|Upper Timber trail|
|Mid-Timber trail, amongst the switchbacks|
|Lots of flowers blooming|
|Timber and slash piles|
Another situation that I noticed was along the Westridge trail where a sizable patch of Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) was established right along the trail. Cheatgrass is an infamous grass that initially came from the Eurasia region and is well known for displacing native vegetation, promoting frequent fires, and traveling in the socks and shoes of trail users from one area to another. This annual grass can be very difficult to control and often requires multiple management actions and yearly follow-ups to maintain control. This can be quite a burden on land managers because of how intensive the treatment and monitoring can be. Even with thorough control and monitoring it is extremely difficult to control the spread of cheatgrass because of how easily it moves around with trail use. Take a close look at the picture and avoid walking through any areas of grass that look like this. They are usually dead, brown, and ready to stick in your socks by June or July, if not earlier.
Situations like slash pile burning and invasive plants along the trail provide an opportunity for trail users to help the land managers with various management tasks. More importantly, recognizing these situations while on the trail can help prevent unwanted spread of invasive plants and allow you to become more intimately connected with the land. Trailcology wants to bring together all trail users to work on projects like these that make you feel more connected with your trails and provide valuable ecological rehabilitation.
Take a look around on your next hike, run, or ride and see what kind of rehabilitation or restoration might need to be done on your favorite trails.