June 14, 2017 – POLE MOUNTAIN, Medicine Bow National Forest – At noon, we had two crews hike into the Summit Trailhead near the Headquarters Trail which crews have been working on to improve drainage and trail tread as International Mountain Biking Standards (IMBA) require for beautiful multi-use trails. There, we met some of the masterminds behind our project.
Given that the trail improvements and reroutes were on public land – USFS – the crew learned about National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and its workings. Educating our crews on the process of NEPA and its many steps, we were privileged to meet top Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest officials and office staff responsible for facilitating the process as well as Tim Young, Wyoming Pathways Director, and Jessica Crowder, natural resource policy advisor for Gov. Matt Mead.
We circled up, we all introduced ourselves and began walking the trail with officials to show off not only our work but why we chose to put drainages where we did and how the trail became more sustainable afterwards. Once in the trees and out of the wind, we circled up again this time to talk about the big picture or how democracy plays out on public land and its importance. Ms. Crowder then asked the young crewmembers more about what would “keep them in Wyoming.” To no surprise, some of our crewmembers spoke up to talk about one of the plans Gov. Mead’s team are already initiating: improve recreational opportunities in the state and diversity Wyoming’s economy promoting careers for young professionals.
One of crew members said afterwards, “I didn’t realize how much goes into a public project before we ever show up” while another crewmember mentioned “this meeting of the minds reminded me of how important our work is not only for the trails themselves but for our state.”
The WCC wants to thank Jessica Crowder (Policy Advisor to Gov. Matt Mead), Dennis Jaeger (Forest Supervisor for Medicine Bow-Routt NF), Brian Fawcett (ex. Assistant to Medicine Bow-Routt NF), Frank Romaro (District Ranger for Medicine Bow-Routt NF) Tim Young (Wyoming Pathways), Bruce Burrows (Wyoming Pathways), and Scott Linnenburger (Kay-Linn Enterprises) for their time and context for how much goes into a project on public land.
They reminded us that our hard work we perform is not only felt from the trail users but the state as a whole.