Project Leader: Trevor Knight Project Start Date: May 22 - November 22, 2010 Olympic National Forest P.O. Box 1802 Hoodsport, WA 98548 Phone: 208.608.6319 Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Training 5/28 - 6/4 (SCA Workskills in Carnation, WA)
Hitch #1 6/7 - 6/17 (Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail East Side)
Hitch #2 6/21 - 6/30 (Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail Re-Route@ Trout Cr)
Hitch #3 7/6 - 7/14 (Wynoochee and Joint Project w/WCC@ Dry Cr)
Hitch #4 7/19 - 7/28 (Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail Re-Route@ Trout Cr)
Hitch #5 8/2 - 8/5 (Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail Re-Route@ Trout Ck)
Hitch #6 8/10 - 8/18 (Wynoochee and Mildred Lakes Wilderness Project)
Hitch #7 8/23 - 9/1 (Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail East Side)
Hitch #8 9/7 - 9/15 (S. Fork Skokomish Differed Maintenance)
Hitch #9 9/20 - 9/29 (Duckabush River Trail, Two Brothers Wilderness)
Hitch #10 10/4 - 10/13 (Dry Creek Trail Differed Maintenance)
Hitch #11 10/18 - 10/26 (S. Fork Skokomish Differed Maintenance)
Hitch #12 11/1 - 11/10 (TBA)
Hitch #13 11/15 - 11/18 (S. Fork Skok)
Here it is the 13th and last report from the field. As many of us talked over these last few days we began to reflect on the previous 6 months. Most of it went like "WE'VE BEEN WORKING HERE FOR 6 MONTHS!! IMPOSSIBLE." My, how the time has flown and so much amazing trail and so many people we have seen and met. It's easy to sit down and start to quantify our accomplishments by adding ups miles of trail worked on, trees cut out, structures built, delicious camp dinners made and the list goes on. The hard stuff to put into perspective is the people we have met, the stories we now share, the breath taking scenery we enjoyed everyday (even in the rain) and the opportunity to give something back to our public lands. I could spend paragraphs writing about our time here, what everyone might be doing next, our fears and hopes, but let us not forget the work we got done this last week.
We set out on Monday bound and determined to set our crosscut saws into any down tree that may be laying on the S. Fork of the Skokomish west of Camp Comfort. After a bit of walking we found our opportunity and over the course of two days we logged out 12 10" diameter and bigger trees. Not mention the countless vine maples and alders that began to get the late fall droop. On tuesday as we left the forest for what would be the last time for this field season, we took a moment to just take in some of that beauty, serenity and freshness back with us as we re-enter "society." I hope that some time down the road I can look back and remember that moment as I am surrounded by honking cars, bustling sidewalks and endless expanses of concrete and just imagine a life less complicated.
I'll end with a big thank you to my crew and there tireless work and enthusiasm over the last 6 months, the SCA for its support and mission, the Olympic National Forest for giving us this great opportunity, to all the wonderful people we have met here on the Olympic Peninsula, and last but not least the Forest itself.
Thank You for an amazing field season and farewell!
*12 trees logged out
*1 tool cache cleaned and sharpened one last time
*FS Bunkhouse cleaned from top to bottom
*240 service hours
Coming off a relatively dry weekend we showed up Monday morning at the workcenter in Hoodsport eager for what mothernature and the Forest Service had in store for us. Mothernature came through on serving us up some typical Olympic Pennisula fall weather (Rain), the Forest Service threw us a curve ball.
We got a really cool oppurtunity to spend some time at one of the Salmon Hatcheries in the Skokomish Valley taking part in a Nutrient Enrichment Project. This encompassed wrangling the Chum Salmon from the holding pond, seperating them by sex and harvesting sperm and roe for artificial fertilization and carting them off the the incubation tanks. The fun didn't stop there though, now to complete the life cycle totally. We hauled the fish carcasses up the valley and tossed them into several of the tributaries that feed the Skokomish River. This was helping to simulate the depositing of all the nutrients Salmon help fix back into the system after they spawn. Providing for little critters in and out of the water, not to mention the trees that have rely on them too.
