Legacy Trails Program Awardee


Restoration of Buckhorn and Indian Trails

This project will begin by clearing a large quantity of brush sieves and sediment from the stream channel, reconnecting 6 miles of aquatic habitat. After removal, retaining walls, natural waddles, and improved trail sustainability techniques will ensure a lessening of erosion. These practices will also improve resiliency to future wildfire and heavy storm events. This work will immediately improve a watershed that supplies water to Gibraltar Reservoir, a primary source of water for Santa Barbara County. Through working with the USFS resource specialist and local Tribe, we have already planned monitors on site to ensure cultural and environmental values are kept pristine.

Applicant: Sage Trail Alliance
Project Location: Santa Barbara Ranger District, Los Padres National Forest, California
Amount Awarded: $45,000.00

The Buckhorn and Indian Trails within the Santa Barbara Ranger District of the Los Padres National forest make up 8 miles of single track trail that follow a creek drainage from the upper Santa Ynez River (Wild and Scenic pre dam confluence) up to the headwaters of Little Pine Mountain. In 2007 these trails were destroyed in the Zaca fire, and hit again in 2016 during the Rey Fire. They have not been usable for nearly 20 years and have since been taken off of USFS issued maps, being hidden as deferred maintenance but not decommissioned.

Several issues have arisen from this closure via fire and regrowth:

Erosion has gone unchecked, leaving the creek bed blocked in some corridors thus preventing water passage. Fallen burned brush / hardwood from the fire has also blocked the creek with sieves.

Rogue recreational users have instead begun walking straight up the river bed due to the lack of trail. These trails are the primary entry points to the Dick Smith Wilderness (but do not enter the wilderness).

This trail restoration of one of the oldest trails on record in the Los Padres has been discussed and led by Sage for some time, with a current partner list including the USFS, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash, the Boy Scouts, and a number of local volunteering groups. This trail work will take place over late winter and Spring of 2023 with all trail work days being led by Sage. The USFS has approved of trail reroutes within the canyon that will help the trail avoid the creek / waterway and bolster both to be more resilient to climate and use impacts. Old metal culvert remains will be pulled from the site during this project, and any water crossings necessary will be done via wooden bridge at USFS aquatic positive standards.

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: Johnson Creek Trail Re-Establishment

2023: Soda Ditch Loop Trail

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

234 views • posted 05/25/2023