Hitch lead: Stephanie Kopfman
Member: Ben Dunphey
This hitch was an interesting one, right from the beginning. We were supposed to meet up with a group of interns who were serving in the Salmon-Challis as Wilderness Interns. We had called the night before to find out where they were camped so we could meet them and found out that they were camped up by a series of lakes that was 6.5 miles in from the trailhead. Knowing this Steph K. and I packed as lightly as possible for this hitch. We brought the bare minimum for clothes and only the food we needed. In addition to this we brought out 2 pulaskis and a crosscut saw.
Well, right from there is where things got challenging. On our hike up the first day there were 3 stream crossing within the first 2 miles (all about knee deep). The first 3 miles of the trail climbed up and down small hills and the last 3.5 miles were straight up. Needless to say that first day was pretty challenging and draining. On the up side, our mac and cheese with broccoli never tasted any better. Our second day out on the trail consisted of us trying to contact Moyer to figure out just what we should do while waiting for Nat and Emma to arrive. Thus on our third day we hiked along the Woodtick Ridge to make sure there was no work to be done and we managed to see some amazing views. After that we decided to hike down the trail halfway to the trail head and camp so that we did not have a killer day of hiking when meeting up with Nat and Emma. Our fourth through sixth day on that trail we did a fair amount of work which mostly consisted of logging out the Flume Creek Trail and a little bit of brushing and tread work here and there. Our seventh day was another interesting one. We set out to finish clearing the Flume Creek Trail from the southern side but as we hiked our way in the disappeared and we ended up bushwacking through dense willows.
All in all it was an interesting trip. There were some frustrating points early on but once Nat showed up with some more information about exactly what we were supposed to be doing everything went smoothly. In total we hiked approximately 51 miles of trail and cleared out 19 trees.
Hitch leader: Ben Dunphey
Members: Shannon Apgar-Kurtz, Shannon Montano, Kenny Grilliot, Baba
Due to the large fires here in the Salmon-Challis our trails project was moved from the Cape Horn Guard Station to the Wild Horse Guard Station. While there we worked on the Burnt Aspen Trail. This is another law suit trail, which a judge closed due to the effects of motorized use and for just lack of general up keep. We spent most of our time split into two groups. One group worked on putting water bars into the trail to help sheet water off to prevent erosion and the other group spent their time adding checks and backfilling the trail to prevent any further erosion and entrenchment from occurring.
The highlight of this hitch was our weekend adventure down to Craters of the Moon National Monument. This is the location of a volcano that is currently dormant. Located within the Monument are several old caves that were formed by lava passing underground through tunnels. We spent the entire day crawling through these caves with just our headlamps and flashlights. It was a pretty cool experience seeing these underground worlds and having the chance to explore some of the tight craws and large caverns. We would highly recommend that if any one is ever in the area that they stop and take the time to explore this amazing area.
Tread maintained: 206 ft.
Hitch leader: Joe Duszak
Member: John Horsfield
After an exciting and well deserved week-long break, it was back to the forest to get things done for America. This was my second hitch working in the rangeland, and I was joined by John, the Idaho Fish & Game wonderboy. Once again, the Range Hitch focused on identifying pasture vegetation and ground cover to establish trends in overall range health. We repeated studies conducted in 1965 and 2004 by running transect lines and identifying vegetation over a 100-pace span. John quickly established himself as the local vegetation expert, and I was beyond grateful that I got to forgo the painful 20-minute staredowns with various plants, desperately trying to figure out what the heck they are. John had this process down to a science, just like his workout routine.
