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North Fork Trail vote a victory for outdoorsmen

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In a victory for outdoors enthusiasts, the Placer County Board of Supervisors voted last week to go ahead with the North Fork Trail project in the Auburn State Recreation Area. The Placer County Parks Division has chosen a project that will link a number of existing trails and roads to create a multipurpose trail suitable for horseback riders, bicyclists, runners and hikers. The trail will be a natural surface and will parallel the north fork of the American River. The process of reaching agreement on the trail design, which runs from the confluence of the north and middle Forks of the American River to Ponderosa Bridge, was long and contentious, but the Placer Parks Division wisely included runners, mountain bikers, horse riders, hikers, river users and others in that process. There will always be those who fear that opening up this section of the canyon will bring environmental degradation and litter and some fear that this is a step toward the completion of a Cap to Cap Trail (running from Sacramento to Carson City via Giant Gap and the wild and scenic portion of the American River). But as we’ve seen at Hidden Falls Park, I believe new trail users will be good stewards of the environment and will work to keep this beautiful area clean and pristine. I also believe the Parks Division when they say this 14.2-mile trail is the trail as envisioned, in its entirety. In the end, I believe this new trail will be an enormous benefit to all trail users in Placer County. By allowing residents and others to see and enjoy the beauty of Placer County, we will create a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts who will choose to preserve and protect our valuable natural resources for generations to come. Jennifer Montgomery, Soda Springs