Tahoe-Baikal group works on rim trail | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe-Baikal group works on rim trail

Gregory Crofton
Gregory Crofton / Tahoe Daily Tribune Mark Kimbrough, executive director of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, third from right, explains to members of an international exchange program how to use hand-held Global Position System units to gather data for trail building.

When building a trail, make sure it doesn’t end up being too steep.

“People get tired up on their toes,” said Mark Kimbrough, executive director of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association. “No more than a 10 percent grade. Except if you’re in a huge rock area, then you may have to break that rule.”

Kimbrough used hand-held Global Positioning System units on Friday to teach seven participants in the Tahoe-Baikal Institute’s international summer exchange program how to map out trails on Mount Rose.

Since 1990 the Tahoe-Baikal Institute has offered a program that allows leading environmental students, both international and American, to spend 10 weeks studying environmental issues.

Participants spend five weeks living in the Lake Tahoe Basin, then five weeks outside of Irkutsk, Russia at Lake Baikal. Baikal is the world’s largest, deepest freshwater lake. It is nearly a mile deep and dwarfs Lake Tahoe.

The final trail reports, which will analyze two options for a milelong trail connector near Tahoe Meadows trailhead, are to be turned into the U.S. Forest Service later this week.

Amorita Bustos, 27, of the Bay Area, is a Tahoe-Baikal member interested in environmental science and forestry. Bustos said trail building is not a simple task, but if it’s done correctly it helps protect natural resources.

“It’s a vital asset to allow people in the backcountry,” Bustos said. “(The goal) is trying to find a happy medium; one that’s away from the road and one that protects the meadow.”

Stas Suprunekco, 24, is a graduate student from Ukraine working on a graduate degree in environmental economics.

“I see a lot of good practices. I see in this region it is balanced,” Suprunekco said. “Environmental interests are taken into account. There are a lot of organizations that care about this.”

– Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at gcrofton@tahoedailytribune.com

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