Volunteer Projects

 

How To Use This Page
 

1. Browse through our 2013 volunteer projects below. If you are interested in volunteering for a project, please contact Kenzie Carson, our Selway-Bitterroot Program Director, at volunteer@selwaybitterroot.org for more information.

2. Click below to view/download listings of volunteer projects in the Selway and the Frank, as well as a guide to volunteer positions available, a project difficulty key, and volunteering FAQ.

2013 Volunteer Projects: Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
2013 Volunteer Projects: Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
Volunteer Descriptions
Project Type and Difficulty Key
Volunteer FAQ

3. Click here to download and complete our Volunteer Registration Packet, then email it as an attachment to volunteer@selwaybitterroot.org or print and mail it to:

Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation
PO Box 8103
Missoula, MT 59807

To see projects completed in previous years, please scroll down past the 2013 projects and view project accomplishments from 2012 through 2012.

2013 Projects

  • May 1 to Nov 24
    Moose Creek Cabin Hosting

    Moose Creek Ranger Station, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

  • May 9
    Saint Mary Peak Trail Clearing

    Saint Mary Peak, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

  • Jun 1
    National Trails Day: Weir Creek Trail Opening

    Weir Creek, Weir-Post Office Creek Inventoried Roadless Area
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

  • Jun 4 to Jun 5
    Crosscut Saw Training and Certification

    Fenn Ranger Station
    Nez Perce National Forest, Lowell, Idaho

  • Jun 8 to Jun 15
    Lower Yellowjacket Trail Opening with University of Idaho Service-Learning Program

    Yellowjacket Creek, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho

  • Jun 11 to Jun 14
    SBFC Intern Field Training

    Shearer Guard Station, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

  • Jun 18 to Jun 25
    Sweeney Creek Campsite Monitoring and Restoration

    Sweeney Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

  • Jun 18 to Jun 25
    Moose Creek Area Trail Opening and Campsite Monitoring

    Moose Creek area, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

  • Jun 18 to Jun 25
    Big Rock – Selway Loop Trail Clearing

    Big Rock Trail, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

  • Jun 18 to Jun 25
    Boulder Creek Trail & Lone Knob Trail Opening and Stanley Hot Spring Cleanup

    Boulder Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

  • Jun 19 to Jun 26
    Upper Yellowjacket Re-Route and Turnpike Installation

    Upper Yellowjacket, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho

  • Jun 19 to Jun 26
    Idaho Centennial Trail Opening at Trout Peak

    Campbell's Ferry / Trout Peak, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Payette National Forest, Idaho

  • Jul 2
    St Mary Peak Trail Clearing

    St. Mary Peak Trail, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

  • Jul 2 to Jul 9
    Big Baldy Ridge Trail Opening

    Big Baldy Ridge, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho

  • Jul 2 to Jul 9
    Moose Creek Area Trail Opening and Campsite Monitoring

    Moose Creek area, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

  • Jul 2 to Jul 9
    Dan Ridge Trail Opening, Part 1

    Dan Ridge, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

  • Jul 2 to Jul 9
    Big Rock Trail Opening

    Big Fog Saddle and Upper Three Links, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

  • Jul 3 to Jul 9
    Bear Creek Campsite Monitoring and Restoration

    Bear Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

  • Jul 13 to Jul 20
    Bighorn Crags Area Trail Opening and Reconstruction with National Smokejumper Association

    Bighorn Crags, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho

  • Jul 17 to Jul 22
    Reynolds Creek Trail Opening, Part 1

    Reynolds Creek, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho

  • Jul 20 to Jul 27
    Idaho Centennial Trail Reconstruction at Lookout Mountain Ridge

    Lookout Mountain Ridge, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Payette National Forest, Idaho

  • Jul 20 to Jul 27
    One Horse Lakes Trail Opening and Campsite Restoration

    One Horse Lakes Basin, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

  • Jul 21 to Jul 27
    Bridge Creek Trail Opening with National Smokejumper Association

