October 2023 - Almost done
With the West Brook Trail closed, it has been a challenging riding summer at Jack Brook. The tree-cutting project could not start until Sept 15 due to protections for the marbled murrelet that nest in the tops of the redwoods. The SJCC had to reschedule. Finally, we have been able to restart the project.
AFTER: Railings removed and trees cut Oct 4, 2023
-September: Mike Bushue removed the fence railing to make room for the tree cutting task.
- October 4: Chris Conner Construction cut and rolled the big trees off the bridge. It was quite impressive how they handled those giant trees.
-Week of Oct 9: The crew from the San Jose Conservation Corp (SJCC) was at Jack Book for a week, clearing and cleaning up the West Brook trail from Jack Brook down to the bridge. The crew also cleared most of the of East Brook trail.
-In the weeks that follow, Mike Bushue is organizing volunteers to help install the new railings on the bridge and repair the one beam that was damaged.
-The County will keep the West Brook Trail closed until the railings on the bridge are installed. There is a large tree down across the trail at the top of the hill, which the County is leaving uncut to block the trail until the railings are done. After that, the West Brook Trail will be open for horses.
We want to thank all those who contributed to the project. The budget was:
- Tree cutting: $10,000
- SJCC Crew: $15,500
- Bridge repair materials: $5,000 (rough estimate).
TOTAL: $30,500 (approximately)
The equestrian community has really stepped up and has donated $31,045 towards this project, so we have the expenses covered at this time. We will reach out later if more funds are necessary. Any additional funds received over and above the actual costs of this project will be used for other trail projects.
Platinum Supporters ($5,000 +)
Gold ($2,000 to $4,999)
Mounted Patrol Foundation
Bay Area Barns and Trails
West Coast Rocky Mountain Horse Club
Silver ($1,000 to $1,999)
Michael and Patricia Soffel
Bronze ($250 to $999)
San Mateo County Horsemen's Association
San Martin Horsemen's Association
And a number of other generous individuals. Thanks to all!
====================== Historical information April 2023 ===================
The winter rains and winds have done major damage to the trails and bridges in all the San Mateo County Parks. The Parks staff has been working hard at Wunderlich and Huddart and other parks, to repair them, but they have a huge amount of work to do. Pescadero Creek County Park, essential for trail riding from Jack Brook Horse Camp, has also been hard hit. Parks Staff was able to get on the West Brook Trail a month ago and discovered major damage and blockage to the recently built bridge over Towne Creek. The Parks staff is planning to complete a full assessment in April/May.
There are three big trees.
The picture below shows the damage to the bridge rail. The stringer under the rail has been cracked
From the South side big roots!
With the support of San Mateo County Parks, the plan is to engage the San Jose Conservation Corps (SJCC ) for the week of May 15, 2023, with a crew of seven, to clear and repair the trails and washouts. Clearing the giant trees (4-5 foot diameter!) will require a very experienced logger/tree cutter which is being searched for now. It would be great if the redwoods could be cut and salvaged, but access to the site is very limited. Once the trees are cleared, then repairs on the bridge can begin. The substructure and footing of the bridge appears to be intact. There are 5 beams on the bridge. There is some damage to one outer beam that can be repaired.
The SJCC labor is estimated around $15,000. Mike Bushue, the designer and builder of the bridge, has volunteered to lead the carpentry crew to do the bridge repairs. He estimates that approximately $5,000 could be needed for materials. The original estimate for tree cutting was $3,000 but this is proving to be too low. The original budget of $23,000 will increase once we have bids from tree cutters. The goal is to have the project completed for the summer camping season, but the work required could prove to be more extensive.
Repairing the bridge and the trails will enable the equestrian community to enjoy riding from Jack Brook this summer. Without the bridge, the West Brook Trail cannot be accessed, which cuts off nearly half the trails in the Park. Many other trails could also have problems which will be revealed after further assessments in April/May.
The SJCC crew is paid, with workers compensation insurance, health insurance, liability insurance, transportation, tools and equipment. The professional tree cutting expert has not yet been identified.
We have started reaching out to the local horse groups and individuals to help with funding this project. They have been very generous in their support. You can also help support this project by clicking the button below. Thank you.
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