2014 SCA Idaho AmeriCorps Trails, Hitch 3

Putting logs in one trail; taking logs out of another trail

The SCA SCF Trails team had the chance to successfully lead themselves this hitch with the absence of project leader William Hough. The trails team started at Swagger Lake, completing a mile of trail restoration on an illegal ATV made trail. The team was introduced to a new weapon of choice this hitch, the grip-hoist, which assists in moving large rocks and boulders to act as barriers for ATVs throughout the trail. The trail was once open up as a motorized trail, but recently became a single track trail only to be used by human and equestrian access. The crew completed a third of the trail in restoration, working on what was done within the previous week.

The following week was spent at the Lola Creek Trail, which is located south of Stanley. This specific part of the forest underwent a forest fire in 2002 and has yet to fully recover. The trail team completed a mile of log out work, using crosscut saws and grubbing tools to retread the trail. The completion of nine drainage dips and three water bars was also done during the week and accomplished on the last 2 days on hitch.

One of the lessons learned on hitch three was how problematic illegal ATV and other sets of social trails are to overall trail maintenance and care. These illegal trails damage the surrounding forest habitat as well as create social paths on un-brushed trail, which can be hazardous to user groups with the possibilities of snagged trees falling. Luckily, these dangers were mitigated with the work of the trails team. The crew managed to go above and beyond with their expectations of themselves and the work that could be done to this section of forest. What a great way to end the third hitch in the field!

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