Crew 1/Long Hair Don’t Care – Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Wyoming and Montana, June 27-July 6 – This crew quickly became experts in constructing buck and rail fence while continuing Crew 2’s project from last hitch. Overall, both crews accomplished 2.5 miles of buck and rail. Why buck and rail rather than wire? The buck and rail is the only fence that will hold up to the high winds and snow that comes every year which better protects historic structures such as the Mason-Lovell Ranch, Caroline Lockhart Ranch, and the Ewing-Snell ranch.They also worked on cutting and removing hazard trees around archeological sites and the Ewing-Snell historic ranch. The Ewing-Snell ranch was remodeled over the last few years to be a science and research center for university students and professional researchers but last year’s fires in the and around the canyon devastated the grounds. Grants are pending for restoring the historic ranch and the science center.
Education Day – One of the best education days we have; Long Hair Don’t Care headed out with park staff to kayak the Bighorn River observing geological and human history in the canyon.
Off Day – Yellowstone National Park! They came in from Cody and drove the lower loop hopping out of the car to hike.
All said and done:
-65 posts cut for the historic ranch
-2.25 miles of buck and rail finished
-more brush and trees cleared for the research/science center
Crew 2/ThadMad – Sinks Canyon State Park, Lander, June 27-July 6 – Thad/Mad had a variety of work ranging from panting and staining to chainsawing invasive species. Their work started with painting and staining the park’s cabins and structures, including the visitor center. They then cleared trails, rerouted some of the nature trail at the Popo Aggie campground, and cleared the invasive Douglas fir trees to the northern facing slope.
Education Day – The crew packed a bag for the day and headed down to South Pass City historic site and explored and toured the old gold mining operations that took place there in the nineteenth century into the twentieth.
Day off – Independence Day in Lander, which, if anyone reading this whose been to Lander for the 4th of July knows…Lander lowers its rules for the evening and fireworks is heard in all directions. Our crew was safe and sound at a state park employee’s house where they had a lovely BBQ and shot some fireworks off themselves (small fireworks). They had a fabulous time Independence Day.
All said and done:
-25 tricky dead trees felled and bucked
-.1 miles of trail rerouted
-5 buildings, including a visitor center, stained, sanded, and painted
-1 miles of trail cleared and maintained
Crew 3/Baby Geniuses – The Nature Conservancy – Cody, WY, working near Meeteetse, June 27-July 6 – Normally, when we are contracted to do fence work, it is building the fence. This time, our crews deconstructed barbwire fences on a part private-part public land near Meeteetse to enhance wildlife habitats in the region, specifically, greater sage grouse. This crew accomplished an incredible amount of fence deconstruction. The next week, they supervised about 100 elementary school aged children from Cody, WY while they learned about wildlife, Leave No Trace, invasive species, and mule packing.The crew also worked with some TNC Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) interns giving them a chance to some on-the-ground experience with conservation.
Education Day – The crew’s education day was working with these kids in Cody as they learned from one another. The crew would teach about the importance of trails and not littering while the kids would teach them how to draw or how to give the coolest high five. Anytime our crews can interact with the public, let alone the future generations of stewardship, is always a good day.
Day off – They grabbed their tubes and boats and headed to the Shoshone River and floated for the day while playing around downtown Cody, WY. A well deserved day of rest and relaxation.
All said and done:
-about 600 posts removed with chainsaws
-6.5 miles of barbwire deconstructed
-200-250 t-posts removed and carried out