The Granite Chief Wilderness was expanded in the northwest by a purchase of both logged and unlogged watershed lands by the American River Conservancy. Some of these lands were added to the wilderness, some are undergoing restoration. The wilderness is now about 115 km2 ( about 28,374 acres), an addition of 11 km2 (about 2800 acres) to the original 104 km2 (25,680 acres). These areal measurements are approximate.
Tahoe National Forest, USDA Forest Service, has removed almost all information about the Granite Chief Wilderness from their website. There is one paragraph on their Special Places page, and that is all. Even that paragraph is incorrect. The wilderness includes the headwaters of the Middle Fork American River, not the North Fork. The map, description, and trailhead information is all gone. I suppose I should take it as a compliment that apparently they think my website is all you need to know, but still, it is a disappointment to see a public agency removing information rather than adding it.
The American River Conservancy has started the Granite Chief Wilderness Campaign to protect 10,000 acres of land on the west and north sides of the Granite Chief Wilderness.
The lands are currently privately owned, mostly by a logging company. The parcels include headwaters of the North Fork American River and Middle Fork American River. Since some of the parcels are immediately adjacent to the existing wilderness, they could be automatically added to the wilderness.
I’ve moved my photos back to Flickr. Google made PicasaWeb progressively harder to use and less useful, as it removed capabilities and pushed people onto Google+, the social service. I have fixed all the photo links on blog posts.
I have moved all the information from granitechief.org to this blog. The website had a certain elegance of organization and design that are not possible on a hosted blog, but it will be easier for me to maintain. There may be some missing pieces and broken links, and if you notice anything, please let me know. The domain will now redirect to this blog.
These changes are to make it easier for me to maintain the information in a timely manner. I expect to be backpacking most of this coming summer, with only brief visits to town for a shower and resupply, so I need to be able to quickly update the blog without spending time on it.
I have some strong feelings about cairns and ducks along trails. Cairns are large piles of rocks, and ducks are small piles of rock (three or so), both meant to mark trails or routes that may be difficult to follow without them. The problem is, they are often put in place by people who are either partially or completely lost. I don’t understand the psychology of building rock piles just at the time when you are becoming unsure that you know where you are, but I have years of experience with rock piles to say that is exactly what happens.
I’ve finally transferred the information in a National Geographic Topo! file to Topo! Explorer online. I was waiting for National Geographic to update the Topo! Explorer desktop software to solve a number of usability and accuracy problems, but this has not happened in many months, and I suspect they have abandoned software development. Nevertheless, the interactive online version may be of some use to you, so I’ve shared it through Topo! Explorer online, at http://www.topo.com/trips/2364-granitechief.