Tuesday went much the same way, but this time week hooked up with the Forest Botanist and a WCC crew to do some caching of some willow spikes for a re-vegataion project slotted for next year at Pine Lk. We had spent some time earlier in the Summer working on a weed control project. It was really interesting to see how much the lake had been transformed by the fall rains and to know that we would help crews in the spring get a head start on the this project
Now two days into our hitch it was time to get back to our bread and butter.... TRAIL WORK!! It was back to the Skok to finish up a retaining wall that we got rained out on last hitch. The weather was cooperating and we were able to finish it up and complete a couple other tricky areas that needed fill and some TLC.
Our experience with the last log retainer came in very handy with the next big project on our list. Another log retainer in an area that had several problems. We quickly set to work though and with out even noticing we were in the groove, collecting timber, preparing the site, skinning logs and making notches. Our wall began to take shape and the problems in the trail rapidly became a thing of the past. Before we knew it we were finished and taking pictures and patting ourselves on the back.
Our quick work out on the Skok gave us time at the end of this hitch to do some much needed tool maintenance and a chance to spend some time out along the canal replacing some rotted kick rails at Seal Rock CG.
My name is Nick Coty and I’m just a simple corn-fed Midwest boy from Minnesota. I recently graduated from the University Minnesota- Duluth with degrees in International Studies and Spanish with a minor in Philosophy. I know those aren’t not exactly the concentrations that people expect to see next to an SCA crew member’s name, but I have always had a love of the outdoors and camping. I felt that this program was a perfect opportunity to give back to the nature that I have loved for so long.
On this hitch, we headed back to the Skokomish to work on a timber project building a crib wall at the approach to a bridge. We began by scouting for logs that were long enough for the project and then proceeded to move them to the project site. After gathering the logs, we stripped them and cut them to size while levelling the ground in preparation for wall construction. It was a great project because we got the chance to learn some basic carpentry skills (like carving notches) and channel our inner Dick Proenneke. The northwest fall wet weather seemed to be telling us that it was not the time to build a crib wall, but we outsmarted it by erecting a tarp directly over our project site - genius!
At the end of the hitch we also got to participate in a 2-day chainsaw training course. We spent the first day in the classroom learning all about safety and chainsaw parts. The second day was out in the field where we all got to try out some different bucking techniques. It was great to learn some new skills and feel more comfortable working with chainsaws in the field.
Hitch 10 began with our crew scouting the Dry Creek Trail to determine the projects that needed to be completed. We spent 4 long days hiking and brushing the trail and making notes of larger projects to be completed. We completed a rocky stream ford across the creek and broke ground on new trail for the upproach to the ford.
We spent 3 days on the Lena Lakes trail brushing and cleaning out drainages. One of the main issues with the Lena Lakes trail is that there are many long switchbacks that can be seen from other parts of the trail and many visitors cut the switchbacks. We tried to mitigate this issue by closing up the trails hikers use to cut the switchbacks with logs and plants. Our crew is now fiercely passionate about not cutting switchbacks!
The crew also had the chance to attend the forest-wide New Fiscal Year meeting in Quilcene where the successes from the previous year were noted and future projects on the forest were discussed. It was interesting to learn about all of the different projects that are going on in the forest at the same time and learning about the tasks of different departments within the Forest Service. The meeting ended with a potluck where we were able to talk with Forest Service employees about our crew and their jobs.
We love new things and seeing different parts of the beautiful forest that we get to work in every day. This was an exciting hitch because we got to do everything that we love! We spent the first day of the hitch preparing and packing because we were getting horse and mule packed into the Brothers Wilderness on the Duckabush Trail. This was the first time that we had the opportunity to work with pack animals since we started our crew, so we were all really excited (and of course happy that we didn’t have to carry all of the gear and tools we would need for the next 8 days for 6 miles over Big Hump).
So, we got packed in to our campsite and scouted the project ahead of us. Our project was to build a 32’ long and 4’ high rock wall at the approach to a steep section of the trail. It seemed like a daunting task, but we were excited to play with rocks for the rest of the hitch. We spent long days moving rocks, uncovering buried rocks, digging rocks out of holes, picking rocks, hauling rocks, crushing rocks, and artfully placing rocks into position. After the wall itself was constructed, we had to fill in the tread up to the height of the rocks. Fish estimated that we moved over 6 tons of rock to complete the entire project. He is good at math.
