Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Post-Fire Project to Protect Summit Valley Wildlife Area

Summit Valley Meadow
Grindstone Ranger District - Mendocino National Forest

The recent post and cable armoring project at Summit Valley is a great example of how non-profit partners and volunteers can bring much needed resources to assist the Forest Service in their long-term post-wildfire rehabilitation program.

Summit Valley is a beautiful meadow complex located on the east side of the Mendocino National Forest in California and the designated parking area has been a highly popular picnic stop for OHV enthusiasts.
Pre-Project View of Burned Post and Cable Barrier

Post-Project View of New Post and Cable Barrier


The 2018 Ranch Fire, part of the Mendocino Complex Fire, destroyed most of the post and cable delineators which prevented vehicle incursions into the sensitive meadow area.

Summit Valley Project Volunteers

On October 4-6, 2019, staff and volunteers from the Post Wildfire OHV Recovery Alliance (PWORA), Overland Bound, and the Forest Service removed burnt out posts and replaced them with new 6-inch round peeler cores.  Most of the existing cable was reused and restrung through the new posts.

Pre-Staging of Project Materials

Under Forest Service supervision, project leads used the Recreation Incident Command System (RICS) to help plan for and guide the volunteer work event.   Use of RICS and pre-event project evaluation and staging of materials led to a successful completion of the outlined task.

The Stonyford OHV Area on the Grindstone Ranger District is well known as a destination recreation area for sustainable motorized activities.  It also provides important motorized access to non-motorized recreation pursuits such as hiking, fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing.

Project Volunteer Cleaning Out Pre-Existing Post Hole 
for Placement of New Post

Post-wildfire recovery and rehabilitation of recreation sites that occur in a timely manner are key factors in the reopening process.  PWORA believes that non-profit partners will have an ever increasingly important role as a force multiplier in helping federal agencies with post natural disaster repair of roads, trails, and campgrounds.

The Summit Valley project also highlights the role that non-profit organizations have in reestablishing travel management structures that protect wildlife areas and/or cultural resources.

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