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Lander Field Office and Cycling Group Improve Popular Trail

Volunteer works to re-route a section of the trail.

Volunteers from Lander Cycling and Lander Field Office staff partnered to re-route and improve the Johnny Behind the Rocks Trail south of Lander, Wyo., during a recent workday. Twenty-six volunteers re-routed a ¼ mile section of the trail to provide better mountain bike riding, hiking and horseback travel. After completing the re-route, volunteers closed and rehabilitated the old section of the trail.

"The problem section was located in a ravine without a way to shed water," said BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner Jared Oakleaf. "The trail became rutted and then the ruts migrated and braided as users tried to avoid impassable sections. The new route will shed water and is engineered to avoid future rutting. It also adds diversity and enjoyment to the trail system."

The re-route was located and designed using International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) standards for sustainable singletrack. The engineering and design was conducted by the BLM in coordination with Jeff Agueda, a local mountain biker and member of Lander Cycling, a local IMBA club. Other recreationists also provided input during the siting and design phase.

"The event would not have been successful without Lander Cycling and its members," said Oakleaf. He also thanked Huff Sanitation Service and Gannett Peak Sports for their contributions to the effort. In total, contributions (including labor, equipment and services) to the project throughout the year from Lander Cycling and other nonfederal partners exceeded $11,000.

The primary goal of the partnership is to maintain sustainable and enjoyable recreational use in the Johnny Behind the Rocks area. Lander Cycling provides volunteer labor and valuable input about trails so that the BLM can better manage the existing trail system.

"The trails in the Lander area are fun to ride but in many cases lack maintenance or are animal trails converted to recreational trails," said Agueda. "Over time, they end up becoming rutted and too technical for most beginners. Our effort is focused on trail maintenance and, where necessary, trail re-routes to enhance opportunities for all skill levels. This event was historic in nature in that it is one of the first times the BLM and local mountain bikers have worked together to accomplish trail maintenance."

Photos and captions:  www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/news_room/2010/november/08lfo-trail.html

Last updated: 12-22-2010