Gillespie Gulch Fencing Project - 2002

by Adam Mehlberg
photos by Adam Mehlberg, Laura Mauro, Lory Heath, and Dave Springer

May 18th, 2002. As a continued effort by the Trailridge Runners 4WD Club to keep the public access to the Roosevelt National forest near Jamestown available to everyone, we undertook a fencing project in conjunction with the Boulder Ranger District of the USFS along the Gillespie Gulch 4WD road.

Just as you enter the forest out of Jamestown on the Gillespie Gulch 4WD road there is an old road that was used for a prescribed fire four years ago south of Jamestown. This road is administratively closed, but is being driven, in fact a hill climb had been created. Because this road is not part of the Gillespie Gulch 4WD road, FDR 331, and it is closed to the public, our club members built a buck an rail fence along the Gillespie Gulch 4WD road where this road branches in. By eliminating illegal use of closed roads and eliminating illegal hill climbs that damage the forest and supply the Closurists with ammunition to get legal roads closed, our club members hope to protect access to Gillespie Gulch and the challenging section of 4WD road above the mine.

Getting the project site that morning became a test of 4WD vehicle field repair. Just before we were to get to Highway 3, Ray Comeau’s jeep quit. Ray had the generator and a huge drill for putting holes in the bucks to use rebar for anchoring, so we couldn’t just leave him (just kidding Ray). We all pulled over and Ray looked under his vehicle for a culprit to his loss of engine function. He found a three conductor wire that was loose, as well as damaged. Using the “handymans secret weapon, DUCT TAPE” (Ray is holding the roll in the picture above) we fixed the wires. The wire had pins on the end that was loose so we figured a connector was missing it’s guts. With a bunch of us making suggestions on what it could be we ended up thinking the gas tank fuel pump was missing these wires. We found the connector shell and put the pins back in. Ray tie wrapped the wires out of harms way, and we were off again. Even with this delay we were on time to meet Laura from the Boulder Ranger District who had hauled up all of the materials to make the buck and rail fence.

After completing the lower buck and rail fence we went up to Owens Flat by the main road and installed a buck and rail fence at the top where the closed road ties in with the road on Owens Flat. It is hoped that the public will use the main Gillespie Gulch road network to access the camp sites on Owens Flat. Previously the Forest Service had placed signs to keep the public from driving and camping on the meadow of Owens Flat.

Please help us keep the public access open on the Gillespie Gulch 4WD road by staying on the Gillespie Gulch 4WD road system and obeying the spur road closures.

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