CHICO — It could be awhile before the burned Peregrine Point Disc Golf Course is opened up.

The course off Highway 32 in upper Bidwell Park sustained damage during the Stoney Fire last month when the wildfire burned up to the canyon rim and over the top.

Park officials plan to hire a company to survey the damage, primarily to trees, in the burned area throughout the park, including the disc golf course.

Parks and Natural Resource Manager Linda Herman said urban forest manager Richie Bamlet has his hands full with other projects, so a company will be hired to check out trees that are within range of public access.

That includes Peregrine Point, which is used by hikers, cyclists and others in addition to disc golfers.

“We plan on a trail assessment and tree assessment along the trails and where people may be,” Herman said last week.

“Anything that’s along the trails or Peregrine Point needs the assessment to determine if there are hazardous trees. They’ll be taken down,” she said.

The city hopes to have the assessment finished by the end of October.

Herman said there are “popping” sounds from trees, and boulders are still coming down in burned areas of the park.

“We’re going to keep it closed for a while while we’re assessing hazards,” she said.

Herman said park staff will be checking as well on erosion, which was a problem even before the fire.

Bulldozer lines and hand lines constructed during the fire need to be erased and the areas returned to more natural conditions, she said.

“Cal Fire has been so busy with other fires that they haven’t gone back yet to repair the lines,” Herman said.

She pointed out benefits to the fire, both for vegetation control and that it was not as hot as it could have been.

“We’re fortunate it was not a very hot fire. Some areas were damaged more than others. Some parts of Peregrine Point weren’t burned at all.”

Even so, Herman stressed the whole course is closed until the assessment is done.

Don Hansler of Chico Outsiders, the nonprofit that launched and maintains the disc golf course, is getting calls as well about reopening.

“We’re just waiting on the city to let us in there,” he said.

Hansler admitted to going up to see the damage for himself, finding one basket run over by a bulldozer, and many of the split rail fences burned that kept people out from sensitive plant areas.

Herman said the replacement split rail fences would be provided by the city if volunteers from the club could build them.

“The fire wasn’t the organization’s fault,” she said. The city will also pay for the tree assessment.

Hansler said volunteers and money are key for the organization right now. Some plans are in the early stages for fundraising, and more hole sponsorships by businesses is being discussed.

“We haven’t gotten a round figure about what’s needed,” Hansler said.

Volunteers and others can reach out through the Chico Outsiders’ Facebook page

Hansler said the club is looking at alternative layouts for pins that could avoid sensitive areas.


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