Survey: #27 Work1: #4 Work2: #19 Work3: #28

Survey: #27 Work1: #4 - after Work2: #19 - after Work3: #28

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Arroyo Seco Trail Logging Project


The Arroyo Seco Trail is one of the useful connector trails within the Ventana Wilderness (Los Padres National Forest - Monterey Ranger District). It is also one of the Focus Trails on the District. Over the past several years, a number of trees, ranging from a few inches to about three feet in diameter have fallen on the trail, causing damage to the trail, hazard to hikers, and utterly blocking pack stock from all but a couple miles near the Indians trailhead. In addition, on the upper section, substantial sections of the trail are badly encroached on by post-fire brush growth. Robert Parks' personal commentary.

(Update - October 8, 2005 - Survey) I (Robert Parks), surveyed the trail from the Indians trailhead to the Coast Ridge Trail. I collected data which is tabulated in the Survey Document linked on the webpage. GPS info is available in Garmin (.gdb) and MapTech (.txf/.mxf) formats by request. While the main goal was to document the logs down on the trail, we did also note other issues such as brush, slumped tread and storm damage. Some minor brushing and clearing of small logs (<4") was accomplished on this trip. Survey in .rtf format The survey is a Rich Text Format (.rtf). It can be viewed on a large monitor, or printed out in landscape orientation on legal size paper. Updated to include 11/11/05 work.

(Update - September 23-25, 2005 - Logging) The first logging trip was the weekend of September 23-25, 2005. Base camp was Lower Forks Camp, ~2 miles in from Indians trailhead. All logs between the trailhead and False Madrone Camp were removed, and some work between False Madrone Camp and Madrone Camp was accomplished. A short video of clearing a log off the trail is included in that webpage. Trip report on VWA website.

(Update - November 11-14, 2005 - Logging) The second logging trip was Veteran's Day weekend (November 11-14, 2005). Base camp was False Madrone Camp, ~2.5 miles in from Indians trailhead. All logs between False Madrone Camp and Switchback #4 were removed. Heavy brushing was completed from False Madrone Camp to Switchback 4 and beyond. A short video of rolling a log off the trail is here:. Survey, including 11/11/05 work

(Update - December 9-11, 2005 - Logging/Brushing) The third logging/brushing trip is planned for the weekend of December 9th to 11th, 2005. Base camp will be Tin Can Camp, ~3.5 miles in from Coast Ridge Trail trailhead. Work is to include brushing and minor logging. Some work may be done on the Coast Ridge Trail.

Logs and Cutting

Each log (obstacle) may contain several boles or other work. Approximately 30 obstacles (including about 50 boles) are encountered on the trail (that require sawing/removal) with a total of about 450 diameter-inches of cutting. As of November, 2005, less than 30 diameter inches remain, including a single hazard tree requiring additional equipment. Full project total: 450 diameter-inches. Note that diameter-inches disregards all variations in difficulty based on size, wood, conditions, preparation and difficulty, however, a full day's work for a three person crew appears to be about 150 diameter-inches.

ToolsCrosscut Saw suite of tools

My experience on the Vicente Flat Trail project shows that a crosscut saw, alone, is pretty useless. It requires a suite of tools to be useful and not stuck in a log. A large pruning saw, wedges and an axe are critical, also important are hand pruners, a small (folding) pruning saw and a tread tool for swamping out the worksite. The axe is necessary both for cut preparation and driving wedges, without wedges the saw will become stuck in a log in very short order, the pruning saw allows cutting (and underbucking) in restricted spaces and allows finishing cuts safely and without risk to the crosscut saw. If a large two-person crosscut is being used, it is also very useful to have a smaller (thin-kerf if available) one-person crosscut for finish work or underbucking or for cutting smaller logs.

For a three-person crew, we expect to have on hand: a 6' crosscut saw, a 3.5' one-person crosscut saw, a 21" pruning saw, tread tool, large axe, camp axe, loppers and clippers, and small folding saws. Some tools have been cached on the trail.


Images are available, linked with each trip, also a collection of before and after work images are here, which should be updated to include any changes.

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Map with track and waypoints. Detailed maps of work areas are included with each trip webpage as well as on the survey webpage.

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Larger Image (600 x 600, 135K)

Detailed Image (1070 x 1050, 460K)

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Arroyo Seco Trail Logging Project / Robert Parks / / revised November '05