The Forest Service has invited El Dorado TU to participate ion the Woods Lake Access Project they have in process. We joined with the Forest Service to pledge support for this project in early spring. The contractor for bridge construction and culvert removal has been selected, and work is likely to begin on construction of the bridge abutments in the next couple of weeks. The culvert won't be removed until the bridge can be used, and then the stream banks will be restored to meet the existing streambank shape. We have been asked to plant native vegetation and willow cuttings along the streambank of the east fork of Woods Lake Creek when the heavier construction is complete. Expected date for planting is the end of September or early October.
The Woods Lake Recreation Area Access project is located in the Eldorado National Forest in Alpine County, Northern California, with access from Highway 88 approximately 2 miles west of Carson Pass. The landscape is the western crest of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, at an elevation of approximately 8,350 feet in an area that is primarily sub-alpine forest on National Forest System (NFS) lands. The overall climate is a Mediterranean subtype with warm dry summers and cool moist winters. Most of the precipitation falls as snow between October and April, with occasional summer thunderstorms.
The Woods Lake campground, picnic area, and trailhead are popular destinations. The existing access road includes a culvert over the east fork of Woods Lake Creek that is mis-aligned, undersized, and losing structural integrity. In addition, the turn onto this road for recreation site access is sharper than a 90-degree angle, which makes it difficult for larger vehicles to make the turn safely before the culvert crossing. Along with the sharp turn and the misalignment, the culvert has been overtopped and eroded the road to a narrower width over the culvert compared to the rest of the road, making it more difficult for many recreational vehicles to cross. There is a straight drop-off of about 5 ft. into the creek, with no guardrail, and several vehicles have become stuck while attempting to negotiate this sharp turn and eroded culvert stream crossing. A serious public safety concern exists, and further deterioration could result in the closure of the Woods Lake Recreation Area.