Looking for trail mainentance volunteering - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Default Looking for trail mainentance volunteering

I'd like to volunteer doing trail maintenance. I've heard about the TAP program organized by NSMBA that is getting huge turnouts of people to do work on North Shore mountain bike trails, but I rarely hear anything about groups getting together to do trail maintenance for hiking trails. I think it's impressive how well the mountain bike community has banded together to volunteer for their trails and I'm surprised I haven't heard more about hikers doing the same.

Does anyone have suggestions for groups I can volunteer with to do trail maintenance on hiking trails? I'm looking for groups working on the North Shore or perhaps the Sea to Sky area as I live in Vancouver.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 05:38 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
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http://www.friendsofgaribaldipark.org/

This is one of the bigger groups that I am aware of.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 06:01 PM
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The government prefers that clubs take on trail responsibility rather than individuals, so look to the various hiking and mountaineering club schedules.

BCMC currently has 3 separate trail work trips on the agenda for the upcoming month. I'm organizing work on the Beverley Creek backcountry ski trail.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-10-2014, 12:53 AM
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Whistler ACC has some fantastic projects going on also

I do a fair amount of work on hiking and biking trails (contrary to rumour I do hike mostly in North Van. It's very unglamorous work like shoring up sagging benchcut. Cutting out blowdown. Removing holly. I find it relaxing and cathartic plus its nice to see something cool created by yourself. Just saying that if you don't have any luck with finding a group you can always find a project! Many unloved trails out there.



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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-10-2014, 12:55 AM
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You could look into Friends of Cypress Provincial Park, Fraser Valley Mountain Biking Association, Vedder Mountain Trail Association, Burke Mountain Naturalists, North Shore Hikers...that's all I can think of for now. Also, don't hesitate to contact BC Parks if you have a specific project in mind. They recently changed their volunteer program and it allows for a lot more flexibility.

Good for you for looking for the opportunity to give back to the trails!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-10-2014, 02:53 AM
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I'm curious as to why there isn't something similar to the WTA.ORG site for volunteering and other information. Although this is for Washington State only, it seems like an easier system rather than searching and/or joining individual clubs in certain areas for projects. All trail-maintenance events are listed on the mainpage and you can sign up online. Is it simply because nobody has started such a thing, or some other legal-type reason?
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-10-2014, 03:33 AM
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WTA is awesome. I've heard the idea get kicked around of how to implement something like that in BC. So far no one's come up with a viable model. I suspect that regionalization and a greater km/capita of trails are contributing factors.

Legally, trails in BC are found in Provincial Parks, on Crown land (shared with forestry, mining, agriculture...), private land and so forth. The South Okanagan Trail Alliance is one organization whose focus is "all things trails." They've got some interesting projects and approaches. http://www.southokanagantrailallianc...ewsletter.html

What do people think, would it be helpful to have an online place where you could post work parties/maintenance needs/looking to volunteer?
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-10-2014, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions all. I've also thought that it would be great to have something like WTA here in BC.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-10-2014, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by gearjunkierob

Also, don't hesitate to contact BC Parks if you have a specific project in mind. They recently changed their volunteer program and it allows for a lot more flexibility.
Has anyone done this?

40 pages of waivers?
3 versions of proposals?

Or is it easy & painless?
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-11-2014, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by CraigH

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by gearjunkierob

Also, don't hesitate to contact BC Parks if you have a specific project in mind. They recently changed their volunteer program and it allows for a lot more flexibility.
Has anyone done this?
40 pages of waivers?
3 versions of proposals?
Or is it easy & painless?
I'm guessing no one is using BC Parks new trail volunteer program?
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 09-11-2014, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by CraigH

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by CraigH

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by gearjunkierob

Also, don't hesitate to contact BC Parks if you have a specific project in mind. They recently changed their volunteer program and it allows for a lot more flexibility.
Has anyone done this?
40 pages of waivers?
3 versions of proposals?
Or is it easy & painless?
I'm guessing no one is using BC Parks new trail volunteer program?
I haven't done it myself, but I understand that it is getting better... still don't think they've fully finalized the new procedure. Here are some links...

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/volunteers/about/how/
http://mountainclubs.org/bc-parks-tr...bility-issues/
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 09-11-2014, 02:51 PM
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One dumb thing going on is that any group with permission of a government agency, and the FMCBC, typically do not allow volunteers to use power tools.

So much of what precious little volunteer time is available is being wasted attacking hundreds of kilometers of encroaching bush along trails, using hand tools such as hand clippers and loppers. While I can see some justification for not wanting amateurs using things like gas chainsaws, there are plenty of tools available now that:

- are relatively benign, such as gas powered weedeaters and bushwhackers:
http://weedeaterweedwackerreview.com...ly-alternative
http://weedeaterweedwackerreview.com...home-users-too

- are battery powered and utterly safe, such as this gizmo:
http://www.blackanddecker.com/outdoor/NLP1800.aspx

- are battery powered and extremely safe, such as a cordless hedge trimmer:
http://www.homedepot.ca/product/cord...FdGCfgods74ASg

- or are battery powered and relatively safe, such as this chainsaw:
http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/tools-...t#.VBHtXqP5Ch0

I find it utterly bizarre that it's ok for a group of volunteers to be swinging away with machetes in thick bush, but effective tools like these can't be used. The tools are relatively expensive, making them ideal for organizations to obtain and make available for volunteers. The most required of the volunteers to use such tools should be that they read the manual and sign a waiver.

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post #13 of (permalink) Old 09-11-2014, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by sgRant

One dumb thing going on is that any group with permission of a government agency, and the FMCBC, typically do not allow volunteers to use power tools.
That's true for BC parks, where rangers typically supervise volunteers, but not on regular crown land. If you have permission to build a trail under section 57 of the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA), there are typically no strings attached other than what you put in your own proposal.

Getting a trail designated under section 56 of the FRPA offers more protection since it makes it an official government managed trail. In this case, the government typically signs a partnership agreement with the club taking responsibility for the trail. The sample partnership agreement that I've seen permits volunteers who have taken a 1 day basic chainsaw course to use chainsaws for felling small trees and cutting fallen timber of any size. I think this is the course: http://www.bcit.ca/study/courses/renr1145
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 09-11-2014, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by scottN

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by sgRant

One dumb thing going on is that any group with permission of a government agency, and the FMCBC, typically do not allow volunteers to use power tools.
That's true for BC parks, where rangers typically supervise volunteers, but not on regular crown land. If you have permission to build a trail under section 57 of the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA), there are typically no strings attached other than what you put in your own proposal.

Getting a trail designated under section 56 of the FRPA offers more protection since it makes it an official government managed trail. In this case, the government typically signs a partnership agreement with the club taking responsibility for the trail. The sample partnership agreement that I've seen permits volunteers who have taken a 1 day basic chainsaw course to use chainsaws for felling small trees and cutting fallen timber of any size. I think this is the course: http://www.bcit.ca/study/courses/renr1145
Great info. My understanding is the the FMCBC won't buy the sort of tools I mentioned because they don't want volunteers using power tools. Perhaps it is an insurance issue.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 09-12-2014, 02:21 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by sgRant

My understanding is the the FMCBC won't buy the sort of tools I mentioned because they don't want volunteers using power tools. Perhaps it is an insurance issue.
AFAIK the FMCBC doesn't buy tools, but wouldn't disallow their use. A Member Club Grant was awarded for the purchase of tools this year. There could have been liability issues if you have a specific example. I could find out.
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