Crew 1 – Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming, June 29 – July 8 – Devils Tower NM became the nation’s first monument in 1906 by executive order of President Teddy Roosevelt. This crew is not the first or the last to work tirelessly in the hot sun of northeastern Wyoming manually extracting and spraying noxious and invasive weeds in the park. Beyond weed mitigation, they crews served our first national monument by working on trails that circumnavigate the tower, helped the passive eviction of prairie dogs project, and split some wood for the camp guest for good measure.
Education Day – This crew had a wonderful education component as they got a chance to work with Devil’s Tower NM’s wildlife biologist, Amy, looking for falcon nesting on “the tower”. Amy was kind enough to give our crew members career advice for her field and answer all the questions we had about not only about her role in the National Park Service but the local flora and fauna of the area. The crew also got an extensive history of the tower learning about the 20 or more tribes associated with the tower as well as the lore of how the tower came to be. Find out more on the NPS website – link to tribes associated with the tower
Day Off – This crew earned their day off with no doubts. They headed into the Black Hills of Wyoming and South Dakota in search for the perfect lake to fish and relax. They found a lake deep on the country roads of the hills and celebrated the 4th of July by swimming, chilling, reading, and fishing. Well earned.
Crew 2 – Guernsey State Park, Wyoming, June 29-July 8 – Park improvements to Guernsey State Park were carried out with ridiculous efficiency for Crew 2, a crew dedicated to effective teamwork and new skills. Their projects navigated through all the tasks needed to place Guernsey further on the map including yurt construction and staining, dropping hazard trees, clearing trail, and weed removal.
Education Day – When it came to the educational component, this crew stepped up previous year’s education by a long shot. Guernsey is home to some of the more impressive Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) projects carried out in the 1930s. Did you know that Guernsey State Park is a National Historic Landmark not only because of the New Deal history but Fort Laramie and the wagon ruts as well? Learn about the the history of the park from the Wyoming SHPO archives. In addition, learn more about the history of the dam specially courtesy of the National Park Service. Crew 2 toured the power plant, the dam, the CCC history museum, Fort Laramie, Register Cliffs, and the wagon ruts! It brought history nerds like Evan great pride knowing this crew took every chance to learn seriously.
Day Off – After days of hard labor, these guys and gals loaded up and headed to Laramie Peak for a summit day with beautiful views (though it was pretty cloudy that day) over the whole region.
Crew 3 – Medicine Lodge Archaeological Site, Wyoming, June 29-July 8 – Crew 3’s work ethic never ceases to amaze us here in office. Given 10 days to work on a 800ft stretch of buck and rail fence, crew 3 polished the work off in 2 days. Blessed with a crew for 8 more days, the site had the crews working on the facility buildings by staining the historic cabins and visitor center. They built picnic tables and built and maintained all the trails surrounding the archaeological sites. Did you know that archaeologists have found evidence that people have lived at this site for more than 10,000 years? Thanks to this crew, people are better able to learn more about this fascinating gem of Wyoming’s heritage. Learn more about Medicine Lodge Archarological Site: WyomingHistory.org and from the State Parks website.
Education Day – It doesn’t get more Wyoming than this: Crew 3’s education day began and ended with an all terrain vehicle (ATV) tour through the national forest and canyons discussing archaeologically significant areas such as tepee rings and fossil tracks while every once in a while detouring to a few spots to learn more about the vehicles they were driving aka having fun.
Day Off – The crew split in two. Half the crew went climbing in Ten Sleep Canyon with Simone while the others hiked around the Meadow Lark Ski Area scouting potential runs for the winter and generally enjoying themselves in the forest. At the end of the day, the two groups met up for a big 4th of July cook out hosted by the park.