Legacy Trails Program Awardee


Johnson Creek Trail Re-Establishment

Johnson Creek Trail Re-establishment in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The Pulaski Users Group will reclaim multiple USFS system trails from the Graham trailhead up to Pat's Lake in the SNRA. Our initial scope of work will entail logging out the many trees that have fallen across the trail over the years and cutting back overgrown brush. Because the area was thoroughly burned in 1994, thousands of snags have fallen across the upper seven miles of the Johnson Creek Trail, making it nearly impossible to navigate. Once the trail has been cleared of all downed logs, we will then be able to work on tread repairs, waterbar/drain upgrades, and other improvement projects that arise. All work will be human powered and done with traditional tools.

Applicant: Pulaski Users Group (PUG)
Project Location: Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Sawtooth National Forest, Idaho
Amount Awarded: $48,000.00

Over the next two summers our goal would be to complete 4 five-day hitches per season, for a total of 8 Wilderness hitches. Our initial trips will be base-camped at the trailhead until we are able to clear the first 3 miles to the safe campsite near the intersection of Bayhouse Creek Trail and Johnson Creek Trail. During the summer of 2023 our primary goal will be to clear and maintain the trail and inventory what needs to be accomplished with the goal of returning in 2024 to complete more project specific work and do routine maintenance.

This project will:

1. Restore access to this remote area, helping to disperse recreation uses and pressure from other SNRA trailheads on the eastern side.

2. Augment the SNRA’s near-term trail maintenance strategy for the next 3-5 seasons to reclaim the network of trails which connect into the Queens River/Little Queens River loop, which is similarly in an incredibly remote location and faces difficult deferred maintenance.

3. Open up access for riparian and Bull Trout monitoring.

4. Reduce the number of informal creek crossings that have been created by hikers guessing at trail locations over the past 28 years, thus reducing erosion into critical Bull Trout habitat and the overall watershed. Recreationalists are creating multiple braided trails and user created creek crossings due to the current “combat hiking” conditions and unclear routes. This combined with sterilized, ashen soils creates extreme erosion into the waterways. Our proposed project will reduce overall crossing points with some minor trail realignments. We also estimate that we will decommission at least 2 miles of unauthorized user-created trails.

5. Allow permitted outfitters to regain access to the hunting unit.

6. Provide safe and efficient foot access for future fire suppression efforts.

We are proposing to partner with a variety of organizations and groups in order to recruit volunteers for this project. We plan to work with organizations such as: Idaho Rivers United, Western Watershed Project, Trout Unlimited, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers of Idaho, and Back Country Horsemen of Idaho. With their volunteer capacity and expertise we will accomplish our proposed project with skill and intention. We estimate having an average of 7 volunteers per hitch and will be led by 2 skilled and experienced crew leaders.

The lack of maintenance of this area goes far beyond recreational inaccessibility. The lack of a clearly defined trail is promoting user created trails and river crossings which is negatively impacting nearby creeks and the watershed at large. This project will benefit recreational users, future wildland firefighting efforts, and threatened Bull Trout spawning habitats.

More winners of this award

2024: Highline Trail

2024: Teton Trails Deferred Maintenance

2024: Phase 2 of the Arroyo Hondo Project

2024: Greenhorn Gulch Trail Reroute and Bridge Rebuild

2024: Trail Rehabilitation in Beaverhead Deer Lodge National Forest

2024: Trail Maintenance and Repairs in Pisgah National Forest

2024: Wasatch National Forest Deferred Maintenance and Weather Resilience

2024: Rio Fernando de Taos Watershed Revival

2024: Mineral Creek Trail Reroute

2024: Second Fork Trail Project

2024: Trinity River Watershed Trail Improvement Project

2024: Salmon-Challis National Forest Trail Restoration

2024: Manistee, White, Muskegon, and Pere Marquette River Watershed

2024: Mount Shavano Trail and Riparian Habitat Restoration Project

2024: South Park Ranger District Singletrack Connector Trail

2024: Oak Creek Canyon Watershed Restoration Project

2024: Bartram National Recreation Trail Maintenance

2024: Idaho Panhandle National Forest Sandpoint Ranger District Trail Reroute

2024: Pony Express National Historic Trail Improvement

2024: South Lake and Moss Lake Trail Restoration

2024: West Ridge Trail #176 Improvements

2024: Blue Bend Loop Trail Restoration

2024: Catamount Trail Improvement

2024: Munson Meadow Trail Restoration

2024: Vesuvius Recreation Area Trail System Restoration

2024: Hurricane Creek Trail Restoration

2024: Cove Creek Trail Rehabilitation

2023: The Storm Creek Connector Trail

2023: Backpacker and Lakeshore Trails

2023: Beaver Meadows Trail

2023: Munson Meadow Trail

2023: Imnaha River Trail

2023: Maxon Meadows Trail to Chamberlain Meadows Camp

2023: Lost Lake Trail

2023: Virginia Highlands Horse Trail

2023: Pasayten Wilderness Project

2023: Catawba River Headwaters

2023: Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

2023: Southfork Trail, White Mountain Wilderness

2023: Black Canyon and Trail Creek Drainages

2023: Twenty Lakes Basin Toads and Trails

2023: Dickey Bell Trail Reroute and Bypass

2023: Horseshoe Canyon Trails

2023: Lower San Francisco River Wilderness Study Area

2023: Trails in Ontonagon and Sturgeon watersheds

2023: Bandit Springs Trail System

2023: Caton Lake Trail

2023: Yellowbelly Trail

2023: Santa Cruz Trail

2023: Bridge Replacement for Trail Access

2023: Pioneer Mountains Trail Maintenance

2023: North Country National Scenic Trail Connections

2023: Pincushion Mountain Ski Trails

2023: Rocky Gap Horse Trail System

2023: Shrode Lake Trail

2023: Soda Ditch Loop Trail

2023: Restoration of Buckhorn and Indian Trails

2023: Hauf Lake and One Horse Lakes Trails

2023: Building Resilience on the TRT/PCT

2023: Camp Creek Watershed Improvement

2023: Pomas Creek Trail and Entiat River Trail

2023: Western States Trail & Tevis Cup Trail, within Granite Chief Wilderness

2023: Western States Trail Improvements

2023: Sipsey Wilderness Trails Restoration

289 views • posted 05/25/2023