Alliance sets focus on trail for students
By Mary-Justine Lanyon
After not meeting for a year and a half, the Rim of the World Trails Alliance held a meeting outdoors at Heaps Peak Arboretum on Aug. 17.
Saying that the Alliance wants to show some results, Vice President Chris Ehe noted they want to help the youth by creating a trail by Charles Hoffman Elementary School that will give the students a 10-minute hike.
“They will still be able to see the campus,” Ehe said. “We want this to be one of our first objectives.” He reminded Alliance members that they had gotten an endorsement from the CHE PTA last year. Principal Megan Dieli, who was at the meeting, added her endorsement.
The plan will be to offer the students, as well as members of the community, the opportunity to name the trail.
When Scott Seccombe brought up the Jim Sims trail, which already exists in that area, Ehe said it is “too steep and too long for the little kids.” His idea is to create a trail the students can easily walk during a break from their studies during the school day.
After updates on mountain biking at Snow Valley Mountain Resort and the Arboretum, Lyn Dessaux called attention to a map he had created of both official and unofficial trails on the mountain.
“My priorities are rewilding,” said Dessaux, who had brought up his concerns at the Feb. 25, 2020, Trails Alliance meeting. The mountain, he said, “is pretty trailed already. How much more can nature handle? We can undo a lot of damage and make nature better.” He pointed out that no money is needed to do volunteer work in the forest.
While Dessaux noted that the U.S. Forest Service was not present at the meeting and speculated that they are not interested in “giving the go-ahead on new trails when they can’t maintain the trails they have,” Kevin Somes, president of the Trails Alliance, said that is not true.
“I talk with (District Ranger) Marc Stamer all the time. I told him I don’t want to waste his time and will invite him to a meeting when there’s something to talk about.” Somes added that at a meeting a couple of years ago, they had had a discussion about how the Forest Service and the Trails Alliance could work together.
“They want to cooperate,” Somes said, “but they are lacking resources.”
“This,” noted Ehe, “is a great opportunity for a non-government organization like us to step in.”