Our work was focused in the pastures of Morgan Creek, a smooth 45 minute drive from Moyer, with occasional trips to Salmon to meet with our forest contact, Faith Ryan. By some stroke of luck, or maybe it was just pure awesomeness, John and I managed to complete 7 days of work in a mere 4, and leave plenty of time for the highly anticipated paperwork necessary to wrap up this hitch. To remediate any recording errors in the field, we re-wrote the majority of our field sheets, correcting spelling mistakes and filling in blanks as we went. I think I sharpened my pencil over 40 times that day... I had odd flashbacks to 3rd grade. Anyway, we finally wrapped up our work and met with Faith one last time to finalize the data. After a few minor recording changes, 2 hours fighting with an ancient scanner, and some last minute supply inventory, we headed back to Moyer after a job well done.
Hitch Lead: Bri
Sarah and I were psyched to be on wildlife again and sad that this would be the finial wildlife hitch. We were in the Leadore area again doing vegetation plots. This hitch we finally got to meet our Forest Service contact, Doug. [Doug had been on vacation for the first wildlife hitch (he rode his bike across Iowa!)] Doug and Mike (our friend and employee of the forest service who we helped train on vegetation plots and who was out working with us the whole hitch) headed out to Leadore with us. Doug was great to have out in the field; he knew so much and was a willing and great teacher. Mike was also awesome to have out with us; he was a fast learner and a big help in completing the project. Mike was kind enough to give us a jar of Nutella at the end of our hitch as a thank you. Alex also came out and worked with us one day.
Wildlife once again lived up to its name as we saw both a coyote and a bear cub. Sarah and I finished up all of our work out in Leadore a couple of days early. We then headed into Salmon where we helped out at the S.O. office. We helped Liz in the BLM office prep for the Lemhi county fair where she will be doing an arts and crafts booth for the kids. We also helped weed one of the outdoor courtyards, which already looks more inviting. Sarah and I also lived up to our goal of not cooking for the entire hitch! We ate food that we had pre-made and lots of vegetables. Overall it was a great hitch - we learned a lot from Doug and saw a lot of wildlife.
Stand exam plots completed: 64
Hitch Lead: Magdaline
Hitch Member: Steph H.
The Backcountry Horsemen may be one of the coolest groups of people that I have ever met. When we first got to Meyer’s Cove we were a little down about not having any volunteers, but having 6 horsemen to pack out our food into the wilderness more than made up for it. We learned some very important lessons on this hitch. The first lesson is that backpacking with tools is really hard. The second lesson is that backcountry horsemen totally know how to cook. The last lesson is that if you are going to be doing stream crossings during work you should definitely have a spare pair of shoes.
Despite sore feet and being more tired that I have ever been in my entire life, this was probably my favorite hitch so far. We got to see some amazing parts of the Frank Church, got to play with mules and horses, and had a blast making some new friends. We even managed to get a decent amount of work done and made part of the Camas Creek Trail passable. I really hope that the SCA gets an opportunity to work with the backcountry horsemen again.
Tread maintained: 5278 ft
Brushing: 29035 ft
Down trees cleared: 21
Hitch Lead: Aaron
The tiny town of Leadore, ID, was the home base for the hitch 5 U-Routes team of Nick Larson and me, Aaron Osowski. Over the span of an 8-day straight hitch without a break, the two of us walked 119 U-Routes looking for erosion issues in a variety of environments and terrains, from open sagebrush flats in the blazing sun to coniferous forests and old, abandoned mining pits.
As Leadore has been historically known as a mining town, we found that many of the routes we walked lead to mining areas or pits. In fact, a great amount of the routes early on were located in the old Leadville mine just to the north of Leadore. Some notable features of these routes were switchbacks and pits dug in the backslope. As usual, many if not most of the routes were highly re-vegetated and had not seen use in at least 10-15 years.
A rather unfortunate part of this hitch was the occasional drifting of smoke in the area from the (now more than 80,000 acre) wildfires to the west. The smoke made the hiking of U-Routes a bit more cumbersome, but there was a certain beauty in the ominous haze the smoke created on the top of Bannock Pass as the smoke passed on into Montana. Fellow campers at the Smokey Cubs campground in Leadore expressed curiosity about the wildfires after they heard we were working with the Forest Service, but we were disappointed that we couldn’t tell them much more than the general location of the fires.
