2019 Land Use Donation At Work


NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
I’d like to give you all an update on what’s happening with your hard earned dollars you used to purchase raffle tickets and t-shirts at Sierra Fest and how they’re being used towards our Land Use Donation for the year.

As you all know, typically we’ve made a donation to the various clubs that support the trails we use to go towards their various trail and campground maintenance projects. Past recipients of our Land Use Donation have been: The Rubicon Trail Foundation, CORVA, Friends of Fordyce, The Four Wheel Drive Club of Fresno, and others, but this year we figure we’re a big enough organization that it’s time to step up and use the $$’s to lead a project of our own!

As we’re frequent campers at Hermit Valley for Sierra Fest and many of us camp there on other weekends throughout the year, we started brainstorming about things we could do there. Thus we’ve been working with the Stanislaus National Forest and the Calaveras Ranger District to organize a project that would benefit the campsite and all people who use it throughout the year, both in the 4x4 community and outside of the 4x4 community, as well as raise awareness about NAXJA, who we are and what we stand for.

After discussion with the Calaveras Ranger District OHV crew manager, Aaron, (also an XJ guy) he mentioned a donation of firepit-BBQ’s would be of great help to the Hermit Valley campground as that is something that would not be approved for federal $’s to purchase for this site.. as we know, there’s only the makeshift rock fire pits at this site and given the focus on fire-safety after the recent large wildfires, we thought this would be a great idea to purchase, donate and install some firepit-bbq’s with a “Donated by NAXJA” note on them for our fellow Hermit Valley campers to use and benefit from while adding a level of fire safety and convenience.

Along with the money we’ve raised as the Sierra Chapter, the NAXJA National board agreed to contribute an additional $500 to this project on top of the $500 annual national NAXJA match to Land Use Donations we receive. From our $$’s raised within the Sierra Chapter and the $1,000 from the National Board, our cash budget for the project is $2,300. Earlier this week, we purchased 9 steel campfire rings that meet the Forest Service specs provided to us. There are 2x 48” fire pits and 7x 30” fire pits, all of which have a BBQ grill grate you can flip over the top to use to cook and grill.

The fire pits should arrive in about 3-weeks time from the vendor. I’d like to call out much thanks to BlondeJon for helping make the purchase on behalf of the chapter while my access to the club account is pending, and a huge thank you to Alan (Alboy97XJ) for organizing a commercial shipping address with a forklift to unload these heavy firepits (~90lbs each) which is saving us $$’s on freight charges along with a NV address to save on sales tax over shipping to CA, and also big thanks to Gordon (GordoSmasho) for being able to store the bulky fire pits until we’re able to install them in the late Spring/early Summer once highway 4 has re-opened. Last but not least, also thanks to Lou (#S194) for working with the NAXJA National Board in one of his last formal initiatives as Sierra Chapter President to organize the additional $500 Land Use Donation funds from the national board on top of the standard match to use towards this project.

Our plan is to install them in the May time-frame. I’ll keep you all updated as the project evolves if you’d like to donate your time to come up to Hermit Valley and help dig in the new fire pits and remove the makeshift ones we’ll be replacing.

Aaron with the Calaveras Ranger District mentioned he and his crew of 4-5 people would also be able to use their working time and tools to help with the labor for the project which will be of great help too.

Thank you all for your support of NAXJA and making us not only a club, but a great group of friends!

More updates to come! I've attached a diagram of the firepit-BBQ's we’ll be donating for this project.



NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
Thank you guys for working on this. That will be so great for Hermit valley. Just keep us all up updated on when we can get up there to install them