The following is a report issued by the Waterville Valley Athletic & Improvement Association (WVAIA).
At a recent meeting with the US Forest Service, WVAIA board members were informed as to the full scope of the devastation inflicted by Irene. Much of the White Mountain trail system has suffered severe damage. In the White Mountain National Forest alone, the damages could run over $10 million. Our Waterville Valley trails were among the hardest hit, although many other areas suffered significantly. The Forest Service is currently completing assessments of the damage and prioritizing projects. Not all areas can be repaired this year. Many could take several years to complete, and some may remain closed.
The scope of work remains well beyond the capability of volunteers to accomplish. However, we can help to further assess the condition of our trails and remove some blow-downs. With that said, please all help by advising us of the locations and descriptions of any and all issues you run into on the trails. Pictures would be nice, but don’t neglect to inform us if that’s not feasible. The best way to inform us is by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are willing to participate on short notice in a one or two day project that we might identify, please let us know.
The good news is that the Forest Service said they were going to begin work this fall on Greeley Ponds Trail (currently closed) up to the second bridge. It will be interesting to see what they do.
The bad news is that Flume Brook Trail is also closed and is not one of the priorities. There is a possibility of us receiving a “matching funds” grant to be used next spring towards repairing storm damage. Just the possibility of us receiving a grant of that nature is due to the organizational groundwork we’ve put in place over the past few years.
Stay tuned. We’ll have to see what happens.