Though there remain many U-Routes still to walk in the Leadore area, it’s fascinating to think of how each route was created and what purpose it served. Though many aren’t even recognizable, they are all a blast from the past that could each have a story to tell.
U-Routes walked: 120
Total mileage: 59.4 mi.
Hitch Leader: Chris Jackson-Jordan
Members: Aaron Osowski, John Horsfield
I greatly enjoyed my time with Idaho Fish and game and am very sad that our time with them has ended. This hitch was a bit different from the previous one because we were not together as a group for the duration of the hitch. We were still doing the same system of vegetation transects as we had before. The first day John, Aaron, and I followed our old friend John Nelson to Clayton to re-run one veg. plot and set up a new one. The twist that was added this hitch was to add time-lapse cameras on either end of the transects. John Nelson and I attempted to finish the new plot with a storm rolling in and by the time we got back to the other two it was pouring rain. Unfortunately, my camping stuff was in the back of the other truck and was soaked. This turned out to be lucky however, after we parted ways with John and Aaron(who went back to moyer for the night), we went to Stanley and because my things were soaked got to stay in IDFG’s cabin at the foot of the Sawtooth range (comparable to the Tetons). John and I stayed in the cabin for two nights, running plots on the front slopes, glacial lakes, and terminal moraines of the Sawtooths, before heading back to Salmon on Wednesday night just in time for the good bye party for Mark and Angie Hurley’s (Mark is John Nelsons boss and Angie is our SCA contact in the Forest service) French Exchange Student. The next morning Mark sent John and I back across the state on a mission we did not think we could finish, six plots and 12 hours of driving in a day and a half. Our destination was McCall, a gorgeous resort town on the western side of the state, nestled on the edge of a beautiful natural lake and the headwaters of the Payette River. We ran two transects on the edge of cascade lake at dusk on Thursday and then had a whirl wind 19 hour work day on Friday running 4 transects in terrain resembling Tuscany before driving 6 hours back to salmon.
Meanwhile, John and Aaron were traveling around the southern half of the state nearly as close to the foothills of the Tetons as I was to the Sawtooths. While John Nelson and I ran our plots in the cool refreshing mountains around Stanely and McCall, John, Aaron, Jessie Thiel, Justin Naderman and Jessie’s enthusiactic little dog, Spurs, were running plots in the sweltering 100+ degree heat of the southern foothills. They spent a day in Caribou National forest near Jackson, Wyoming(but still in Idaho) and slept in the middle of a herd of sheep one night. They also ran re-ran several transects around twin falls that we had first put in on the previous hitch. As is common when groups split up, John and I were sure that we had endured a harder week and would be getting back way later than the other group. We rushed to reach Salmon by 11pm on Friday. However, the other group also had a long Friday and did not arrive until closer to midnight, only to find me watching the end of a stage of the Tour de France at the Nelson’s home. Finally we made the 1.5 hour drive back to Moyer for the weekend.
Bright and Sunny Monday morning we arrived at the Fish and Game office ready to go. We were sent up to Williams creek summit with Jessie to do a new project, composition plots. The difference with these was that instead of our 1 meter plots(good riddance to those rickety 1 meter PVC plots!!!) we simply dropped a wire down at each meter of the 100 m transect and recorded all the plants that were below the point. It was the highest we had run a transect thus far and we encountered some beautiful forests, nothing like what we had run previously. Very moist, it looked like pictures I had seen of northern boreal forests. We began our lines in clearings that were created by springs bubbling up and encountered new species such as white rhododendron, trappers tea, false-Azalea, violets, tall orange groundsels, endangered purple mountain heather, bear grass(really a lily!)and lots of Indian paintbrush. There was also an exciting moment when Aaron and I experienced the terror of truly being lost in the wilderness when we mistakenly walked up a hill adjacent to but perpendicular to the one up to the car and became completely lost. We spent 15 minutes walking towards the sound of Jessie’s truck horn, then waiting until we heard it again and walking again. It was quite an interesting mix of emotions.
