The nugget. (Sisters, Or.) 1994-current, May 27, 2015, Page 22, Image 22

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 The Nugget Newspaper, Sisters, Oregon
TRAIL: Project will
offer more permanent
restoration of trail area
Continued from page 3
aggravates the problem, and
boat speed limits within 100
feet of shore have not been
sufficient to stem the erosion.
As the old log structures
collapsed, portions of the trail
have sloughed off into the
lake. Starting five years ago,
Deschutes National Forest
trail crews embarked on an
ambitious project to “shore
up the shore”; and those
efforts have been going full-
bore for the last month.
Chris Sabo, trails foreman
for the Deschutes National
Forest, has been on site
supervising the current phase
of this continuing project.
“What we’re focusing on
is where these logs are rotting
out,” he said, pointing to an
area where a rotted log was
half-buried along the trail.
The trail rehabilitation
process is a complicated one
and begins with removal
of existing structures at the
affected site. “Part of the
problem,” Sabo explained,
“is the poor quality of the soil
in this area.” Sabo grabbed a
handful of dirt from the trail
and let it sift through his fin-
gers. The dry soil fell apart
like crumbled crackers.
“The soil here is all from
an eruption of the Blue Lake
Caldera,” Sabo said. “It
doesn’t compact at all and
is very easily eroded by the
waves along the shoreline.”
To combat this problem, very
large, new rocks are being
put in place to form a solid
foundation that will not break
down over time. Plantings
and log placements will fol-
low to help further reduce
The agency’s first efforts
focused on the more heavily
used south shore; but, this
year, a significant amount
of work is being accom-
plished along the northwest
shoreline. So far, dozens of
segments have been recon-
structed around the lake.
When the project first
began, the Forest Service
photo by craig eisenbeis
large rocks are barged to work sites as part of the Suttle lake trail
reconstruction project.
Children & Adults
brought in a stonemason to
train personnel in the proper
assembly of the new rock
structures. Most of the large
rocks used in the trail rehabil-
itation were obtained locally.
Sabo said that the stone
being used is andesite, an
igneous rock that is hard and
erosion-resistant, yet it forms
in layers that can be flaked
away to make flat surfaces for
stable structures. The stones,
which mostly weigh hun-
dreds of pounds each, must
be fashioned to fit together
perfectly like puzzle pieces,
with no room for movement
or shifting.
The rocks have to out-
weigh the people who walk
on them in order to stand
up under the foot traffic. “It
really is an art,” said Sabo,
“and it takes skill and, yes,
some muscle to get these
rocks in place.” Unlike the
transitory log work, Sabo
hopes these retaining walls
will last for “a thousand
The physical labor for
this phase is largely being
accomplished by an all-vol-
unteer crew from American
Conservation Experience, a
voluntary-service organiza-
tion. John Barr is typical of
the trail-crew members. A
Floridian, Barr recently grad-
uated from the University of
South Florida and has been
accepted into law school at
Florida State University.
In the meantime, he had
some time to spare before
beginning his law school
studies. “I’m interested in
environmental law and envi-
ronmental policy,” Barr said.
“I had three months before my
classes begin, and I believe in
environmental work.” So, he
decided to volunteer his time
to an organization that shares
his goals.
Quality Electrical Wiring
• New Construction • Remodels
• Service Calls
David Marshall
Three Sisters Chiropractic
270 S. Spruce St., Sisters
Dr. Inice Gough, DC, 541.549.3583
CB#181111 / CCB#152389
Exceptional Cuisine
at the Metolius River
Now open for
the 2015 season!
Natural & Artif icial
484 W. Washington Ave., Ste. B
541-419-WIRE (9473)
Call 541-595-6420 for Reservations
 
G 
J 
photo by craig eisenbeis
Volunteer crews perform shoreline trail reconstruction work at Suttle lake.
Kassidy Kern, a public-
affairs specialist with the
Deschutes National Forest,
commented on Barr’s gener-
ous contribution of his own
time. “It’s pretty common,
actually,” she said. “We do
have a lot of people who vol-
unteer for trail projects in par-
ticular.” In addition, Hoodoo
Recreation has been donating
camping sites for the volun-
teer workers.
As the project continued,
the trail’s history of heavy
use was clearly illustrated
when a group of about 60
school children and teach-
ers from Prineville thun-
dered by. Several thanked the
crew for their work on the
“That’s very typical,”
said Sabo. “Everybody who
passes by thanks us for the
work we’re doing.”