Yes, folks - it's finally done! Gar Abbas, district ranger for the Ruby Mountain District of the Humboldt-Toyabe National Forest, today signed the NEPA document allowing us to go forward with construction of the first portion of the Secret-Lamoille Trail!
I can hardly contain my excitement!
This means that we are set to go with building the first portion of the trail, from Lamoille Canyon to Talbot Creek. This trail will connect with the existing Talbot Creek trail, allowing visitors to get to Verdi Lake via trail for the first time in decades!
A lot of people deserve thanks for this, including a big, big thank you to Bill Wolf from Great Basin Institute, Nancy Taylor from the USFS, Doug Clarke from the USFS, and of course Gar Abbas.
The biggest thank you of all, though, has to go to the community volunteers and supporters that have made this project a reality. There would BE no project if it weren't for you. From the early funding from Barrick, to the support in public meetings, to the dozens of calls and letters you folks did in support of the project. Elko County's commissioners have been on board since the beginning. The Recreation Pod of the Northeastern Nevada Stewardship Group got the ball rolling in the first place. The Backcountry Horsemen. Elko Velo. The voters who approved Question 1. The list goes on and on.
This is the best kind of community project - where the community came together and made the project happen. This wasn't a top down deal.
To steal a slightly hackneyed phrase - "YES, WE CAN!"
OK, so the next question becomes, where do we go from here?
These are the next steps for the first segment of the project:
We need to set the centerline of the trail so that, from here on out, the trail tread location is evident to all those working on the project. We'll get that done as soon as the snow melts out (another system coming through this week, so that won't happen this weekend.) Once the centerline is set we'll be sending out a call for volunteers to help with pre-work, namely brushing and limbing to clear the way for this summer's trail crews to start construction.
So - those of you who know people who'd like to help with the initial work, please send them our way. They're welcome to send me an e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org - or call me at 934-4466.
Right now the GBI trail crews are scheduled to start work in early June, so we need to get this part of it rolling pretty quickly.