After we completed the wall and filled in the tread, we spent our final days of the hitch brushing parts of the trail between our rock wall and the national park boundary line and doing some small tread projects to help out the pack animals that use the trail.
We had a great hitch and enjoyed our time in the wilderness.
6 tons of rock moved
536 service hours
This hitch had us working in a part of the forest that we hadn’t yet spent much time – the South Fork of the Skokomish trail. We set up camp at LeBar Horse Camp and hiked into work on the trail every day. It was great to be able to hike so much and work on lots of different projects. In past hitches we have worked on getting larger projects done and spending multiple days at the same site. During this hitch, we just found smaller projects along the trail that needed to be completed and worked on them before moving on. It was a great change of pace and we were able to spend our time on various projects. We also celebrated two birthdays during this hitch – Christine’s on the 12th and Trevor’s on the 13th. It was birthday madness! We ate way too much burnt cake.
Some of the small projects we worked on included: moving two 30’ logs for a WTA work project, filling in trail dips with fill, filling in over roots with fill, a 100’ trail reroute, cleaning out culverts filled with debris, splitting a 25”x14’ cedar in half using wedges for a WTA work project, and lots of brushing.
2500’ of trail brushed
1 large downed cedar split in half with wedges
Lots of miscellaneous tread projects
370 total service work hours
Hitch 7: August 23rd – September 1st 2010.
The Hitch of All Trades: Grasses, Passes, Slugs, Meeting New Mugs, Comings and Goings.
Heading out for our 7th hitch, there was plenty on our minds. We had a crew member about to depart, the trail we had been working on for 3 months coming to an end and the season about to change. Before heading to the Wynoochee Valley, we had an opportunity to see a little more of the Olympic National Forest. We headed up to Pine Lake to help work on a project with one of the forest botanist. There we covered a non native invasive grass, the Reed Canary Grass with fabric, to prevent further growth. This was a great opportunity for our crew to extend our hands for help and to see the other careers working on a forest. On Wednesday, we headed out to the Nooch to start the last part of the trail leading to Coho Campground. We started right by the river ford and worked our way South. We ended up logging out around 82 downed trees on the way. Also, there were places in the trail that needed substantial amounts of brushing. On Thursday we said our goodbyes to Cody as he was on his way East. We finished the trail brushing and logging out the next few days. The last day the rain and the slugs were out in full force! We headed back to Hoodsport getting ready for our big day in Tacoma. On Wednesday we got the opportunity to honor Congressman Norm Dicks with the Elizabeth (Titus) Puntam Award.
The sixth hitch was divided into thirds by our intended projects.
The first three days were spent on the Wynoochee Lakeshore Trail, completing brushing from the stream ford to a reroute, and then finishing the reroute up to the 100 road. This entailed brushhogging approximately 1/2 mile of existing trail, and then clearing the thick salmonberries, as well as placing a 12' log retainer on the steepest section of the reroute. Finally, we finished about 1000 feet of treadwork along the existing trail, placed maps and signage at trail junctions on the west side of the lake and river, and returned to Hoodsport to prepare for the second portion of work.
On Friday, we drove up to the Hamma Hamma valley, to the Mildred Lakes trailhead, and began hiking in tools for some trail maintneance and backcountry campsite monitoring with a Forest Service employee. Because the trail is located in the Mt. Skokomish Wilderness Area, we had to use a crosscut saw, and no mechanized tools of any sort. The trail is also very loosely maintained--various descriptions included "rustic", "unsafe", "rough", "rugged", and "tumultuous". We helped improve that somewhat by cutting out 9 logs, monitoring 14 campsites, and packing out more than 25 pounds of garbage.
Lastly, we spent three additional days at the Wynoochee area, completing a reroute we had planned since the first hitch, on the east side of the river. This included clearing the corridor and establishing 1000 feet of tread over the three days. We also packed out 20 pounds of trash from a dispersed campsite and the trail.
