Field News Recap – March
Oregon currently has five active young adult (YA) crews out in the field. Our three winter crews have been out since February and the two spring crews kicked off in March.
The winter camping crews have been working hard in Oregon state campgrounds to get them ready for the upcoming summer months by making them accessible for as many people as possible. Another of our winter crews has been working on a poplar farm in Eugene with the goal of planting 26,000 trees. These crews are approaching their final weeks for the season.
Our two spring crews are in their third week and have been focused on developed recreation projects in campgrounds. This is the first week of trail work for crew 5 and they will be in Silver Falls State Park for the next four weeks helping maintain the highly popular Canyon Trail.
For the first time, Washington launched three young adult spring crews out of Tacoma. This new program kicked off in March and started with leader training and with members arriving mid-month for member training.
Our crews embarked on their first week of projects on March 20. All three of the crews are partnering with the Washington Department of Natural Resources, mostly focusing on trail maintenance. Crew 9 has been working under the glow of the northern lights near Forks.
Everyone is settling into camp life and learning a lot about how to maintain and sustainably build trails here in the Pacific Northwest. All three crews remained with the same partners for the first three weeks and are excited to travel to new partners and new locations in the month of April!
Idaho has launched two spring young adult crews earlier than ever before. These crews kicked off the season working with our partners the Washington Department of Natural Resources. One of these two crews is our women’s specific crew who have all received their USFS chainsaw certifications before heading out for their first project in the Spokane/Colville region.
This crew has been busy working on campground maintenance, fence repair and removing trash from a natural area. They will be sticking in the same part of the region, but changing gears from Developed Recreation to Community Forestry work with a new partner. They’ll spend their next three weeks thinning a 12-acre parcel that is overstocked with pine trees, reducing wildfire risk in an area badly in need of fuels reduction.
Our red crew has been in the Vancouver, WA region focusing on trail maintenance. This crew hit the ground running, quarrying local rock to use for a large turnpike and rock retaining walls. Despite lots of rain, snow, and high winds, these rock hounds knocked out an impressive amount of rock turnpike, crib walls, as well as some other general trail and campground maintenance. The next stop for this crew will be further west to the Olympic Peninsula to start a clearing corridor for a new mountain bike trail.
The Community Wildfire Protection Corps (CWPC) trained 19 crew members for five crews throughout the month of March. Currently there is one community crew based out of Eugene working with McKenzie Fire & Rescue.
Our two strike camping crews have been working in Josephine County while our other two strike camping crews have been working out of Fire District #3 in Jackson County. All of these crews have been working on fuel reduction work to multiple underserved/underrepresented community members in the geographical areas across the region.
In the month of March the crews completed fire prevention treatments on over 21 properties while also completing several OSHA classes and required training including basic fire control and Tool Handling and Maintenance.
These hard working crews have experienced every possible weather imaginable and have been doing great as well as exceeding the expectations of the property owners. CWP crews received an average of 97% in survey results for categories in productivity, professionalism, communication and scheduling.
Quote from Liz C. from Grants Pass area:
“Very excited when we found out we were selected for fuel reduction. Didn’t know NYC would be completing the work. My sister went to NYC as a teen about 20 years ago for trail work. My brother did the same also about 10 years ago. So I was familiar with what they do, where they stay etc. Great program & the crew who came to our house were so nice & polite. Hard work for sure & grateful for the help! My husband’s health hasn’t been the best & currently out of work on medical leave. Things he normally would do to take care of our property have gone to the side. Summers are stressful but this year I should be able to breathe a little easier knowing we have fuel reduction.”