|The Hinkle Lake Basin with Whisky Peak in the background|
October, 2006 OHV tracks in lake
For years, the meadows and lake basin were abused by unmanaged and illegal OHV use. The wetlands around Hinkle Lake and Kendall Cabin had become mud bogs, and vehicle tracks could be found throughout the broad subalpine meadows and flower fields. I am happy to report that some of these areas have begun to heal and re-vegetate. Although the impacts to hydrology and riparian function may be more long term, this year they were not made worse with each trespassing vehicle. The last time OHVs were seen in the Hinkle Lake Basin was in June, 2013. It does not appear as if any further trespass has occurred. When I arrived there this past weekend I was heartened to see the gate locked and other hikers on the trail!
Summer 2012 Fall 2013
As these before and after photos show, there are visible signs of recovery within the meadows and lake margins. We have begun to make a difference, yet the struggle is not over. We still need to advocate for official designation of road #850 as the "Hinkle Lake Trail," and for inclusion of the Hinkle Lake Basin in the Red Buttes Wilderness in order to keep it protected in perpetuity. The Hinkle Lake Basin is a wilderness caliber landscape and should be treated as such.
|Locked gate on road #850, aka "The Hinkle Lake Trail"|
Please contact the following Forest Service officials and tell them you support the measures they have taken to protect the Hinkle Lake Botanical Area and encourage them continue these actions into the future.
|Adequate signage is helping inform the public of the closure|
Donna Mickley, District Ranger, Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District: email@example.com
Rob MacWhorter, Forest Supervisor, RR-SNF: firstname.lastname@example.org