1 log retainer
2000 feet of tread
45 pounds of garbage removed
9 logs cut out
14 campsites monitored
447 total service hours
I am a recent graduate from the University of Florida (GO GATORS!) I studied Biology and Mathematics and enjoyed learning Italian, too! I was a leader in the outdoor program at UF, teaching college students backpacking, canoeing, and the in-and-outs of camping in the southeast. My love of the outdoors stems from the many family vacations throughout the US along with work as a Ranger at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, NM. I am proud to have this opportunity in service to public lands; and I look forward to giving back to the outdoor world-as it has already given me so much.
A true child of the southeast, with great ambitions of living somewhere outside of the southeast, but where grits are still served regularly. Mr. Fish is from Orlando, FL, and during his stint in Olympic National Forest is taking a semester-long break from studying Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech. Although he has one semester of school left, he hopes to spend future years in the Peace Corps, third-world water and sanitation improvements, the National Park Service, writing, or something else entirely. When he's not actively working for the SCA, he's probably backpacking in the glorious Northwest, throwing rocks at trees, reading, or conniving ways of getting his life in some semblance of order.
For our fifth hitch,our crew traveled to the Wynoochee area for a
four-day work week. The first day of work was partially spent
traveling, so we had a short day on the trail--we continued to clear
out the trail corridor approaching a steep section of a reroute on the north side of Trout Creek, connecting the existing trail from the wet crossing of the Wynoochee River to the 100 road. Althoguh the rest of the hitch saw 2 crew members absent due to an undetermined illness, it was nonetheless productive, including the installation of 2 log retainers and at least 50 feet of tread. On our courth day of work, we logged out the existing trail to the stream ford, removing 13 logs over 1/2 mile.
50' of tread
14 logs removed
2 log retainers placed
178 total service hours
We came back to the Wynoochee area to complete our first major project of the season - the first re-route at Trout Creek on the Wynoochee Lakeshore Trail. We came to a spot on the re-route where the trail was coming really close to an old-growth cedar tree and decided that it would be better to take our re-route in a new direction. The roots of old-growth trees travel far away from the tree and they can be very succeptible to diseases when they are scarred and lose their protective barrier. We did not want to be using our tools near the roots because the tree can become infected and die. We like old-growth trees for their majesty and wisdom and do not want to see them get hurt, especially from our own doing. So, we scouted the forest and found a better way for the trail to go. We all decided that changing our course was the best thing to do and continued breaking ground on the re-route. By the end of the hitch, we completed the re-route's new course, spent a day doing a project using the cross-cut saw on a 50" log, and broke ground on the second re-route at Trout Creek. It was a busy hitch, but we were excited to have completed our first huge project and make the trail that had been washed out more complete. Our work was finally starting to show something for itself and we were proud of our hard work.
We returned to the Wynoohcee for our third hitch, excited to
give another round of 10 days hard work to our first major
re-route. After cleaning up from weekend campers and setting up
our base camp, we picked up tools and began the finishing touches
to tread and brushing along the completed part of our re-route.
On day three, our crew succeeded in strengthening teamwork in
order to fix a large dip in the trail. We hauled rock, crush, and
fill all day to fill and smooth the dip. The accomplishment we
felt as a group when we finished the project was overwhelming. We
continued on, removing stumps and hauling fill to pad over
old-growth cedar roots in the path of our trail. For the second
part of our hitch, we left the Wynoochee to work on several
pressing trouble-spots on the Dry Creek Trail, near the Skokomish
Wilderness Area. There, we paired up with the local WCC trail
crew to complete several rocky stream fords. We enjoyed working
with another crew, and we were sure grateful of extra hands to
complete the crossings! We returned home from the hitch, content
in our work and excited to finish our first big project on the
With one hitch in the Wynoochee Area under our belts we transitioned into a larger scale project. Our project was to establish a re-route that would take the trail away from a washed out bridge (@ Trout Creek) to a Forest Service(FS) road that would give hikers and bikers easy passage over Trout Creek. The proposed re-route takes the trail through an old growth cedar forest that makes for a potentially hazardous but inspiring place to work. After seeing the route that was laid out and approved by the FS, we walked it to get a look at what was in store for us. Stumbling over down logs and tripping over enormous roots it seemed like a impossible task to the crew. Each day with more clearing, brushing and tread building came the confidence that we could build a real trail from start to finish. With minor adjustments, overcoming old growth roots and some fine tuning we were rapidly establishing ourselves as a capable and hardworking trail crew.
