Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Success Story
Northwest Youth Corp Restoring the National Recreation Trail #160 on the Fremont-Winema National Forest
Portions of the Fremont National Recreation Trail #160, which traverses the top of Winter Rim in Lake County Oregon, had become unusable due to an extraordinary amount of downed trees resulting from a wildfire in 2002. There were over 100 trees per mile blocking the trail in some areas. The resulting quantity of fire-killed trees that had fallen across and into the trail had overwhelmed the Forest’s ability to keep these portions of the long-distance trail open for trail users.
Through a Stewardship Agreement in 2012, a crew from the Northwest Youth Corp restored 20 miles of the Fremont National Recreation Trail. The work consisted of intensive log-out of predominately small diameter fire-killed lodgepole pines, moderate brush grubbing, loose rock removal, and the reconstruction, in some dispersed reaches, of the trail tread. Now that most of the fire-killed trees that were likely to fall along this trail have come down in the intervening years since the fire, this project helped to delineate the trail and provide the only feasible route through the burned over area along the top of Winter Rim for trail users and pack-stock as well as livestock and wildlife.
This opportunity got young folks out into the woods and high desert of South Central Oregon completing work projects, as well as learning about nature and themselves. With the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program we can explore other prospects for Northwest Youth Corp and the Fremont-Winema National Forest to partner in restoration of the forest ecosystem; while providing young men and women with job skills and training.