The Western States Trail Foundation (WSTF, organizer of the Tevis Cup) and Western States Endurance Run Foundation (WSERF, organizer of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run), in partnership with the American River Ranger District and Truckee Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Auburn State Recreation Area (ASRA), wish to announce the creation and implementation of a new model to maintain and improve the trail(s) used by both events. The new Volunteer Steward Program, modeled after successful approaches used to maintain the Pacific Crest Trail and Tahoe Rim Trail, will rely on relatively small well-trained and highly committed groups of volunteers to maintain and improve the Western States and Tevis Trail system.
Although the courses for the Western States Endurance Run and the Tevis Cup vary in certain areas, they share the same trail over the majority of their 100 mile reach. Both organizations have a long history with respect to use of the trail system, and have individually and in partnership built and maintained much of the trail that exists today. Therefore it makes sense to draw from the resources of both organizations to create a focused and efficient system for trail maintenance and improvement.
This new system of trail management will be lead by John Catts (WSER finisher and volunteer, and equestrian), with support from Nicole Wertz (WSTF Trail Manager). To facilitate trail management, the Western States trail system has been segregated into eight Trail Sections. Each Trail Section has a designated Trail Section Lead, and these Section Leads are currently in the process of assembling their respective Trail Section Teams. With a defined management structure and designated Section Leads our goal is to work closely with the USFS and ASRA to identify trail maintenance needs, and work with the USFS and ASRA to both maintain the trails and plan and implement special projects.
The Trail Sections and Trail Section Leads are as follows:
• Robie Equestrian Park to Watson Monument – Jim Mather
• Watson Monument to Red Star Ridge Aid Station – Craig Thornley
• Red Star Ridge Aid Station to Robinson Flat – Kynan Matz
• Robinson Flat to Pacific Slab Mine – Mark Falcone
• Pacific Slab Mine to Foresthill – Chaz Sheya
• Foresthill to Rucky Chucky/ Poverty Bar – Tim & Austin Twietmeyer
• Rucky Chucky to Browns Bar Trail at Quarry Road – Jay Marsh
• Browns Bar Trail at Quarry Road to Finish Lines – Kassandra DiMaggio & Andy Mayo
Although a number of our Section Leads have current chain saw and first aid (with CPR) certification, we have set up training classes to keep our Section Leads and their core team members current with their training, and to provide training for those not yet certified. We have encouraged our Section Leads to participate in trail crew leadership workshops. With a higher level of training and skill our Trail Section Teams should be able to more efficiently respond to trail related issues, and help plan and implement both regular maintenance and special projects over a greater portion of the year.
With respect to entrants selected to participate in the Western States Endurance Run, and their mandatory volunteer requirement, the WSERF and WSTF want to continue to encourage participants to give back to our community, so the volunteer requirement will remain in effect. Although there may be fewer opportunities to fulfill an 8-hour volunteer requirement on the Western States Trail system, there will likely be a one or two trail work opportunities each year that will be advertised on the WSER (wser.org) and Tevis Cup (teviscup.org) webpages. These events will likely be special projects where we need greater numbers of people to move or place materials. We will still organize the Robinson Flat Trail Work Campout and Celebration (June 21/22, 2019) to complete trail work in the High Country in advance of WSER and the Tevis Cup. And you are encouraged to join one of our Trail Section Teams by contacting a Section Lead or John Catts (email@example.com).
In addition there are many other opportunities to help our trail community, by volunteering your time to either do trail work or work an aid station or vet check (see the WSER and Tevis volunteer pages). As an example The Canyons Endurance Run has already planned local trail work days on April 13/14, May 11/12, and July 6/7, with signup at ultrasignup. Because this is a shift in how the WSER and Tevis Cup trails have been maintained in the past (a handful of core individuals and a number of large volunteer days), it will take some time to optimize our new Volunteer Steward Program. So please feel free to join a team, provide constructive feedback, or participate in our Robinson Flat Campout to learn how you can help.