    Bridge Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

  • Jul 21 to Jul 27
    Maple Lake Trail and North Moose Trail Opening

    Maple Lake and North Moose area, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater and Nez Perce National Forests, Idaho

  • Jul 26 to Aug 1
    Wind Lakes Trail Opening with The Idawa Group

    Tom Beall Creek and Wind Lakes, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

  • Jul 27 to Aug 3
    Indian Park Area Trail Clearing

    Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

  • Jul 30 to Aug 6
    East Mayfield Creek and Ibex Creek Trail Opening

    East Mayfield Creek and Ibex Creek, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho

  • Jul 30 to Aug 6
    Indian Ridge / Cooper Point / Watchtower Creek Trail Opening

    Indian Ridge / Cooper Point / Watchtower Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Idaho and Montana

  • Jul 30 to Aug 6
    Seven Lakes Campsite Monitoring and Shasta Lake Water Sampling

    Seven Lakes basin, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

  • Jul 31 to Sep 30
    Saint Mary Peak Lookout Hosting

    Saint Mary Peak, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

  • Aug 3 to Aug 10
    Trail Opening (exact location TBD) with Sierra Club

    TBD, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, MT

  • Aug 3 to Aug 10
    Little Pistol Creek Trail Opening

    Little Pistol Creek, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho

  • Aug 10 to Aug 17
    Dan Ridge Trail Opening, Part 2

    Dan Ridge, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

  • Aug 13 to Aug 20
    Reynolds Creek Trail Opening, Part 2

    Reynolds Creek, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho

  • Aug 13 to Aug 20
    Waugh Mountain and West Horse Trail Opening

    Waugh Mountain and West Horse Creek, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Bitterroot and Salmon-Challis National Forests, Idaho

  • Aug 13 to Aug 20
    Upper Bear, Coquina and Spruce Lakes Campsite Monitoring

    Lost Horse area, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

  • Aug 15 to Aug 18
    South Fork Salmon River Trail Opening

    South Fork Salmon River
    Payette National Forest, Idaho

  • Aug 27 to Sep 4
    Summit Trail Opening

    Summit Trail, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho

  • Sep 10 to Sep 17
    Idaho Centennial Trail Opening at Marble Creek

    Marble Creek, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho

  • Sep 10 to Sep 18
    Idaho Centennial Trail Maintenance at Lookout Mountain Ridge

    Lookout Mountain Ridge / Big Creek, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Payette National Forest, Idaho

  • Oct 6 to Oct 12
    Lantz Bar Restoration Project

    Lantz Bar, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Idaho

2012 Projects

  • May 1 to Nov 30
    Moose Creek Cabin Hosting

    Moose Creek Ranger Station, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    Once again in 2012 the SBFC facilitated the Moose Creek Ranger Station volunteer host program. Continuing to have hosts at this iconic wilderness ranger station is critical to its continued operation, and the SBFC is proud to be able to help keep the station staffed with volunteers. From May through November, SBFC volunteers the Carsels, the Hardens, the Armichardys, the Johnsons and the Donaldsons kept the station running smooth once again in 2012. Thanks to all the volunteers!

      Project Fast Fact: The Moose Creek volunteers pur in over 1800 hours of service in 2012
  • May 15 to Jul 15
    Wilderness Invasive Weed Treatment

    Various locations, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forests, ID

    Packer extraordinaire Jon Binninger once again returned to treat invasive weeds along the major trail corridors in the Idaho portion of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. His crew was able to treat the entire Selway Trail from Paradise to Race Creek, as well as the East Moose Trail to Elbow Bend, the entire Bear Creek Trail, the entire Boulder Creek trail and the Rock Creek spur to Stanley Hot Springs. Thanks for again tackling this huge challenge, Jon!

