2019

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Redbird Trail Clearing for Idaho Fish & Game
January 13

January 13th eleven of us spent most of the day cutting blackberries and cutting low hanging branches. A lot was accomplished, but we did not finish. The temp was cool, but had sun most of the day, so was a fantastic day to be out.

Wow, what a change in the weather for our second trip to finish the clearing and brushing on Feb.18th. Snow was deep enough that we were afraid to drive into the parking lot so we unloaded by the county road. We had a great crew clearing blackberries, Rod Parks, Carl Paulson, Rich (new member), Don and Ethan Klement, and Lorelei. We saw 100 plus whitetail deer and 2 wild sheep, 1 of them was a 3/4 curl ram. We celebrated today, as we finished cutting back the blackberries. We hope that some of the cut blackberries can be burned after the snow melts.

Annual Chili Ride
March 17

Who ever thought we would have so much snow in March. We used to have this ride in February in the past, but moved it to March for better weather. Well, it really backfired on us this year. We moved the ride to Hellsgate State Park in Lewiston, ID to avoid snow and mud at Parks’ planned location. It ended up being a beautiful day with eleven riders. We basked in the sun after the great potluck at the Don Uhlman Memorial Shelter at the stock trailhead.

Cummings Creek Chapter Ride
April 6

Six members braved the weather and had a nice ride up the creek, a tributary of the Tucannon River located on Washington Dept of Fish & Wildlife and Umatilla NF land. We ate lunch at the mine, and then headed back down the trail that we cleared. Almost all the trees have fallen from past fires, so not near as many trees to cut out as in the past, but the brush is really growing and there’s some wild roses that like to eat you. The weather was not as bad as the picture make it look, but if you did not keep busy cutting brush, you could get pretty cold when the wind came up or the brief rain showers appeared. We saw a nice heard of elk as well as several deer. Also met some youth turkey hunters, but never saw a turkey.

Primeland Pony Rides
May 11

This was Primeland Country Stores spring event with Pony rides and Dachshund Races as well as other activities. Carl Paulson reported that chapter members did a great job supporting this event.  They had 7 horses giving kids rides, some for the first time and a miniature donkey for petting.  They collected a total of $98 and 45 pounds of food for the Food Bank.

Thanks for the walkers and members that brought their stock. This event is great exposure for our chapter.  It did not rain this year, but it sure was hot. Dave at Primeland has some of the worst luck picking dates for this annual event.

Dough Cr Adopt-A-Cabin
June 1-2

We had a beautiful day for our annual trip for maintenance at the cabin, maybe a little too nice, as it was pretty dang warm. Mice have been getting into the cabin so we cleaned the food cabinet with bleach, washed all the dishes, and added some boards to the cabinet to try and keep the mice out. Put some bait under the cabin also for good eating.

The Montana Conservation Crew was staying at the cabin, so we could not clean inside the cabin, but we were able to put a coat of sealer on the deck and string trim a fire break around the cabin, outhouse, and hitchrails. The MCC crew is working on the trail from cabin to cabin. IDFG has added a fire ring to the cabin.

Elmer CR and Weitas CR Projects
June 25 - July 2

Just returned from a great trip with Rod Parks, Billie Haven, and Steve Cooper of the Twin Rivers Back Country Horsemen. We started our adventure on June 25th at the Isabella Creek trail head.   Our purpose was to assist the Youth Corp by packing in their tools, camp gear, etc. Working under the direction of the USFS, they are building trail on Elmer Creek which will eventually connect to Smith Ridge in the Mallard Larkin Primitive Area. It was pleasant ride. We returned to camp, grazed the horses then Mother Nature decided to let loose with a soaking accompanied by a “light” show.  Thunder is always 10X’s louder echoing off the mountain craigs. At times I thought it was an air raid and dove for cover. However, no casualties.

The next day it was off to Weitas Creek.  The weather was perfect and the scenery of the North Fork of the Clearwater is spectacular.  After loading our gear, we took off to Weitas Guard Station to rendezvous with Emily Poor, USFS botanist and our boss for the rest of the week.  Our goal was to spray Knapweed and pull hounds tongue at Windy Creek (off the Weitas) and Liz Creek cabin which we were able to pull off without a hitch except for a few horse shenanigans.  Steve has a horse named Smokey.  On top of Ol’Smokey is where I wouldn’t want to be! Let’s just say the pack bags made out better than Steve for that 8 second ride.

In another amazing feat, Billie’s horse stripped right out of his saddle with the cinch still intact!  His feet were so nimble he didn’t even scratch the saddle! Well, there are more stories than time allows.  Thankfully, all ended well. 

Until next time …..
Connie Marshall, TRBCH
 

John's Creek Project
June 29-30

Jerry and Linda Lane spent two days clearing many down trees on a 13 mile loop. Lucky for them chainsaws are allowed. Jerry had a very sharp chainsaw and he flew through the trees. The trailhead is along Highway 14 at the mouth of John’s CR which drains into the South Fork of the Clearwater River. Thanks for the great job!

Elmer Creek Project
July 9-10

Lorelei McNamee, Mike Welling, and Lisa & Kevin Swanson drove to Isabella Landing and met the Northwest Youth Corp crew. This trip was a resupply trip for the crew members who are on their third stint for the season working on the Elmer Creek Trail. As usual, Tim Lewis of the North Fork RD had a few culverts to pack in for trail work. Mike Welling tackled the culverts while the others pack in the supplies. Tim is hoping that the re-constructed trail will get completed this season. There have been many challenges over the last several years getting this trail opened for non-motorized use. This year was no exception, as an eight foot diameter cedar tree fell across the trail.

Ten Mile Trail Clearing Project
August 11-15

Ten Mile trail accesses the Gospel Hump Wilderness from the South Fork of the Clearwater River near Golden. ID. Chapter members, I should say Jerry and Linda Lane, have been clearing this trail for many years. This year was no exception as they went up the week before and cleared six miles of trail by themselves. You may say no big deal, but only two miles are outside the wilderness so the rest is done with hand tools.

Camp was moved up to Ten Mile Meadows to finish the clearing. There had been a major storm event and the meadow was wetter than normal. It was a challenge to find a dry spot to set up tents. Doug Olive, FS, came and helped as well as Rod Parks. This twelve mile section of trail historically has from two to three hundred trees across the trail every year. This is an experienced crew with hand saws. The four of them had shavings flying from the crosscut saws.

 

Great Burn Study Group Pack Support
August 17-18

For several years our chapter and Palouse Chapter have been taking turns either packing the Great Burn Study Group up Kelly Creek Trail to Hanson Meadows and back at the end of their season. This year it was our turn to pack them out. This project is quite an undertaking as it is a over 150 miles and takes five to six hours depending on the condition of the gravel section of the road. Then it is 20 mile round trip with pack animals to haul the two employees out.

Andrew Mackey and Rod Parks used five pack animals to bring their gear out. We spent the night at the trailhead and packed them out the next day. There were some bulky loads but not much weight which was good as both of us had animals with little packing experience. It is a pretty ride to Hanson Meadows. The North Fork Ranger District trail crew has always had the trail in real good condition.

 

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