Bobcat Fire Restoration
Lowelifes 2023 Review

Lowelifes 2023 Review

Lowelifes Respectable Citizens’ Club would like to thank everyone who has been a part of our journey – past, present, and future. We would like to give a special thank you to our volunteers and supporters in 2023. It was an excellent year of growth. After spending over a year repairing trails in the Bobcat Fire area, it was challenging to see them get hammered by one of the biggest winter storm cycles in history. Critical communication sites, roads, trails, and other infrastructure were damaged and are still not repaired a year later. Despite the setbacks, we continue to push forward on our projects. 

We have found our place in the world of trail stewardship in the Angeles National Forest. Backcountry, hard-to-reach, and lesser-known have been the theme. At the core of Lowelifes’ work is the desire to provide a quality trail experience far from the trailhead. To resurrect forgotten paths and breathe air into forgotten landscapes. That’s exactly what we accomplished with Condor, and we are continuing in that vein with our work on the 2020 Bobcat Fire trail restorations on the “Dark Side” of Mt Wilson.

So, what was Lowelifes Trail Crew up to in 2023? 

On trails, the bulk of our time was spent on Gabrielino NRT, Idlehour, Rim, and Kenyon Devore. On Gabrielino we worked 775 hours and have been primarily focused on the stretch from Valley Forge to West Fork Trail Camps. On Idlehour we spent 452 hours, Rim – 460, Kenyon Devore – 316, Silver Moccasin – 227, Strawberry Peak – 126, and Hoyt Mountain  / “Telephone” – 117 hours. We also worked on Condor Peak, Colby Canyon, and Yerba Buena, for a total of 2,626 volunteer hours in 2023.

At the end of April, we held another collaborative stewardship event with Orogenesis working on Gabrielino near West Fork Trail Camp. We finished the year with 1,003 hours of work on the Orogenesis route and will continue to steward its path through the Angeles National Forest. During the months of August and September, we hosted two campouts working in the high country in Sequoia National Forest sharing stewardship with Kern River Valley MTB Association.

Off trails, we assisted the Forest Service in installing new benches at Red Box and Mt Lowe Trail Camp and helped organize a chainsaw certification class. On Juneteenth, we unveiled the new Robert Owens historical sign in El Prieto Canyon. 

Our secret weapon this year was getting a hold of our first e-bike thanks to another generous donation from The Cub House bike shop in San Marino. What an amazing tool for trail work. Hauling heavy gas-powered tools to work the middle section of Idlehour was a game changer. A human-powered loop on Idlehour takes about four to five hours to do one hour of work. With the e-bike, we are doing three hours of work with better tools in the same amount of time. Thank you Cub House. The benefits of the e-bike on hard-to-reach projects are huge. It is unlocking a new, more aggressive approach allowing us to increase our capacity in so many ways. We need more e-bikes.

Recently, we surpassed 10,000 hours of volunteer work worth $300k since our inception in November of 2019. With 13 months of inactivity during the pandemic, we have had three years and one month of active volunteering averaging 270 volunteer hours per month. We are proud of this great service to the community we provide. We could not do it without the volunteers and support of the community.

We want to thank all of our donors from 2023. We are very grateful for the support so we can offer this great community service. Lowelifes would like to give a special thank you to Let’s Ride Cyclery, TRVRS Outdoors, and The Cub House for beyond generous contributions in 2023. A long list of donors helped put the tools in our hands and the food in our volunteer’s mouths, but these generous donors enabled our organization to grow. Last but not least, our biggest supporter – the USDA – USFS Angeles National Forest. They trusted us to invest in our work, listen to our advice, and include us in important decision-making. We are fortunate to have such a great crew of staff assigned to us. 2024, here we come (are)!