Inyo National Forest, Minaret Lake

My last project for the year as a WV intern was just outside of Mammoth, California at the base of the Minarets. Aside from LAX, this was my my first time in California. It had only been a week since my last WV trip and I was excited to be on another project in a new, very beautiful, location. We met as a group the night before and helped to pack food into the bear panniers for the trip. On the route to basecamp, we saw Devils Post Pile National Monument, crossed the JMT and the PCT, and got a few glances at the spires in the distance.

Necessary Work

The region we were working in received 200% of normal annual precipitation which made for about 20 downed trees over the trail, washed out bridges and overfull water bars. Before working on WV projects I never really new how much it took to maintain trails. The first two days we logged out the trail using the cross cut saw to clear trees and block secondary trails. For the second part of the project we did a variety of tasks such as campsite restoration, rocking the trail and building check dams.

WV Community 

Perhaps the best part of WV projects is the community that develops during the trip. Everyone is passionate about the preservation of these recreational areas and has a deep respect and appreciation for the environment. It is so refreshing to leave the phone behind and spend a week straight focusing on just what is present.

What I learned from WV 

Being an intern for Wilderness Volunteers was an awesome experience that will help to shape my perception of conservation and preservation and serve as a means to give something back. I learned about the process of caring for the environment and I met numerous people with such a passion for the outdoors they are willing to give time in an effort for the greater good of the environment.  Thank you to everyone who has participated on a WV trip and I encourage anyone who is interested to give it a shot! See you later.

Written by Kevin Graves; WV’s 2017 Intern.