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Partnerships Make a Difference at Red Rock Canyon State Park

Steep Trail at Red Rock Canyon State Park
Steep Trail at Red Rock Canyon State Park

by Russ Dingham, Staff Park and Recreation Specialist, Tehachapi District

The Tehachapi District has teamed up with Department’s Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division to repair and restore a closed route within Red Rock Canyon State Park.

The primitive route known as “Steep Trail” was being impacted by extensive vehicle use, which was causing substantial damage to the significant natural and cultural resources of the Park. The downcutting effects of vehicular use were causing severe trail erosion, instability, and the significant loss of soil to the area.

A joint task force was created made up Department Archeologists, Environmental Scientists, State Park Planners and Maintenance Chiefs. Our goal was to develop and implement a plan to resolve this impact. The team members included staff from the Southern Service Center, Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division, the Archaeology, History & Museums Division, Hungry Valley State Vehicle Recreation Area, the Inland Empire and Tehachapi Districts.

January 2011, that plan was implemented, which include the recontouring of over 1500 feet of trail, the installation of a variety of erosion-control measures including check dams, swales, rolling dips and wattles that were designed  to pull water off the eroding trail tread. The use of vertical mulching was used to reduce the visual impacts of the project area, along with the replanting of native plants to help in the restoration of the area. The work was completed by specialty trained roads and trails crews from the Department’s OHMVR Division, Hungry Valley SVRA, Tehachapi District Resource staff and crews from California Department of Forestry.
The project was a huge success, which has resulted in the stabilization and ongoing restoration of the project area. The cooperation among the Department’s Districts and Divisions is another perfect excellent example of the outstanding spirit and strength of our Department to pull together to accomplish great things.

As the project Manager I would like to acknowledge and say thank you to the Deputy Director of the OHMVR Division and Ronie Lee Clark, Southern Division Chief for their outstanding leadership and commitment of this project. Their support and guidance was critical in making this project a reality!