Maintaining trails, restoring ecosystems
During the summer months, our trail crew and restoration crew, along with hundreds of volunteers, are hard at work preserving and protecting watershed lands.
Under the guidance of the US Forest Service and CCF’s Trails Director, a crew of five hardy staff maintain the trail system in Millcreek, Big Cottonwood, and Little Cottonwood Canyons with the help of a variety of volunteer groups. The trail crew rebuilds existing trails to improve drainage and footing and discourage off trail use. They also create new trails where heavy visitor foot traffic threatens sensitive habitats or pedestrian safety. Beginning in Spring 2018, stewardship efforts will expand to graffiti removal from rock surfaces.
The trail crew organizes a variety of summer stewardship events, including National Trails Day, Alta Clean Up Day, and National Public Lands Day. During these events, we harness the help of 100 volunteers to accomplish large-scale projects where many hands are needed!
Native Plants Crew
As the result of a multi-year mapping project, CCF determined a baseline level of all existing weeds in the Tri-Canyon area and created a mitigation plan working closely with our Forest Service botanist. This map and updates have been a valuable tool in annual planning and treatments for invasive species. A window of time still exists to effectively mitigate the small sized infestations within key watershed areas to prevent further spread and damage from existing populations, whose spread is fueled by heavy recreation use.
Invasive weeds are listed as one of the US Forest Service’s four major threats to National Forest System lands nationally. Locally, the spread and strengthening of existing populations not only threaten the stability of the watershed (increased fire danger, reduced ability for the soil to hold back erosion, etc.) which provides culinary drinking water to the Salt Lake Valley, but also to the ecological integrity of the extensive biodiversity found within the Tri-Canyon area.
Presently, existing partners include the National Forest Foundation, Snowbird, the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Alta, the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities Watershed, Salt Lake County Public Works, the Utah Department of Transportation, Friends of Alta, the Bonneville Coordinated Weed Management area and, of course, our community volunteers.
Check out our restoration success stories for more information on what the team is up to!