The past year has been devastating with the COVID pandemic and the wildfires. The trails in Pescadero Creek County Park had become overgrown, and high winds caused numerous tree falls, making the trails impassible. We worked closely with the County to figure out a plan to reopen Jack Brook Horse Camp in June. It had been closed all last year, and there were COVID concerns and trail issues which hampered reopening. The major issues with reopening Jack Brook Horse Camp and Pescadero Creek County Park were: Trail clearing, COVID issues and fire damage which have been resolved:. The Horse Camp was opened on June 15, 2021 and the County allowed those groups who had previously scheduled the Horse Camp to rebook for the same days.
Trail Clearing: The big project was trail clearing and cleanup. We engaged with the San Jose Conservation Corps to bring a crew for this. This is a team of energetic at-risk youths who are experienced trail builders and who are certified in the use of chain saws and other equipment. On May 21, the SJCC crew finished up a week of working in the northern section of Pescadero Creek County Park. After 5 days of work with a crew of 6 and a supervisor, they cleared 25 miles of trails, cut 36 fallen trees, cut overgrown brush, whacked the weeds and trimmed overhanging branches. They did a great job, and our thanks go to Ranger David Vasquez and his team for their support, and to Mike Bushue and Stu Smith for their research documenting the trails issues. Thanks to Scott Lombardi who worked the contract through the County system. A big extra thanks go to Mike Bushue, who organized the trail-clearing plan and guided the crew for all 5 days.
The crew is paid, with workers compensation insurance, health insurance, liability insurance, transportation, tools and equipment. The cost for the crew was $11,740. The Mounted Patrol Foundation matched the first $6,500 donated to this project. Any excess funds donated will be held in the Foundation's Trails fund for future projects. We want to thank the following horse groups and individuals that so generously donated to this project to help us reach the goal:
Monterey Bay Equestrians
Bay Area Ridge Riders
A number of individual donors .
Fire damage: The Old Haul Road and Southern section of Pescadero Creek County Park is undergoing major remediation and renovation. The Old Haul Road was the last stand in last summer's CZU Lightning Strike fire, and, thanks to the Park Rangers, Cal Fire and equipment contractors, the fire was stopped there. However, there was a lot of bulldozing and tree cutting to build the needed fire break, and it will be months before we can access that area. There are many dead trees standing, which could fall without warning. So the Old Haul Road, Butano Ridge and Pescadero Creek area will be Off Limits for the foreseeable future. But the Brook Loop, Canyon, Tarwater and the other trails that we love on the North side will be open. The below map provides an overview of the Off Limits area
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