o 2000’ of corridor cleared
o 700’ of tread established
o 468 Service Hours
o 20+ lbs trashed removed from dispersed campsites
Hailing from Washington, PA and most recently coming from Denver, CO. Cody is a recent grad of University of Pittsburgh(PITT)with a degree in Environmental Studies. He is no stranger to the outdoors, he spends his free time backpacking, mountain climbing and enjoying general merry making. Following his passion for being outside and hikinng trails led him to the SCA, where he has had the opportunity to put his skills to use moving rocks and clearing the way for new trails. His eye for trees that for a lack of a better way to say it, "it'll have to go" has proved valuable when it comes to clearing a nice corridor. Not knowing what exactly the future holds, Cody hopes to continue working hard and in the outdoors, more trails?, wildland firefighting?, who knows. Whatever it may be he will apply the same passion and hard work he has done here at the SCA.
I am super excited to be working with the SCA. I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Anthropology. My hobbies include: farming and gardening, eating vegetables, drinking tea, practicing yoga, laughing and smiling, being outside, reading good books, and having play dates with dear friends. My outdoor experience includes numerous backpacking trips in the Pacific Northwest, Wyoming, Alaska, and the Ozarks in Missouri. Even though I have spent a lot of time outdoors, I am a newbie to trail work and I know that I have a lot to learn. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve public lands through the SCA and ready to spend the next 6 months on trail!
This marked our first official hitch on the Olympic Peninsula and within the Olympic National Forest(ONF). Trying to put the wet weather from training behind us we set to work on the Wynoochee Lake Shore trail clearing, brushing and re-routing in an effort to re-open a trail that has not been totally maintained in 16 years. Heavy flooding in recent years had washed out the trail along the banks of the Wynoochee River in several locations. The hope is to get the trail open again before the season ends. The goal of this hitch was to help build on trail maintenance and construction techniques learned at training. Although the weather was not ideal the crew was fortunate enough to have more sunny days than rainy ones and we all got a really good taste for trail work in the ONF.
o 2 miles of brushing and clearing
o 1000’ re-route cleared and tread established
o 15 trees logged out of trail corridor
o 20’ Rocky Stream Ford Built
o 25+ lbs trash removed from dispersed camping sites
o 458 Service Hours
Summary By Trevor Knight
The SCA Olympic National Forest Trail Crew is a new partnership between the USDA Forest Service and the SCA. It is a six month program that kicked off in early June and will run till the end of November. The Olympic National Forest borders the whole Olympic National Park and is home to 7 wilderness areas. Located in the Northwestern most part of Washington State (The Evergreen State) it has both the feeling of being in remote and isolated areas while still being close to large urban areas like Seattle and Tacoma, WA.
While anywhere in the forest is doesn't take long to see what a temperate rain forest looks like. With enormous old growth trees to admire, a green carpet of ferns and moss that seem to never end and breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountains from many a stream or river drainage it will be a great place to call our office for the next six months.
|Map Of Area|
|Nick Coty, 23|
|Katie Nuessley, 23|
|Andrew Fish, 21|
|Cody Gregg, 24|
|Christine Borosh, 22|
|Trevor Knight, Project Leader, 27|
|Sadie Jo Borneman, 24|
|Hitch-13 S. Fork Skokomish Differed Maintenance and End Of Program Wrap Up|
|Hitch-12 S. Fork Skokomish Differed Maintenance and Misc Projects|
|Hitch-11 S. Fork Skokomish Differed Maintenance|
|Hitch-10 Dry Creek Trail and Lena Lakes Trail Differed Maintenance|
|Hitch-9 Duckabush River Trail, Two Brothers Wilderness|
|Hitch-8 S. Fork Skokomish Differed Maintenance|
|Hitch-7 Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail East Side and Pine Lake Project|
|Hitch-6 Wynoochee and Mildred Lakes Wilderness Project|
|Hitch-5 Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail Re-Route@ Trout Cr|
|Hitch-4 Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail Re-Route@ Trout Cr|
|Hitch-3 Wynoochee and Joint Project w/WCC@ Dry Cr|
|Hitch-2 Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail Re-Route@ Trout Cr|
|Hitch-1 Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail (East Side)|