Written by Jim Lemonds (Mt. St. Helens & Growlers Gulch LST) [email protected]
Nathan Frechen is the new NWTA Local Stewardship Team Lead in the Tillamook State Forest, building on the great work that PUMP/NWTA has done in the past and most recently by Ben McCormack and Tim Mathews. His focus will be on typical maintenance (logout, brushing, tread repair) of the entire non-motorized network, with an emphasis on two trails recently adopted by NWTA:
(1) Sickter Lars (1.7 miles) has numerous technical features but is overgrown and needs tread refinement; (2) Wilson River Trail from Elk Creek to Kings Mountain (3.3 miles) requires ongoing maintenance to remove logs and deal with drainage issues.
Nathan started his trail work career at Growlers Gulch in 2015. “There’s a wealth of knowledge in that group, and I’ve applied many of their principles: extensive planning prior to the event, organization for the day of, and ensuring that everyone who volunteers leaves tired and smiling.”
Since 2015, he has coordinated work parties for the Oregon Timber Trail, Trans-Cascadia, and Cascade Volunteers. His work has ranged along the Cascades, from the Fremont-Winema National Forest in southern Oregon to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington. “I’ve gotten to see a wide variety of terrain and have met people from various backgrounds. Over the past two years, I’ve been increasingly involved with Cascade Volunteers, assisting with chainsaw training and certification.”
Nathan – along with Jason Crago, Josh Roppo, and several others – has done work on the non-motorized trails at Tillamook since winter 2017 when storms caused massive damage. Because he has been active there for nearly five years, he sees this move as merely a matter of “putting on the NWTA hat” while doing the work.
He is very attracted to the backcountry feel of the trails at Tillamook. “I see it as ‘rugged XC singletrack.’ You can put together 30+ mile rides entirely on handbuilt multi-user singletrack and feel like you’re ‘really out there.’ It’s great to be able to find that style or riding within an hour of Portland.”
His goals are as follows: (1) continue growing the relationship between NWTA and the Oregon Department of Forestry; (2) increase awareness of what Tillamook has to offer; (3) organize work parties with significant impact, and (4) put the party in the work party.
“I’m hoping that the excitement out there continues to grow with NWTA’s support and that we can build a more extensive volunteer infrastructure at Tillamook for years to come.”
Please join us in officially welcoming Nathan to the NWTA Stewardship family. He will be out at NWTA’s Trail Sustainability Institue next Trail School at Sickter Lars on Sunday, December 12th. To find out more and to register for the event HERE. To join Nathan and NWTA’s efforts in the Tillamook State Forest, email [email protected]