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John Stewart

FOE Clears Trail

Over the years the brush has overgrown the road in many places and prohibited vehicle travel. Thirty-two members of the Friends of Eldorado National Forest came from as far as the Bay Area and worked with Mike Villalobos of the Forest Service. Guided by the direction of Ron Hancock and Duane Nelson, they cut, trimmed and removed the brush from the road. Logs and rocks were also removed from the road surface as well as blocking an illegal trail to protect the hillside from further erosion. By the end of the day the 1.9 mile long road was once again open to all vehicles, something that hasn’t been possible for years.

Cathy Bounds of the Forest Service also allowed Friends of Eldorado National Forest access to the Capps Crossing campground which is closed after Labor Day weekend. The close proximity of the campground made it an ideal staging point as well as a place where the organization could hold a BBQ to feed their workers. They also celebrated with a birthday cake as the group turned 2 years old a few days earlier.

The Friends of Eldorado National Forest rely solely on volunteers for these projects. If you would like to help to keep a route open or other clean up project in the Eldorado National Forest, please e-mail Rick at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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John Stewart

King of the Mountain Results Posted

The Pro Armor King of the Mountain proves to be the toughest SXS and ATV race in the country

Huntsville, TN (Sept 15, 2009) – The Pro Armor King of the Mountain Endurance Challenge lived up to the claim as the toughest Side X Side and ATV race in the country. The course, built by hard-core racers for hard-core racers, pushed all that raced to a level that they never thought was possible. Many of the racers commented that the course was much tougher than they expected, not believing the hype. Although exhausted, the majority of the racers said they would return next year with expectations of an even more extreme course. And the promoters will give it to them, as they vow to push the bar even higher for the toughest SXS and ATV race in the country.

Congratulations go out to SXS Class winners Mike Mahan and co- driver Chris Hickey, besting second place by 2 laps and logging 16 laps in a time of 4:03:02. ATV class winner Denny Carson, who completed 14 laps in a time of 4:07:42, also finished 2 laps in front. The winners of each race can now say they are the Baddest of the Bad – until next year.

“I hope we get to do it again next year! If you plan on racing, prepare for the toughest 4 hours SXS racing has seen yet.” – UTVWeekly.com

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John Stewart

Desert Safari 2010 Date Set

Tierra del Sol Four Wheel Drive Club of San Diego is proud to announce the 48th Annual Desert Safari to be held March 5-6, 2010 in the Truckhaven Hills area of the North Ocotillo Wells SVRA.  This area was selected for the 2010 event due to the overwhelming positive feedback from last year’s participants.

The family focused 48th Annual Desert Safari will again present an awesome trail for all skill levels within the 4x4 community and the famous “TDS Raffle” with more than $100K in prizes.

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John Stewart

Friends of Fordyce Set Trail Work Project Dates

We expect this project to take at least 3 or 4 workdays to complete. We will get a start this year and finish up next spring. The good news is that with our grant from BFG we will be able to start some of the perks we know everyone will enjoy including some food after the work is done for the day. One of the unique aspects of working on Fordyce is the difficulty in sometimes just getting to the work area. Mile 6.2 is about as far in from any access point as any place on the trail so we will meet at the work location instead of meeting at the trailhead and driving in together. This way we will have a definite start time on site. Camping there the night before is suggested. Camping after the day's work is recommended so we can all celebrate the hard day's work with a complimentary BBQ.

Please keep in mind to travel with others and plan for an expected water release of 285CFS for the September workday. Water release will be down to minimal for the October 24th workday. We suggest approaching the work area from the Indian Springs trailhead. This way only water crossing #1 will need to be traversed. It is very important that volunteers be sure of the capabilities of their rig and are aware of the proper lines to take while crossing the river so as to avoid the deeper holes that exist. When traveling up trail from Indian Springs enter water crossing #1 and veer left along the line of rocks forming a small step. As you approach the opposite shore you will need to turn to the right around the bushes to the wide area of shoreline and then back left as you exit the water. At this point the right front of most all rigs will dip into the water at the expected water release of 285CFS. On the way out the left front will dip in. If your rig has a low mounted air intake on either side as opposed to the middle there is a possibility of water entering the motor and causing it to hydro-lock. This is why we strongly recommend anyone considering this workday to have previous experience at crossing the river at the expected flow.

As always, be prepared for the worst while traversing the Fordyce trail. Weather can change rapidly and breakdowns are always a possibility. Never plan on just a day trip. Always carry ample food, water, clothing and camping gear in case the unexpected occurs. Your rig should be equipped with a CB tuned to channel 40 for FOF communications. Cell service is available on the Fordyce trail in most locations so a charged up cell phone is a great emergency link.

If you are planning on attending the workday please e-mail me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We need to get a count for food. Remember, there will be a BBQ dinner courtesy of the FOF and BFG as well as numerous other individual contributors and of course NAXJA. Because of all the support we have recently received, food will be prepared on the new trail BBQ we were able to purchase. We'll also provide gloves, safety glasses and loppers for the volunteers use. It will be nice not to have to ask our helpers to provide their labor AND use their own tools.

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John Stewart

FOE works to thin tree farm

The Friends of Eldorado National Forest continues mission of forest stewardship -- organization works with Forest Service to thin tree farm

On Saturday August 15th, the Friends of Eldorado National Forest worked alongside with the National Forest Service to thin out a 25 year old Sugar Pine Plantation. In 1984, nearly 2,000 sugar pines were planted in the Eldorado in order to study many different effects on trees. The planted trees were brought in from as far south as Mexico, and has far North as Washington in order to see how well the trees grew and survived in Eldorado National Forest.  After 25 years of growth, the plantation had never been thinned.

Sixteen members of the Friends of Eldorado worked alongside with Tim Howard, his forest service crew and the Institute of Forest Genetics to cut down over 300 trees, and limb another 300 more at eye level. Several members of the Friends of Eldorado obtained saw certification, which allowed them to work on this project.

In an effort to help out other organizations, the Friends of Eldorado set aside and limbed the downed trees for other projects in the forest. Organizations such as the Friends of the Rubicon will use these logs to build fence posts, rails, trail repair and for erosion control in the forest.

Pictures of this tree thinning project can be seen here:

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=812105

On Public Lands Day, September 26th, the Friends of Eldorado will be working on route 9N22Y removing brush, downed logs and rocks in order to keep the route open to motorized vehicle traffic. The group will also be working to block a footpath to illegal motorized vehicle traffic.  The Friends of Eldorado still needs a large number of volunteers for this project. If you would like to help to keep a route open in the forest, please e-mail Kurt at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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