U.S. Forest Service, San Bernardino National Forest

Adopt-A-Trail Volunteers Help Protect Santa Rosa Wilderness

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., June 19, 2014 – Volunteers with the Scouts West 4x4 Club spent a weekend recently blocking an unauthorized road leading into the Santa Rosa Wilderness above Palm Desert.

Scouts West members felt that stepping up to help do what is right is part of being responsible recreational users on the national forest.  During the course of the weekend, the volunteers installed barriers and signs to help keep motorized vehicles on the open routes and protect the Santa Rosa Wilderness.  The volunteers with Scouts West San Diego Chapter, are a members of the forest’s Adopt-A-Trail Program and the group has adopted the eleven mile Santa Rosa Truck Trail located above Palm Desert on State Highway 74.  The road rises from 4500 to 8100 feet in elevation offering majestic views into the Coachella Valley.

During the project San Jacinto Recreation Officer John Ladley assisted and guided the volunteers as they built fence and moved rocks.  “We really appreciate their effort and hard work, it helps protect the Wilderness,” stated Ladley.  “Motorized equipment and vehicles are not permitted in a Federal Wilderness unless authorized for an emergency such as fire or rescue,” Ladley noted.

The Forest Service portion of the 72,000 acre Santa Rosa Wilderness was established by the United States Congress as Wilderness in 1984 with the passage of the California Wilderness Act.  The Bureau of Land Management portion was established in 1994 through the California Desert Protection Act.   The area became part of the Santa Rosa San Jacinto Mountains National Monument in 2000, and is now jointly managed by the both the US Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management.  In 2014, our nation will celebrate "50 Years of Wilderness." On September 3, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Wilderness Act. The act defines "Wilderness" as areas where the earth and its communities of life are left unchanged by people, where the primary forces of nature are in control, and where people themselves are visitors who do not remain.

Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) clubs and organizations in partnership with the San Bernardino National Forest adopt trails and routes and the group provides the maintenance needed to sustain recreational use by the public throughout the operating season. Local ranger districts decide which trails or routes should be adopted and the Adopt-A-Trail Coordinator makes the route assignments based on the group’s request and the trail needs.  Each trail is different, but to the right is a list of the types of maintenance that can be required.

About the U.S. Forest Service:

The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.  Learn more at