Finally, our last day with fish and game was spent entering the data that we had collected over the last month and a half of work. I think all of us were under the impression that the data forms would somehow disappear and be magically transformed into digital files. As is usually the case with magical occurrences, it didn’t happen and we spent 9 hours putting species name and phenological stage into Microsoft Access. Interestingly, it was a fulfilling way to end our time with the agency. We could see how our data collection would be used and began to understand how it would be stored.
Overall, we all enjoyed our time with fish and game. Everything from the hotels instead of camping, to John Nelsons Dutch oven cooking, to spending 10 minutes trying to identify one tiny little wilted plant, to just hanging out with John, Jessie and Spurs(and sometimes Justin as well). Although we are all excited to move on to new hitches and new co-workers these hitches will be sorely missed. I hope that the SCA is able to greatly expand its partnership with Idaho Fish and Game in upcoming seasons.
Hitch lead: Matt Baba
Members: Nick Larson, Adam Martin, Ben Dunphey, Joe Duszak,
First and foremost I was very impressed with the amount of productivity that every one was able to accomplish, having completed the first section of trail and making a significant effort on the second. The work involved with this testosterone fueled hitch was much the same as the previous trails hitch regarding the work we preformed (“we pick things up and put them down”). We mostly were just quarrying rock, dirt and lumber to their previously indicated desired locations on the trail. The crew utilized a combination of picks, draw knives, buckets, ATV’s; Pulaski’s and shovels to accomplish our combined list of tasks. Though there was a mass outbreak of general hangrieness after work each day the group dynamic remained positive and productive (much whey protein, man Power drink, and melatonin was imbibed). We saw some very interesting and cool wild life amidst our journey including one large owl of unknown species and origin, who I’m quite certain was making a walk of shame(in the air). As always the ever present and ever annoying sheep made their customary appearances, culminating in a complete invasion and degradation of our illustrious work area (BBBBAAAAAA yes you are all annoying flee infested beasts). Finally our hitch was wrapped up with the cackling laughter of Nat and Nick from the kitchen as they spiced up traditional mac n cheese with bean dip, several semi hard boiled eggs, and one as yet unidentified ant. All in all I’d say a very unique and fun filled hitch. TTFN (ta ta for now).
Hitch lead: Shannon Montano
Member: Erica Madden
Shannon and Erica were once again trucking through the dense stands of Challis National Forest. Our supervisor, Wesley Case, was out of the office so we were on our own, but our intense training and acquired skills prepared us for proper stand examination.
We continued to see defoliation and bark beetle, a few stands were devastated by insect pests but we persevered through the disaster zone.
We found a four-hundred-fifty year Douglas-Fir amongst the wreckage. It had also been hit by the bark beetle although it had seen the founding of the United States by white settlers; it could not live through the bark beetle epidemic! Alas, its end has come.
On the sunny side of the slope, we happened upon orphan White Bark Pine, a threatened tree normally found in high elevations. This sighting provided hope for the troublesome stands of the Challis National Forest.
Hitch lead: Kenny Grilliot
Member: Chris Jackson-Jordan
Our hitch went very well this past week, the first day I spent some time training Chris at how to go about doing stands and plots within them. He was able to catch on pretty quick giving him plenty of practice at the different jobs even though we already had three days of actually doing plots. Tuesday we had to take chainsaws up to our work area because the road was completely blocked for several miles due to the fallen trees on the road. We did not get the road completely cleared but we were able to get enough cleared that we could walk to the stands in order to get our work done. Thursday we ended up having a delay because of a passing storm that changed out plans on what we wanted to do even though we still got work done in other stands. Some of the tools we use when doing variable and fixed plots include loggers tape, D-tape, a clinometer, reliscope, and a compass. We would have to measure the height and number of trees growing in our fixed plots based on sizes we decided to use to see if it fulfills the necessary quota for certifying the stands. The hardest parts of the hitch is when you get complicated stands such as one we had this week where we had a combination of steep slopes, a lot of down trees to climb over, and thick brushy areas to navigate through. Other than that there isn’t all that much to say about our hitch other than we packed our own lunches and were close enough to stay at Moyer all week.
