I just joined the board of the Sonoma County Trails Council last night and was somewhat shanghaied into being elected as the VP. SCTC is quite a bit smaller than than my old trails organization, the Trail Center, but then Sonoma County has a much smaller base than the SF Peninsula/South Bay. I think we currently have about 130 members. They nearly disappeared a couple of years ago in a divisive board crisis, from what I understand, and have been working to rebuild over the past year. My presence is potentially a fair shot in the arm.

SCTC has a very similar agenda to the TC — stewarding trails, supporting multi-use trails, agency-independence, and trail user education. They’ve been around since 1967 and had until recently, been somewhat marginalized due to an image of being narrowly focused on multi-user advocacy (the TC absorbed a similarly focused group, the Trail Advocacy Committee), but are working hard to improve their standing among the various agencies and environmental/parks/trails groups in the county by demonstrably broadening their focus.

We were scheduled to do a crew leading/trail maintenance workshop last weekend with John Aranson of the Bay Area Ridge Trail, but he had a family emergency and had to cancel. As a result, I helped teach a less formal workshop for the 15 participants. I talked about tools and their use, basic concepts of tread maintenance and trail design, and a bit about leadership skills, and then we worked on a short section of trail, including a blown-out switchback. It felt like old times with the TC — and specifically, it felt a whole lot like the pre-TC crew leader training program days.

It will be interesting to see where this leads.

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