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Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation seeks volunteers

| June 5, 2024 7:25 AM

Hungry Horse News

The Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation is looking for volunteers for a slate of trail maintenance projects within the 1.6-million-acre Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex this summer.

BMWF projects are free of charge, and no prior trail work or camping experience is necessary. The foundation provides all meals, group camping gear, tools, and an experienced Crew Leader who guides the project. All of their backcountry trips are pack supported, thanks to dedicated volunteer packers and their horses and mules who carry the heavy loads.

Volunteers just need their personal camping gear, and a willingness to learn new things and work hard. BMWF also offers a free gear library for those who need to borrow any personal gear to join the projects.

“The foundation has a total of 30 trail projects open to the public. A few need more volunteers to get the work done, including projects on Deer Creek trail in the Benchmark area; Cabin Creek trail out of Gibson Reservoir; and Straight Creek trail in the Scapegoat Wilderness. There’s also a Community Science trip on Upper Bartlett Creek; and turnpike construction projects on Foolhen Trail near Danaher Meadows, and on Gateway Creek near Sabido Cabin.

As a new addition this summer, BMWF is also planning to offer a couple of pop-up volunteer trail days, where people can come out to work for just a day or two instead of committing to a full project. Locations for these projects include the Big River Trail along the Highway 2 corridor, and Headquarters Pass on the Rocky Mountain Front.

Whether you’re an avid backpacker who wants to hit the trail with a new group, a life-long visitor to The Bob who wants to lend to its stewardship, or a first time camper who’s comforted by having a trip leader organize logistics, BMWF’s Volunteer Adventures are an approachable and rewarding way to experience the remote Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.

In addition the Foundation has also started a new program in cooperation with the Hungry Horse Ranger District to maintain trails in the Great Bear Panhandle called the “trail posse.”

The trail posse is a group of able bodied citizens who enjoy Wilderness, want to help out, but want to do it on their own time. Perhaps you have a day off and you have already hiked your favorite peaks of the summer. Maybe you really want to ski up Essex this winter and wish the brush on the trail was not so thick. Perhaps you just want a new way to spend the day outdoors and have a positive impact on your local trails.  From 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 10 they will host a 4-5 hour hands-on training at the Skiuma trail to get the posse up to snuff on trail maintenance standards, safety considerations and have you all registered as official Forest Service volunteers. Once you have attended the training you will have access to a tool box of loppers, hand saws and other equipment. You can check out the tools any time you like and spend a few hours, a few days or weeks doing your own trail maintenance when it works for your schedule.

To register, please visit: https://bmwf.app.neoncrm.com/np/clients/bmwf/eventRegistration.jsp?event=5597& To learn more about volunteering with BMWF, visit www.bmwf.org/volunteer, or call its office in Hungry Horse at 406-387-3808.