VOLUNTEERS TO REPAIR STORM-RAVAGED TRAILS; SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS PATHWAYS IN NEED OF MAJOR MENDING BEFORE REOPENING.
More than 45 miles of trails through the Santa Monica Mountains washed out by this winter's intense storms remain closed.
On Saturday, hikers, naturalists and National Park Service workers will put on their work boots and sunblock to spend the day helping restore a segment of one of the pathways - the popular Backbone Trail - as part of this year's local National Trails Day event.
``In the time the National Recreation Area has been in existence, since 1978, we had never seen that level of damage,'' said Woody Smeck, chief of maintenance for the National Park Service overseeing the area's 200-mile trail system.
``We had to close 14 trails because of mudslides, slope failures, slips and unstable geology, and those trails were scattered throughout the recreation area,'' he said.
For more than five years, Santa Monica Mountains enthusiasts have donated one Saturday to restoring worn paths or breaking through new areas. Last year, more than 100 people helped build a 1.5-mile segment of the Backbone Trail in Zuma/Trancas Canyon by pulling chaparral, clearing pathways and trimming branches, said Garrie Mar of the Mountains Conservancy Foundation.
``There are different tasks for just about every physical level. Last year, we had young scouts out there snipping away,'' said Mar, whose group is a co-sponsor of the annual event.
For the past several years, workers have focused on portions of the Backbone Trail, which was granted earlier this year federal funds to connect the 63-mile trail from the Pacific Palisades to Ventura.
``It's a high-profile and very popular trail among hikers. It is also important because it connects a lot of regional trails together. The damage there was pretty extensive this past winter, so we're hoping to make a lot of progress this weekend,'' Smeck said.
Smeck added that work crews have been forging ahead with cleanup and repair work on the other damaged trails. The National Park Service recently qualified for more than $650,000 in emergency repairs related to storm damage, with about $238,000 earmarked specifically for trail repairs.
To reach the location of Saturday's restoration efforts, drive the Pacific Coast Highway to Corral Canyon Road, 2.35 miles west from Pepperdine University or 3.75 miles east from Kanan Road. Drive 5.45 miles on Corral to the parking lot at the top of the ridge. Car pooling is recommended.
To volunteer in Saturday's National Trails Day event, call Frankie Farrell with Adventure-16, Inc., the event's only private sponsor, at (310) 473-4574. Long pants, long-sleeved shirts, hats, sturdy boots and work gloves are recommended, as well as insect repellent, sunscreen, lunch and water.
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Jun 5, 1998|
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