Lewis Butte and Riser Lake are the focus of the 2018 and 2019 Save-A-Trail Projects. Located on WDFW Methow Wildlfe Area land in close proximity to Winthrop, these trails are popular destinations for runners, bikers, equestrians and birdwatchers. 220 volunteer days were committed to this project.
2018 Lewis Butte - An old jeep trail will be de-commissioned and 2.7 miles of singletrack trail will be re-routed to mitigate erosion problems and make the trail more accessible to all users. Trail work was completed in the spring of 2019.
2019 Riser Lake - .5 miles of trail was de-commissioned, 1.5 miles of trail was brushed out, 2 water crossings were installed and .5 miles of new trail was built.
PRIORITY AREA DESIGNATION
In 2016 Congress passed passed HR 845 , which was a bill called the National Forest System Trail Stewardship Act. The Act recognized that federal budget limitations and cumbersome volunteer training requirements caused an immense backlog in the maintenance of the Forest Systems trail system and threatened access to public lands. To address this situation, the Act required the Forest Service to develop a strategy that would engage volunteers, partners, and outfitters and guides to play a larger role in the maintenance of Forest Service trails.
The Trails Collaborative pointed out that the Methow Valley Ranger District met all the criteria for becoming one of the Priority Areas and worked hard to present our case. We were successful and became one of the Priority Areas, which resulted in more resources becoming available to this area.
COLLABORATIVE TOOL CACHE
With some funding from the Priority Area Status, additional donations, help from the Forest Service, and a lot of work, the Collaborative has established a tool cache in Winthrop which provides additional tools for all groups to use in trail maintenance.