Work party needed

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Volunteer Task Force is looking for people interested in working on the Quemazon Trail

By Special to the Monitor

On June 5, the Volunteer Task Force will sponsor a National Trails Day work party to upgrade work done on the Quemazon Trail 10 years ago.

“Following the Cerro Grande Fire in 2000, the Quemazon Trail is where Los Alamos learned how to repair trails after a wildfire,” said Craig Martin, the Project Coordinator for the volunteer group.

He explained that the Quemazon Trail was the community’s first post-fire emergency trail project. The Forest Service permitted trail work in the forest that remained closed all summer due to fire danger. They also provided food and transportation and more importantly, gave volunteers training in trail rehabilitation techniques. Over four all-day work sessions, the groups stabilized the upper two miles of trail.

After 10 years, it is time to revisit the area, first to recognize the successful work done post-fire under hot, dry, dirty (read BLACK) conditions, and then to repair the segments of trail that were damaged by post-fire flooding. It is also an opportunity to see how far the forest recovery process has come.

“It will be a tough work party — a two-mile hike to the work site with a 1,000-foot elevation gain,” Martin cautioned. “We will remove rotting water bars and replace them with grade dips where necessary, focus trail traffic onto durable surfaces and cut back thorny locust trees. Everyone is invited to join us, even if you just want to come along for the hike.”

Participants should gather at 8 a.m. at the Sullivan Field parking lot across Diamond Drive from the Los Alamos High School. The work party will conclude by 4 p.m.

Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes and long pants and bring plenty of water, food and sunscreen. If showers are in the forecast, they should bring raingear. All tools will be provided.

For more information, contact Martin at cmartin