Hitch lead: Lisa Weidemann
I left Moyer at 5:30 in order to make it to Challis by 7:00 on Monday morning. Sure enough, by 7:05 our field plan for the week was thrown out the window. Between contractors cancelling and obscenely hot weather, Amanda (my supervisor) and I have gotten pretty good at rolling with the punches and changing plans on a daily basis. We decided to suck it up and do some paperwork early in the week.
Working in the office was actually a good experience. I read through mining claim files in order to determine whether the claim was active, any reclamation bonds were posted or should be returned, and whether field visits are needed.
The rest of the week was in the field. Amanda and I were able to get 5 sites completed, including a solid mile long bushwhacking adventure up a “croad” – road that has turned into a creek over time. The croad turned into a real creek, and then I ran into my plant of the day: stinging nettle. It happens. The site had several open adits as well as some buildings and my favorite type of structure- an outhouse.
We wrapped up the week with an air conditioned ride to Moyer. Next week is break time, then back to Challis for more AML adventure!
Hitch lead: Nick Larson
Member: Kenny Grilliot
With Jim Hudson, the Salmon – Challis Timber Forestry Technician, it was our responsibility to inventory several forest plots contained within the Clear Creek fire. The Clear Creek fire burned over 200,000 acres in the summer of 2000. Data was collected to be used in the recertification process of stands contained within the burn area. A forest must be recertified by the Forest Silviculturist and established to be stocked in order to receive funding as a timber producing forest. A forest is considered to be stocked when there are 300 or more trees per acre.
Fixed plots were performed in either 1/300 or 1/100 acre sizes, saplings were identified and counted and indicator species were identified and documented. This information can then be extrapolated to estimate the stocking of the stand in question.
This hitch was challenging and tested our knowledge of survey techniques and our overall physical fitness. It was not uncommon to walk up and down 2000 feet in elevation each day, and cover 5-10 miles walking over 60-80 percent slopes while climbing over downed trees and constantly staying vigilant for the next burned tree to come down. It was grueling both mentally and physically but the reward of actively managing such an important timber stand was extremely rewarding.
The constant engagement and challenge of identifying species and taking accurate concise data provided entertainment enough in itself, encountering many creatures such as mule deer, and elk were just a perk of the job. Every now and again when spirits were low, a mandatory “Grouse Whortleberry break” was instituted and the thousands of Whortleberry plants were harvested and used to supplement our lunches. Overall the hitch was a very educational and rewarding experience.
Hitch lead: Stephani Kopfman
Members: Matt Baba, Stephanie Hanshaw, Owen Donohoe, Bri Wills, Magdaline Salinas
There is something very satisfying about digging and crushing rocks
all day. Even though rock crushing is a slow process, after 6 days of
it looking back on our progress makes me feel pretty hardcore.
According to our leader, Nat's, calculations, we moved and crushed
approximately 40,000 pounds of rock. For the first hitch working on
this particular trail I'd say we gave the next group a good start. The
meadow that we were working to protect from soil erosion was
beautiful, and the Sawtooth Mountains are a sight to see. Getting a
chance to explore the town of Stanley was a major bonus for us as
well. We worked hard all day so we could sleep through a herd of
baaing sheep at night, we broke 10-12 double jacks and spent more time
than we would have liked fixing them, we made new friends, and we are
happy to be back at Moyer for a short break. I'd say hitch 3 was a
Hitch lead: Lisa Weidemann
This was my first minerals hitch, giving Shannon a break to bop on over to U-routes for a few weeks. My time was spent roaming the countryside in search of abandoned mines and assessing any hazards they pose, taking photos and GPS points, and searching for evidence of sensitive flora and fauna.
