A new crop of leaders

It is one of those busy summer weeks for Wilderness Volunteers. We’ve got 4 projects out in the field right now, making a difference and giving back on a variety of wild lands.

There are two projects currently in Colorado and both are high-country backpack projects. There is a service project in the South San Juan Wilderness of the Rio Grande National Forest where participants are camped in a meadow adjacent to a creek at over 10,000′.  Just 10 miles from the New Mexico border on the eastern side of the Continental Divide in the Rockies, WV participants are reconstructing two bridges that have fallen into disrepair. The participants are rebuilding broken and rotted sections of the bridges and reinforcing with bolts and hand tools.

The other CO project is in the Holy Cross Wilderness of the White River National Forest. This project is a leader training trip, teaching WV participants all they need to know about how to lead WV projects on their own. And the participants are working on trail maintenance, building turnpikes and erosion controls in addition to learning how to ensure participants’ safety, the proper ways to prepare and pack for a week’s worth of meals for a dozen folks in the backcountry, how to practice and impart Leave No Trace ethics, how to ensure a safe and sanitary camp and much, much more. Quite a packed week and at high elevation in the Rocky Mountains no less.

WV leader trainees learn how to pack food for a weeklong service project in Minturn, CO

Also at significant elevation is the WV service project in the La Sal Mountains of Southeastern Utah.  A group of dedicated participants are currently out on the Moonlight Meadows trail working with a trail crew in the Manti-La Sal National Forest building erosion controls and water crossings before the late summer rains come on.  It’s hard work at high elevation, but the view across wildflowered meadows down to the slickrock canyons below is quite nuturing.

WV participants and a Forest Service crew member pose by a reconstructed bridge in the La Sal Mountains
Perhaps if you squint hard enough, you can see the WV project underway up high in the La Sal Mountains
Augering while a deer scampers 

And up in Idaho, a WV group is working in the Mallard-Larkins Pioneer Area, helping the Nez-Perce Clearwater National Forest team maintain the Smith Ridge trail. Participants are cutting back overgrowth and clearing debris from the trail, while enjoying some breathtaking views.  Rumor has it a journalist may be stopping by the project, so we’ll keep you posted on when that story appears.

Another busy week of giving something back.  We’ve got a few more weeks like this and we don’t want you to miss out!  Check out the upcoming projects that still have availability on our website.