CANV logo

The Ca
lifornia-Nevada Chapter is one of eleven chapters of the Oregon-California Trails Association, an organization dedicated to the preservation, appreciation and enjoyment of all transmigration trails to the west, the trails that made the United States an ocean-to-ocean nation.

California Nevada Trails

 The CANV Chapter Membership Roster has been updated
on the Members Only Page

email the CANV Chapter for the password


Beckwourth Trail Field Days 2017

May 22 & 23
June 19 & 20
July 7 – 9
August 25 – 27
September 10 – 23


Chapter Report for the Vancouver Board Meeting

March 30, 2017 Vancouver, Washington

Chapter membership stood at 275 at the last Chapter Board meeting on October 22, 2016. The Chapter is solvent and in a sound financial position. The Board expressed a desire to see more marking projects through to completion, have more outings and become involved other historic stakeholder organizations. A budget was passed reflecting these directives.

The onset of spring means our annual symposium and membership meeting soon follows. This year’s symposium will be in Nevada City, California on April 28, 29, and 30th, and features the Henness Pass wagon road. The Nevada County historical Society is assisting local members and Chairperson Priscilla Vanderpass in organizing the gathering.

The winter season has put a lot of pressure on the California and Nevada landscape as well as people. We are hopeful there hasn’t been any significant impacts to the trails, but common sense tells us we will see erosion, down trees and weather results on our markers. We will have to get out and see what the wet and snowy weather has done to the trails, or markers and worksites.

In addition we are anticipating governmental agencies, utilities and landowners will be out in force repairing clearing away segments for the next round of storms this year and the next. We need to be vigilant about looking and listening for projects that may affect the trails. I have requested chapter members to let the Chapter or our preservation officer, John Winner, know of any real or rumored projects that will impact trails near where they live or come across while out exploring.

Along that line, the replacement stand for one of the two Carson Trail-Caples Lake interpretive panels, damaged last winter, is in the custody of Frank Tortorich and will be installed as soon as the 12 + feet of snow melts. We are hopeful the other panel remains undamaged.

The chapter has been moving steadily ahead with the Historic Fernley Sand Swales marking and restoration project. The display site has been identified and permission secured to place information panels in the parking lot of the Terrible’s Travel Center and Casino, I-80 exit 48, at the entrance to the swales. This business has a high volume of both local and traveling public. The content of the panels were vetted by a committee as to design and content. A vendor has the information and panels are in production. They will be completed in time for the dedication around the time of the annual cleanup of the swales, September 30, 2017. Local contacts are excited about the project and will be involved as the project moves forward. We have had great cooperation with the stakeholders and look forward to an energetic and fun dedication ceremony at the swales this fall. Most of the energy for this project has been supplied by chapter member Jon Nolan of Carson City, NV and his committee.

Chapter Board members and other people have been giving local presentations and attending stakeholder conventions to promote OCTA . Those included, a Youth History Camp in Red Bluff in September, the October 2016 Great Basin Anthropological Conference, the Society of California Archeologists in March 2017 , Gold Prospectors in Sparks as well as Rotary, historic and other civic organizations. The chapter will continue looking for opportunities through the spring, summer and into the fall.

The joint operation the placement of National Park Service auto tour highway signs marking emigrant trails in California has slowed as the state’s transportation department, Caltrans, has been working to re-identify the exact locations based on input from our chapter and others. With this year’s weather situation and how it has affected the state’s highways it is unknown if the project will move forward as planned for completion in 2018 or be delayed further.

On December 7th, 2016 The CA-NV Chapter donated the James P. McClain artifact collection to the Churchill County Museum in Fallon, NV. James McClain was a long time OCTA member and a guide for the 40 mile desert and Black Rock Desert trails. He was also a writer for the Overland Journal and the local American Heritage magazine. He taught California History for many years at Nevada Union High School in Grass Valley, CA. He took many groups of high school students as well as OCTA members out and on the trails in the Nevada deserts. His family gave the collection to The CA-NV Chapter who then passed it to the Churchill County Museum for preservation and display as appropriate.

Chapter Preservation Officer John Winters has been following two preservation issues in Nevada. One involves the Newmont Mining Company along the Hasting Cutoff south of Oasis, NV and the expansion proposal by Nevada DOT of a gravel pit along Highway 50 close to two class I swales. Both are being monitored and reported back through the Board. Several other issues have come to light, including a large land acquisition by Fallon Naval Air Station, but were found not to effect the trails in the area. John is also working to digitize the MET quad maps of trails in California that have been prepared by OTCA members in the past and currently.

We look forward to the Spring Board meeting in Grass Valley on April 27, 2017 to revue our progress and continue to serve out chapter members!

Dick Waugh-President
CA-NV Chapter


The chapter is in need of a new membership chairperson.  Please contact the chapter via the Chapter email if you are interested.

If you are interested in being on the California-Nevada Chapter Board of Directors or you know someone who is interested, contact Chapter President Dick Waugh through the Chapter email.

View Highlights of the convention logo
2015 Convention at Tahoe



The latest issue of Trail Talk can now be found in the
members only pages.

New – Spring 2017 Issue

Contact for the members only password.


Watch a Video of Helicopter Power Pole Installation on the Carson River Route in Carson Canyon
by Pedro Kinner


Watch Frank Tortorich tell the story of Melissa Coray
a film by Mark Russell


Watch Larry Schmidt talk about Mark Twain
a film by Dee Owens


Passport in Time – Carson Emigrant Trail
by Dee Owens