Field News Recap- June 2024

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We are excited to share the latest updates from our Northwest Youth Corps crews for the month of June. Our members have been hard at work on various projects, developing skills and making significant contributions to our public lands. Here’s a detailed look at what our crews have accomplished this month:

Oregon:

 

In the first week, Orange Crew began their journey with a developed recreation project, cleaning up a campground in southern Oregon in partnership with the Roseburg Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to ensure it was ready for the summer season. During the second week, they ventured into the backcountry of the Umatilla National Forest with the Blue Mountain Land Trust. Here, they learned to use crosscut saws alongside volunteers, logging out the trail and enhancing their trail maintenance skills. In the third week, continuing their backcountry adventures, the crew worked in the Siuslaw National Forest, performing tread repair along the North Fork Smith River, helping to preserve these beautiful natural areas for future visitors.

Red Crew dedicated the first three weeks of June to working in the Mount Hood National Forest. They focused on the Camas Creek and Clear Creek trails, as well as the McCubbins Gulch OHV trails. Throughout their time there, they completed over 5 miles of trail maintenance and brushing, including bucking logs off trails, which is vital for keeping the trails accessible and safe.

Blue Crew started the month with an aspen meadow restoration project in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, constructing over 50 burn piles and contributing to habitat restoration and forest health. In the second week, they met up with our Youth Rainbow crew on the Oregon coast with The Nature Conservancy. Together, they removed over 4,000 square feet of invasive Himalayan blackberries and attended an LGBTQ+ career panel hosted by The Nature Conservancy, offering valuable inspiration for their future careers. In the third week, the crew focused on fire rehabilitation efforts following the 2020 Holiday Farm fire, which occurred in the McKenzie River Valley. They worked at various sites within the local community, helping to restore areas impacted by the fire and supporting ongoing recovery efforts.

Washington:

After completing their training, Blue Crew embarked on a challenging backcountry crosscut project in the Olympic National Forest. They demonstrated their sawing skills while maintaining trails and ensuring they remain accessible for all. Following this project, they moved on to work in the North Cascades National Park, continuing their efforts to preserve and enhance our natural spaces.

Orange Crew began their month in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, where they deconstructed and reconstructed picnic tables, enhancing the park’s recreational facilities. Their hard work provided park visitors with improved amenities for enjoying the great outdoors. In addition to their project work, the crew paid a visit to our Rainbow crew at Mount Rainier. After, they then transitioned to the Okanagan-Wenatchee National Forest, where they continued their valuable contributions.

Rainbow Crew spent their month working on the Panorama Point trail at Mount Rainier. Their efforts have helped to maintain this popular trail, ensuring it remains safe and enjoyable for hikers and nature enthusiasts.

Idaho Conservation Corps:

All four Youth crews arrived on June 1st and camped together at Lucky Peak Nursery for their first night, creating a strong sense of camaraderie before heading out to their respective project sites.

Blue Crew started their month in the Steens Mountains of Oregon, spending the first two weeks working on various trails with the Burns Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Their tasks included brushing and tread work, ensuring the trails were well-maintained. Following this, they collaborated with the Boise BLM on a fencing project in the Owyhees, repairing and removing fences to protect habitats from cattle. As June came to an end and July began, they headed north to the Panhandle to work with the St. Joe Ranger District on trail maintenance and brushing.

Red Crew began their month at Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Idaho, focusing on repairing fences to protect habitats from cattle.  In their third week, the Red Crew took over from the Blue Crew in the Steens, continuing work on the Blitzen River Trail near Page Springs. This week, they are collaborating with the Orange Crew on fuels reduction work with the Emmett Ranger District of the Boise National Forest. Red crew was spotlighted in The Idaho Enterprise newspaper for their work in Caribou County.

Brown Crew (Backcountry Leadership Program-BLP) dedicated their first two weeks to the Cottonwood Trail in the Boise National Forest, performing tread repair and brushing. They transitioned from frontcountry to backcountry work on the same trail during the second week. In their third week, they moved to the Emmett Ranger District to complete additional tread work and brushing. For the last two weeks of June, they were packed into the Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness on the Salmon-Challis National Forest, focusing on tread maintenance and construction.

Orange Crew spent their first three weeks working on brushing projects in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. This week, they have joined forces with the Red Crew to work on fuels reduction in the Emmett Ranger District.

We are incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication shown by all our ICC members throughout June. Their efforts not only enhance and protect our natural landscapes but also equip them with valuable skills and experiences.

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