a different kind of volunteer opportunity on Silver Star, road 4109

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Chip Down
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a different kind of volunteer opportunity on Silver Star, road 4109

Post by Chip Down » June 15th, 2020, 6:50 pm

A perennial topic here is improving vehicular access on road 4109 to Silver Star's north TH. Perhaps more important: how can we stop OHV access beyond the trailhead?

Yesterday on Silver Star Mountain I witnessed egregious vehicular vandalism, which served no purpose other than the thrill of destruction (I'm tempted to draw a parallel to certain other events around the country of late, but I shall refrain myself).

At first glance, the pic below shows two means of access for visitors, neither of which is morally superior. Do hikers have a right to stop motorists?

If so, how? (Assuming that government will play the "insufficent funds" card, and we have to take matters into our own hands.)

I noticed a huge cairn on the south "trail" to SS. Maybe that was the motivator. Maybe enhancing ditches would help. Dropping trees across the road might not be practical. Suggestions?

By the way, I'm sure there used to be some sort of barrier at the TH, but yesterday was my first visit in decades, and I don't recall details.
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Webfoot
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Re: a different kind of volunteer opportunity on Silver Star, road 4109

Post by Webfoot » June 17th, 2020, 2:12 am

That appears to be the ridge around (45.7632, -122.2430)? Those tracks have been there for a very long time, at least since the 07/18/1994 aerial photos in Google Earth. They probably get walked enough to keep them from fading out. The quality of aerial images varies from year to year but it does not appear that they have been made worse, and as I recall there are large boulders placed at the trailhead to block vehicles. When I was there last year I don't recall indications that anyone had cut a bypass around them. Are you sure any of the damage you saw was fresh?

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Chip Down
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Re: a different kind of volunteer opportunity on Silver Star, road 4109

Post by Chip Down » June 17th, 2020, 7:25 pm

Agreed, those tracks have been there for decades. But yes, there was fresh vandalism (donuts in meadow, and notice the faint parallel tracks in photo).

I too remember boulders, or some sort of barricade. Gone.

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xrp
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Re: a different kind of volunteer opportunity on Silver Star, road 4109

Post by xrp » June 17th, 2020, 8:14 pm

Scatter caltrops?

That would make it easier to find the culprit(s).

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Re: a different kind of volunteer opportunity on Silver Star, road 4109

Post by Webfoot » June 18th, 2020, 12:53 am

Chip Down wrote:
June 17th, 2020, 7:25 pm
Agreed, those tracks have been there for decades. But yes, there was fresh vandalism (donuts in meadow, and notice the faint parallel tracks in photo).

I too remember boulders, or some sort of barricade. Gone.
I hadn't noticed. :( I suspect someone used the recent land closures as cover to take equipment up there and roll the boulders down the hill. Not only is the area now vulnerable to intentional damage but the state of 4109 makes it feel like a jeep trail, and if boulders, barricades, and signs are missing that could appear welcoming. I am familiar with the area, its wildflower bloom, the history of a barricade, and know not to drive that doubletrack, but there are other places such 4x4 trails are open. (Not everyone is familiar with MVUM's and those that are know them to be in a state of some disarray at times.)

ASAP signage needs to be posted, at least, after which any vehicles past that point not bearing SAR/LEO credentials could be assumed to be scofflaws or vandals. When vandalism is openly promoted on broadcast television I am not sure what good that is however.

One well constructed and placed bollard would likely take care of the problem, if it could be arranged, after ruling out the slim chance the old road was cleared for SAR.

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Re: a different kind of volunteer opportunity on Silver Star, road 4109

Post by jvangeld » June 18th, 2020, 12:33 pm

Those tracks look wide, whatever got up there must have been big.

The bollards for the trail that heads straight East from the trailhead parking lot are showing a lot of damage. I got a good view around the parking lot when I took more OpenStreetCam photos last month.

https://openstreetcam.org/details/2289258/51/track-info

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I think that shows the likely vehicle path. A couple bollards would probably block it up again.

Someone also reopened the shortcut that we closed last year. We fixed the road so that it wasn't dumping water down the shortcut, and then we piled a bunch of small alder trees in it. But someone pulled them out over the winter.

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Re: a different kind of volunteer opportunity on Silver Star, road 4109

Post by jvangeld » June 18th, 2020, 12:47 pm

I also took pictures of the information sign at the trailhead. I wanted to show how the glass is mounted in case anyone ever wants to replace the glass and put new information in it.

Image

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I imagine that it is a fairly standard Forest Service sign. But I don't know what that standard is, so I figured I would take some pictures.

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Re: a different kind of volunteer opportunity on Silver Star, road 4109

Post by jvangeld » October 23rd, 2020, 11:23 am

Tomorrow, October 24th we are teaming up with the Chinook Trail Association to replace the barriers. We will try to bury some more boulders.

Yesterday I spread some gravel with the crowd-funding money. The closest gravel pit that is certified weed-free is in North Bonneville. The gravel is only $12/ton. But the delivery cost is steep. Regardless, the gravel filled holes and improved traction on the bad area that we have focused on this year.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/ECgSZkjwQ98[/youtube]

Details for tomorrow's work party:

We will replace boulders at the trailhead to protect the wildflower meadows from vehicle traffic. We will also do any follow up work on our newly-spread gravel. Checkin at 9 AM for a mandatory safety meeting at 9:30. Then we will work through the afternoon.

Where: The junction of USFS Road 4109 and DNR Road 1100
https://www.google.com/maps/@45.7948622 ... 722,16.75z

What to bring: Sturdy boots, gloves, face mask, a gallon of water, a sack lunch and any digging or cutting tools that you would like to use. Shovels, pickaxes, tampers, bowsaws, pruners, machetes and hoes would all be useful. Eye protection and hearing protection are also recommended.

Communications:
FRS Channel 9
Jeremy's Cell: (360) 335-4528

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Re: a different kind of volunteer opportunity on Silver Star, road 4109

Post by justpeachy » October 23rd, 2020, 2:11 pm

jvangeld wrote:
October 23rd, 2020, 11:23 am
Yesterday I spread some gravel with the crowd-funding money. The closest gravel pit that is certified weed-free is in North Bonneville. The gravel is only $12/ton. But the delivery cost is steep. Regardless, the gravel filled holes and improved traction on the bad area that we have focused on this year.
Wow, that's great! One dump truck load doesn't go very far, does it? But every little bit helps. Thanks for working on this.

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