The reason for the diversion is two fold. The current trail goes through a very important pocket of land which part of a Habitat Conservation Area (HCA). Secondly the current trail is not very sustainable. So the new diversion will also provide a better cross slope for less maintenance in the future.
Craig Sommers who works for the City of Boulder was one of the trail leaders. He has a full time trail crew of 6 that started working on this diversion in mid-May.
“The volume the volunteers did today will save us about 1-2 weeks of work” Says Sommers.
The remaining work will be completed by Sommers’ six person team and Boulder’s Jr. Rangers program and plan on opening the new trail in July.
During lunch the OSMP naturalist Dave Sutherland gave a talk about the importance of Habitat Conservation Areas in Boulder Mountain Parks and described how the current trail goes right through this very important pocket of land.
Several species of plants remain from the ice ages because this parcel of land is perfectly situated in the canyon where it receives just enough moisture and shade. Rare species include Paper Birches and the tiny White Adder’s Mouth orchid in which there are only 6 remaining plants.
“This is just a wonderful, special piece of land” added Volunteer Coordinator Lisa Dierauf.
The next project for the trail crew will be a trail diversion up near Bear Mountain, starting in mid-July, which will provide even more spectacular views.