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Old 11-17-2011, 06:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
Gamera, AG6MH
 
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Location: Bakersfield,Ca
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Unhappy kern county trails

Scoping projects currently under way
for Black Gulch, Borel, and Boulder

Published on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 12:10 AM PST

Cody Norris/Special to the Sun

The Kern River Ranger District of the Sequoia National Forest and the Giant Sequoia National Monument is currently conducting scoping for three projects. Projects undergoing scoping are the Lower Kern Canyon and Greenhorn Mountains Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Restoration Project, the Borel Relicensing Recreation Enhancement Project, and the Boulder Gulch OHV Restoration Project.

The Lower Kern Canyon and Greenhorn Mountains OHV Restoration Project (LKC/GHM OHV RP) is proposed to occur in three phases.
The first phase will focus on decommissioning and restoring 26 unauthorized routes at Black Gulch North Recreation Area, nine unauthorized routes at Black Gulch South Dispersed, Recreation Area, and two unauthorized routes at China Gardens Dispersed Recreation Area. This phase includes installing approximately one mile of range fencing along both sides of Black Gulch Creek to protect the riparian corridor. Some hard barricades, such as boulders, fences and/or pipe gates may be placed to limit vehicular access to closed routes. Restoration activities would include breaking up compacted soils and vertical mulching with native materials to restore identified areas to natural conditions. Barriers and signage would be used to discourage further route proliferation.

The second phase of the LKC/GHM OHV RP focuses on improving campsites and trails. At Evans Flat Campground the Forest Service plans to relocate two campsites by moving both the picnic tables and fire rings at each campsite to a new location within the campground’s interior; restore the vacated campsites to a natural condition; decommission approximately 1/8 mile of road which led to the two campsites; remove the existing cattle gate and relocate within the campground; and install a pipe gate to prevent motor vehicle access to restored area. This phase will also reroute approximately one mile of Woodward Peak Trail (Trail #32E53) and two miles of Kern Canyon Trail (Trail 31E75) to protect sensitive species.

The third phase of LKC/GHM OHV RP will provide continuous monitoring and improvement through increased monitoring by OHV personnel and resource specialists on a routine basis. This continued tracking will determine the effectiveness of the restoration efforts through site visits and the use of photo point monitoring.

The Borel Relicensing Recreation Enhancement Project (BRREP) proposes to develop and improve three recreation sites in the Lower Kern Canyon adjacent to the Lower Kern River, and is funded by Southern California Edison as part of an agreement which permitted the Borel Hydroelectric Project.

This project will provide improvements at Sandy Flat Campground, Sandy Flat Put-in/Take Out Day Use Area, and Black Gulch South Dispersed Recreation Area.

At Black Gulch South Dispersed Recreation Area the project will reconstruct approximately .75 mile of the Black Gulch South Road (Forest Road #27S08), widening the road and improving its surface by rocking it with aggregate road base; install four concrete pads for trash dumpsters; add two double pre-cast concrete toilet buildings with accessible pathways leading up to them; design and install new informational signage for day and overnight users; and remove and reset the existing single bulletin board and other signs as needed to better accommodate traffic flow.

Four shade shelters with accessible pathways leading to them will also be added to Sandy Flat Campground at existing campsites. An accessible trail leading from the Day Use parking lot at the Sandy Flat Put-In/Take-Out Day Use Area to the Lower Kern River will be constructed and surfaced with asphalt.

The Boulder Gulch OHV Restoration Project (BG OHV RP) will utilize California State-provided OHV restoration funds to restore the Boulder Gulch Day Use Area. Due to impacts to natural resources caused from motor vehicle use by forest visitors near this site, there is a need to manage the road system to assure resource protection, provide safe access and accommodate resource management needs. This project is proposed in two phases.

The first phase of the BG OHV RP proposes to decommission approximately six miles of unauthorized routes and hill climbs leading away from the Boulder Gulch Campground and day use area. This will be accomplished in a similar manner as proposed in the first phase of the LKC/GHM OHV RP discussed previously. In addition, the project will install a gate on the Forest road leading to the water storage tank serving both Boulder and Hungry Gulch Campgrounds.

The second phase of this project will provide continuous monitoring and improvement through increasing monitoring by OHV personnel and resource specialists on a routine basis to determine the effectiveness of the restoration efforts and continued tracking through site visits and photo point monitoring.

The District Ranger, Kern River Ranger District, Sequoia National Forest, is the official responsible for making this decision for all three of these proposals. The District Ranger will decide whether to adopt and implement the proposed action, an alternative to the proposed action, or take no action.

The proposed actions are consistent with the Sequoia National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan as amended by the Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment Record of Decision, dated Jan. 21, 2004.

The full scoping letters may be viewed online. You can help us complete our analysis by providing comments to: Recreation Officer, Kern River Ranger District, 105 Whitney Road, P.O. Box 9, Kernville, CA 93238. If submitting comments via FAX, send to: 760-376-3795.

Electronic comments can be sent to comments-pacificsouthwest-sequoia-greenhorn@fs.fed.us. Use the name of the project (for example: Boulder Gulch OHV Restoration) as the subject line. While your comments are always welcome, comments received by Nov. 28 will be most helpful.
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