The long daily drives in the jeep, affectionately renamed “The Heep” were always interesting as the small SUV had the heart of a lion but the legs of a lamb. We drove until the two-track roads ended or the skid plate was hit more than half a dozen times, whichever came first, then hiked in to begin the search for adits and shafts.
On this particular hitch, I tried to imagine what life was like for miners in Idaho. Claims from the early 1900’s were picked by hand as miners worked in small dark passages, searching for precious metals. Adits were often dug through unstable rock and collapses were common. Multiple families shared one-room cabins, and claims were worked until lode-bearing rock was hit and mined or money ran out. The thought of risking everything to find a big lode definitely made my work more exciting through the course of the week.
Hitch lead: Sarah Stawasz
Member: Shannon Montano
South Zone Vegetation Hitch 3 was further work on sample plots for the Forest Service, including measuring tree diameters, number, and recording signs of disease and insect infestation.
We put time and effort into navigating to plots, and by the end it went smoothly, which was great.
I'm from Michigan, where I completed programs in Biology and Environmental Technology at Lansing Community College. I'm happy to have the opportunity to gain conservation experience and outdoor skills, and also the chance to explore beautiful Idaho.
Hitch leader: Joe Duszak
Members: Shannon Apgar-Kurtz, Erica Madden, Tisha Farris
Everyone was really excited to be on this hitch and to have Joe as our fast and fearless leader. Shannon and I had not worked with GIS before so this hitch was the perfect introduction to the Trimble and ArcMaps. Tisha had led the first U-Routes group so the balance of experience and non-experience was just right.
We spent the first day in the office putting together a map of the areas we were to explore, and then we were off to Challis. It felt like leaving on family vacation, being excited about hiking and camping together. After spending the first day in the foothills of Challis with the cows and horses, we moved onto Stanley, where we did most of the work the rest of the week.
Joe was great and determined to be efficient in our work day, even if our plans did not come to fruition because of blocked active mining areas and unreachable routes. Also, having only one vehicle made splitting up routes to walk a bit more difficult, but in the end, all worked out well.
To get through the uphill climbs, which often lasted hours, we would pretend we were walking on flat ground. So uphill climbs were never a problem and we never complained.
On our third or fourth day, a few of our routes cut through a Boy Scout camp. We walked these in the rain, ducking under trees, realizing that perhaps we looked curious roaming the camp grounds. We did most of the routes in this area but a couple routes would have been too sketchy so we decided to leave.
The next day we did routes in what appeared to be a very old mining area. There were remnants of old houses and appliances, and many of the roads as well as the routes we walked were completely overgrown or reclaimed by scree.
We reached subalpine areas pretty often, with white-bark pine, wild flowers, scattered snow and very cold streams. These areas were always beautiful and exciting.
On our last full day we went to one of the cow camps in the area. This cow camp was near the Basin Butte radio tower. We were all curious to see what cow camp was exactly. As we entered the gate we first encountered an abandoned baby stroller which was a bit ominous. We walked our routes and never encountered any cows, yet some how Joe and I got cow poop on our pants. Shannon determined that it meant we were initiated into this mysterious camp. After climbing over 60 degree inclines to get to two routes with no concerns we got back to the Suburban, renamed Shiniqua, and blared inspirational music, particularly R. Kelly, I Believe I can Fly and the like.
On our last day most of the areas we planned to walk ended up being active mining sites, plan A and B and C all failed (a good life lesson). The area south of Loon Creek Summit all ended up being open pit mines, so although it was really amazing and interesting to see, we had no access to the routes which all were being used to mining operations anyway. Lucky Boy mine also fell through because of locked gates and safety issues. It seemed to have been an old gold mine, which would have been neat to see. Perhaps in the future after we contact the owner of the mining claim we may be able to explore and walk the U-Routes.
But we all decided the food was the best part.
