From May 4th-8th six individuals with the American Hiking Society, a national organization that organizes and coordinates volunteer vacations on public lands, joined me on the Lost Coast Trail to perform campsite and trail maintenance, and to restore wilderness character.
30 campfire rings maintained (cleaned of all ash and trash, and made smaller)
35 campfire rings destroyed (removed fire ring and rehabilitated impacts)
4 driftwood shelters destroyed
153 pounds of marine garbage removed
10 pounds of visitor garbage removed
300 feet of trail rerouted away from steep cliffs (~ 1 mile north of Big Flat Creek)
4 piles of toilet paper buried
1 exposed human waste buried
- Driftwood structures don’t fit with wilderness characteristics that we manage for. Section 2(c) of the 1964 Wilderness Act states that:
- Leave No Trace teaches:
- Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
- Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
- Wood structures are great habitat for small rodents, especially structures that bring in a new supply of food every night. The one time I stayed in an established structure I had rodents scurrying all over my gear and sometimes me! Also, keep in mind that rodents attract snakes.
- Large structures made out of dry wood are a fire hazard. We have had numerous incidents of driftwood structures catching on fire. This poses a threat to the forest, adjacent land owners, other visitors and YOU. Heavy winds, dry and densely packed fuels and fire are a recipe for disaster. It’s pretty easy for an ember to blow into the cracks of one of a driftwood structure and turn the whole thing into a ball of flames within minutes.