The proposed Cascade Day Use Area disc golf course project has entered the analysis phase, according to Leslie Edlund, public service staff officer for the Plumas National Forest’s Mt. Hough Ranger District. Recommended and supported by the Plumas Disc Golf group, the project has drawn opposition from nearby residents.
The suggested deadline for public comment was Sept. 15, but Edlund indicated that her office will continue to accept public comment throughout the National Environmental Policy Act process. In the meantime, Edlund said the next step is for PNF to analyze comments received, along with input from resource specialists in fields such as archaeology, botany, and wildlife, in order to make a decision on the project. Edlund said that there is no estimate at this time for when the decision will be announced.
“We will be looking specifically at how we might be able to mitigate concerns that have been brought forward,” said Edlund. These concerns, aired Sept. 14 in The Plumas Sun, include the possibility of increased fire risk, impacts on existing users and nearby residents, and limited emergency response capability due to poor cell reception and accessibility.
Plumas Disc Golf proposed the course to PNF more than two years ago. Members have been working with Forest Service staff since then on the resource advisory committee grant and land-use permit process.
“The ultimate goal of this new course is to expand the shared use of a recreational site that at one point had issues with non-permitted overnight camping, unlawful campfires, and illegal off-road usage,” said Nick Maffei, Plumas Disc Golf representative. “Now, the Plumas Disc Golf club is looking to help continue to improve the area.”
Edlund pointed out that the Cascade trailhead, located off of Old Highway Road, has existing infrastructure to support disc golf, including parking and a restroom. It is also close to Quincy and accessible for most of the year. “The course would be along the access road to the Cascade trailhead and would not impact Cascade trail users,” she said.
“Having a variety of recreation opportunities in our county for both local and visiting recreationists contributes to tourism and support of our local economy.”Leslie Edlund, Public Service Staff Officer, Mt. Hough Ranger District, Plumas National Forest
In addition to installation of disc golf baskets and establishment of tee areas for an 18-hole disc golf course, the project proposal includes road and parking upgrades for the area, as well as fuel-reduction treatments at the site. “The USFS is in favor of this project because it will align with their initiatives to reduce wildfire fuels in that immediate area, help to remove dead trees, and improve the overall forest health in the region,” said Maffei. He said the club will also assist with new and existing trail maintenance, erosion control, and other fire control efforts.
Plumas Disc Golf is a nonprofit that encourages healthy outdoor recreation through the expansion and promotion of disc golf. President and co-founder Jeremiah Bridges said he loves sharing disc golf because it’s an inexpensive sport to get involved with, getting people outside and offering physical activity while outdoors. “It is a sport of inclusivity where all ages, backgrounds, abilities, and personalities are welcome to play,” he said.
Maffei agreed, adding that the low-impact sport is easy to learn, accessible, and family friendly. It can play a role in economic development as well, said Edlund: “Having a variety of recreation opportunities in our county for both local and visiting recreationists contributes to tourism and support of our local economy.”
The area’s only other disc golf course is located at Pioneer Park near the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds. Bridges, along with Richard Dolezal and James Shipp, worked on the initial design for that course, and the Plumas Disc Golf group now maintains it. The Cascade course would provide a variety of hole shapes and shot types, said Bridges, features that the Pioneer course lacks.
Corky Lazzarino, an opponent of the Cascade disc golf project, said concerns include noise, parking, overcrowding, and increased risk of unattended campfires near the adjacent residential area. Writing on behalf of the Sierra Access Coalition, she said that her group supports developing recreation projects on public lands — and specifically supports disc golf projects — but that the group does not support this project “simply due to the location.” She suggested several other possible disc golf sites in her comment letter to the PNF. “Please assure that this project is in compliance with the Plumas National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan,” she urged PNF staff.
Maffei said the goals of the Plumas Disc Golf club include increasing access to local recreation, helping improve forest health, fostering community, and working with others to create a safe and accessible space for everyone to enjoy. Learn more at http://www.plumasdiscgolf.com and http://www.facebook.com/groups/plumasdiscgolf. Those interested may also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments.
To learn more about the proposed Cascade Day Use Area disc golf course (Project No. 63472), visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=63472&exp=overview. Comments on the project may be submitted to Alexander Terry at Mt. Hough Ranger District, 39696 Hwy 70, Quincy, CA, 95971 or Alexander.Terry@usda.gov.