Bear Valley Trail Stewardship Organization
BVTS is a growing group of dedicated individuals that began organizing in October of 2017 (see complete story below)
The BVTS is a non-profit 501 c3 corporation that maintains, restores and builds multi-use trails in the greater Bear Valley area of the Stanislaus National Forest. We are a relatively new volunteer community organization that was founded in 2017. Our mission is to grow and enhance the greater Bear Valley and Ebbetts Pass corridor communities by working with the US Forest Service to promote recreation based use and resource protection of the area's trails and abundant public lands.
Our vision is to link local and visitor communities together through building, maintaining and using the trail systems while fostering public land stewardship. We ultimately hope to develop a sustainable economy in the area built around outdoor recreation focused on the trail system.
BEAR VALLEY TRAIL STEWARDSHIP BEGINNINGS
A brief history of how the Bear Valley Trail Stewardship idea was born...
Over the weekend of October 14th and 15th in 2017, the Bear Valley Trail Stewardship (BVTS) held its inaugural event. The BVTS’s mission is to enhance (and revive) the greater Bear Valley community through the maintenance, restoration and construction of new trails throughout the Ebbetts Pass corridor. The BVTS seeks to provide a structure for stake holders, including the National Forest Service, Bear Valley Mountain, Bear Valley Coop, local businesses and most of all hikers, mountain bikers and equestrian trail users to work together on the BVTS mission.
Attending were Kurt Gensheimer and Abner Kingman. Kurt is a freelance journalist who sometimes writes under the moniker “the angry single speeder” and is very active in trail advocacy in the Tahoe and Downieville regions. Abner is a professional accredited photo journalist whose photos you have undoubtably seen if you follow the mountain biking and sailing scenes. Together they are writing an article on the founding of the BVTS and our spectacular trails for Bike Magazine. Others attending included Morgan Fletcher (Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship), Darrell Wiley (Alpine Trails Association) and a bunch of local trail volunteers and riders. Local born mountain bikers and trail builders Dylan Renn and Ryan Ono reunited to lead rides on some of our classic trails, including Bee Gulch, Oto, Rings, Emigrant. The weekend included lots of riding, photo shoots, trail advocacy discussions, good food, beer and hanging out. All were treated to the peak fall color and weather.
The BVTS is in its infancy, having recently completed the application for status as a 501(c)(3) not for profit corporation, California not for profit corporation and opening of a bank account. —–Ken Prosser, a professional graphic designer, is currently in the process of designing our logo and the Bear Valley Business Association has offered to donate a banner with this logo. Our funding so far has been provided by its founder and REI who donated $1,000 in memory of John Peterson, Paul’s brother who recently passed away. Thank you REI.
We have established a working relationship with the USFS and have had valuable discussions with the principals of other successful trail advocacy groups. The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship was especially helpful with providing guidance to complete the process of writing our bylaws and articles of incorporation. Over the winter we will be meeting with the USFS to further define how to work with them next summer and beyond. Discussions will include volunteer trail maintenance, identifying and prioritizing trail restoration and building of new trails.
The BVTS welcomes and appreciates volunteers from all user groups; hikers, runners, mountain bikers and equestrians. We are in need of a diverse set of talents such as coordinators for:
Trail crew leader
To get involved at any level from volunteering an hour to maintain a trail to being a managing coordinator please contact Mike Cooke (President of BVTS) at: Mike@bearvalleytrails.org.