Hitch lead: Shannon Apgar-Kurtz
My second hitch was the same one as my first hitch. I worked with the same geologist from the Forest Service surveying abandoned mines. I also had the opportunity to spend a day in the field with the one of the archaeologists. Some highlights:
On the first day of my second hitch my agency contact and I drove to the Lost River Ranger District to survey an abandoned mine. We drove about as far as we could and then hiked on the old road that leads to the mine. We didn’t get vary far before we found ourselves unable to cross a stream running across the road. We attempted to continue without crossing it but didn’t get very far before the steep terrain turned us back. This abandoned mine survey was shelved until later on in the season.
The next day we met up with the head of the minerals department, an archaeologist, a hydrologist, a fisheries biologist, and wildlife biologist. We drove into Rabbit Foot Mine, now abandoned, because there is a company interested in exploratory drilling for gold. Each person who came out, minus the two geologists and myself, were looking at the proposed sites for any adverse affect the drilling might have on their area of expertise.
I had the chance to help the same archaeologist and her seasonal employee with an archaeological survey of an abandoned mine. I was put in charge of taking pictures of the features (mainly buildings and adits) and recording their baring. The seasonal took GPS points so they could map the site later and the archaeologist took site notes. All the information gathered will be used to assess whether there will be any adverse affect when closing the adits.
Hitch lead: Lisa Weidemann
Members: Stephanie Hanshaw, Stephani Kopfman, Erica Madden, Maggie Salinas, Adam Martin, Tisha Farris, Matt Baba, Nick Larson, and Shannon Montano
SCA Fuels hitch was nine days of clearing downed woody material away from the base of all trees in certain units of the Salmon National forest to prepare for prescribed burns. There were ten of us, so we were able to get a lot of work done despite the steep 60 degree slopes and 92 degree heat. Since this was strictly manual work, we entertained each other with riddles and daily games. After day four we found that we finally moved through the five stages of grieving toward acceptance. The accomplishment we felt knowing three units of the forest were ready to be burned made it all worth the pain and tears. Helping Fire Crew 7 of the Salmon-Challis North Fork district was what pulled us through the long haul. We’ve gained an appreciation and more intimate knowledge of the work it takes to protect the forest.
Hitch lead: Sarah Stawasz
Member: Owen Donohoe
South Zone Vegetation Hitch 2, with Owen and myself (Sarah), was our second time working for the Forest Service to take sample plots of trees- including measuring tree size, number, any diseases, and recording plant species and habitat type. With only 2 instead of 4 people this time, we had to adjust the system, but it went really well, we got more plots done than expected, and finished some earlier paperwork.
There was one wildlife issue we came across- a chipmunk who pretty much owned the campground began popping up- chewing through a tent, a cookie container on the table, and two bags of peanuts in the car. The next day, after shutting the car doors, he popped up from inside the passenger side window, with me on the outside looking in, which was the funniest moment of the trip for me.
We also had a great opportunity to take a Disease and Insect Training during this hitch, which included discussion of Douglas Fir Bark Beetle and Western Spruce Budworm, two of the biggest current outbreaks.
Overall, valuable training and a great hitch.
|Hitch 3: Idaho Fish and Game|
|Hitch 4: Trails|
|Hitch 4: South Zone Veg|
|Hitch 4: Timber|
|Hitch 4: Minerals|
|Hitch 3: Timber|
|Hitch 3: Trails|
|Hitch 3: Minerals|
|Hitch 3: South Zone Vegetation|
|Hitch 3: U-Routes|
|Hitch 2: Minerals|
|Hitch 2: Fuels|
|Hitch 2: S. Zone Veg|
|Hitch 2: Idaho Fish and Game|
|Hitch 2: U-Routes|
|Hitch 1: U-Routes|
|Hitch 1: Minerals|
|Hitch 1: South Zone Veg|
|Hitch 1: Range|
|Hitch 1: Idaho Fish and Game|
|Hitch 1: Wildlife|
|Hitch One: North Zone Engineering|