to the Blue Ribbon Coalition as the only group with the guts to stand with us and help stop abusive Forest Staff. We are also extremely grateful to Congressman McCarthy for his April letter of objection to the Forest Service.

Stewards have filed a complaint for 12 acts of discrimination. We have also filed numerous appeals and the USDA Forest Service, who seems to be doing their utmost to be dismissive. Stewards may be forced to file in federal court fighting for the rights of all volunteers as well as to stop the abusive practices of Ranger Watson and other Forest Staff. How odd that the group who does more than other to help the Forest Service should have to go to court to be allowed to volunteer.

Clearly, the Forest staff think that they can shut down Stewards to eliminate our voice for keeping trails and public lands open. We know it is more important than ever for Stewards to continue to be engaged in Sequoia Forest Planning to ensure trails and campgrounds are not closed. If we let up now we are likely to lose the many gains Stewards have made over the past 16 years.

We truly appreciate the two hundred and six Stewards members who donated in 2020. You have enabled Stewards to stay the course and keep your Sequoia trails and public lands open to all. We urge the remaining 2800 or 90% of Stewards members who did not donate last year to pitch in now, so Stewards can continue to stay the course. Your trails need your support.


Why Not A Trials Tire?

There is a tire option that does not cause ruts, braking bumps or whoops like knobbies. They are called Trials Tires that have far superior traction due to their flexibility and huge contact patch. They perform best when they are aired down so you can push your thumb fully into the tread. Once you ride a Trials Tire, a knobby feels like being on ball bearings. Another advantage is Trials Tires absorb more impacts allowing you to ride longer without tiring.
In 2017 Maxis, banned Trials Tires from endurocross because it was seen as an unfair advantage over knobbies. At the time, Maxis did not make a trials tire. So instead of including them on all bikes, they banned them for their unfair advantage. Simply put Trials Tires have far more traction.  Everyone wants the highest performance parts on their bike and a Trails Tire is the best performing trail tire.

It is highly unlikely that we are getting new trails, so we need to cherish our trails instead of ripping them up. Let’s leave our trails in better condition than we find them so they can be enjoyed forever.

We have seen where just five minutes of thoughtless riding on wet trails with knobbies and far too much throttle has caused ruts that took hundreds of hours for volunteers to fill in. We simply do not have the man power to fix all the damage that is being done by just a few riders in just a few rides. If you are leading rides please consider mentoring your riders by telling them how important it is to air down on Sequoia trails for better traction and that they should be using Trials Tires for better performance and to help keep the trails from being destroyed. We are fortunate to have an incredible system of tight technical single track trails but they are rapidly and needlessly becoming worn out and rutted up.

Check out this short video here about the Most Overlooked Performance Gain


National Forest Makes Lawbreakers of Mothers With Baby Carriages And Others

Recently the Governor of California issued an order prohibiting overnight stays at campgrounds while continuing to allow and encourage the public to get out and enjoy day use. In response Regional Forester Randy Moore issued his Regional Order 20-27 which surprisingly prohibits the public from being on or entering already closed and gated campgrounds.

Under the new Regional Order the Forest Service has also closed Auxiliary Dam Recreation Site and Old Isabella Recreation Site and Southfork Recreation Site prohibiting the public from enjoying day use by the lake and closing the boat ramps.

The local Forest Service Campgrounds especially when closed for the winter season are used by our small community as parks. The paved roads are used as paths that we lack elsewhere to walk dogs, take the baby for a stroll, teach kids to ride a bike or just go for a hike in a socially distanced manner. This is now illegal under the new order.

All of these restrictions and closures are not in keeping with the Governors order that recreation sites may remain open and contrary to the Regional Foresters statement that day use areas will remain open. None of these areas are high use areas at this time of the year. They are a perfect place for the community to recreate in a dispersed manner with opportunity for huge social distancing.

As a community partner we would hope the Forest Service would not make our residents and visitors into lawbreakers this Holiday Season when they go for a walk or recreate at Lake Isabella or on the paths in campgrounds or trails in a socially distanced environment.

The Regional Forester has not replied to Stewards 12/11/20 letter of concern. Instead the Forester is telling legislators who have contacted him that it is just a misunderstanding. However, all the areas remain closed to day use. We would like to know what the misunderstanding is. Why is day use prohibited when the Regional Forester stated day use of National Forests will remain open? Why is the Regional Forester prohibiting day use when he said day use will remain open in our National Forests?AC



Sierra Gateway Market

Sierra Gateway Market offers great sandwiches, deli market, grocery's, sporting goods, fishing supplies and a gas station in Kernville just north of town on Mountain 99

Besides being a great market they donate lunches for Stewards volunteers for every Trail Appreciation Day, as well as being a Stewards supporter.

Support the folks who support Stewards


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Stewards of the Sequoia

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Over the years your donations helped Stewards reopen this trail along with eight others and so much more.

Yet today 90% of Stewards members have let their donations expire. Please make your donation now so we can continue our efforts to keep your trails open. Thanks

Land of Many Uses

With your help Stewards of the Sequoia will continue to keep the Sequoia National Forest A Land Of Many Uses and open to all





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