PROJECT COMPLETED: USFS Trailhead Gate Repair – Sisar Canyon
PROBLEM/CONDITION TO BE SOLVED/IMPROVED:
We need to continue restricting unauthorized access to the Sisar Canyon Trail by ATV’s and Motorcycles.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE SITUATION:
- US Forest Service Horse and Bicycle Gate at the Sisar Canyon Trailhead has been cut off and open since March 2019.
- Unauthorized ATV’s and motorcycles have been seen going through the opening and riding on the Sisar Canyon Trail since then.
- Prior to that Ojai Adventure Club had restricted access around the trailhead gate by placing boulders in the way wherever motorcyclists were entering the creek bed and then bypassing the gate.
- This was effective until the crossbar of the trailhead gate was sawn off and removed
- USFS has been notified by Ojai Adventure Club and the Ojai Ranger Station indicated that a USFS representative must be assigned and present if any welding is to be done to help ensure no accidental fire occurs.
- Ascertain that volunteer is still ready, willing and able with the necessary portable welding equipment to perform the repair.
- Contact Ojai Ranger Station and request USFS support and coordination.
- Based on USFS response determine optimum way forward to repair the gate, with or without USFS supervision.
- Schedule repair.
- Perform repair by welding a new pipe into place according to USFS codes and regulations.
- Ojai Adventure Club will provide volunteer crew and equipment to perform repair.
- Ojai Adventure Club Executive Director, Deon de Wet met with USFS District Ranger, Pancho Smith and Recreation Officer, Diane Cross to clarify the protocol for fire-safe repair of the gate according to Federal regulations.
- USFS gave the go-ahead, providing we followed their recommendations which included doing the work in the morning; having water spraying equipment on hand with personnel watching for sparks, etc. or any kind of ignition, brush fire, etc.
- On the morning of 27 February, 2020, Upper Ojai residents Rod Thompson and Phil Walker volunteered to accompany Deon de Wet to take materials and equipment up Sisar Canyon to the USFS Trailhead Gate.
- The cross bar was replaced at regulation height of 12 inches; fire suppression was employed during the process and now unauthorized motorized access has been restored.
- Equestrian access has also been improved by lowering the height of the cross bar from the earlier 24 inches to the current regulation level of 12 inches.
- The Ojai Adventure Club thanks all involved and we look forward to many more opportunities for mobilizing the community in the pursuit of our mission to Conserve Wildlife, Preserve Habitat and Maintain Access to Public Lands.