This week, our hitch split into tandem-teams of 3, sampling seedling regeneration plots near Clear Creek. We climbed through burned, forested areas with intense slopes; some approaching 100 percent. At times it felt more like mountaineering than back country hiking. Much of the vegetation in the area is showing evidence of regrowth after the clear creek fire, which seems amazing given the rugged landscape and soil quality in the area. Lodgepoles are establishing in abundance, some being choked-out in the understory by huckleberries and competeing douglas fir seedlings. In the flattened areas of the gulch, pine-beetle kill covers much of the forest floor in criss-crossing patterns, making hiking from plot-to-plot like running through a wilderness obstical course. We love this job.
October 13, 2011 •