      Project Fast Fact: Jon and his crew reported that the 2011 weed treatments were highly successful
  • May 20 to May 28
    Wilderness First Responder Training with Aerie Backcountry Medicine

    University of Montana
    Missoula, Montana

    Our 2012 Wilderness First Responder course through Aerie Backcountry Medicine, in which out staff, interns and other citizens received the industry standard wilderness medicine training, was very successful! We’ll be doing it again in 2013, so if you are interested in joining in our course next year, please contact Rob Mason at rmason@selwaybitterroot.org.

  • Jun 2
    National Trails Day – McClain Slide Trail Work

    McClain Creek
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBFC staff and interns joined Bitterroot National Forest Wilderness Ranger Bill Goslin and Selway-Pintler Back Country Horsemen volunteers to brush out McClain Creek for National Trails Day. The crew endured deluges of pouring rain and enjoyed intermittent sun while lopping encroaching cedars and pine trees.

      Project Fast Fact: 1.5 miles of trail brushed out along McClain Creek
  • Jun 2
    National Trails Day – Boulder Creek Trail Work

    Boulder Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBFC staff and interns joined forces with West Fork Wilderness Ranger Charlie Mabbott to clear and maintain drains on the Boulder Creek Trail. The interns got their first taste of wilderness trail work, helping crosscut and chop the way to beautiful Boulder Falls.

      Project Fast Fact: 30 water bars cleaned over 2.0 miles of trail maintained on Boulder Creek
  • Jun 4 to Jun 13
    Selway River Trail Maintenance

    Selway Trail, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    The SBFC’s trail crew headed out to perform annual maintenance on historic Selway Trail. The crew removed old culverts, rehabilitated creek crossings, constructed rock water bars, removed water hazards, re-treaded existing trail, and brushed trail to respectable standards.

      Project Fast Fact: 8.5 miles of the Selway Trail brushed out
  • Jun 7 to Jun 8
    Crosscut Saw Training

    Magruder Guard Station
    Bitterroot National Forest, Idaho

    The SBFC’s Wilderness Ranger Interns spent two days with Bitterroot National Forest Wilderness Ranger (and legend) Charlie Mabbott at Magruder Guard Station getting certified to use crosscut saws in the Selway and Frank.

  • Jun 13 to Jun 16
    SBFC Staff and Intern Field Training

    Big Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    The SBFC staff and interns spent four days up Blodgett Canyon completing their training. It was a wet and fun trip where the crew taught the interns how to monitor campsites, inventory signs, clean and build water bars, brush properly, and remove fire rings. The crew was joined by Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest’s Wilderness Manager Katie Knotek and Wilderness Ranger Adam Washebek.

      Project Fast Fact: Crew hauled out many large pieces of trash from an old hunter camp
  • Jun 19 to Jun 25
    Beaver Jack Ridge Trail Opening

    Beaver Jack Ridge, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Idaho

    SBFC Lead Wilderness Steward Rachel Kaufman and Wilderness Ranger Intern Rikk Dunn spent seven days logging out the Beaver Jack and Cayuse Mountain Trails. They cleared more than 500 trees using a variety of levers and fulcrum techniques to move massive cuts out of the trail.

      Project Fast Fact: 524 trees removed over 17 miles of trail
  • Jun 19 to Jun 27
    Stanley Hot Springs and Lone Knob Projects

    Stanley Hot Springs and vicinity, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    SBFC interns Allie Tincher and Harper Kaufman headed out with Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest Wilderness Ranger Adam Washebek to do some campsite and trail work out of Wilderness Gateway. The crew inventories 27 campsites and cleared nine miles of trail during the trip. Allie and Harper learned a great deal from Adam about being a ranger, SBW history and wilderness skills.

      Project Fast Fact: The crew cleared all of Trail #198 up and over Lone Knob
  • Jun 19 to Jun 27
    Selway River Trail Maintenance and Campsite Restoration

    Selway Trail, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    SBFC interns Seth Bader and Christian LaBar teamed up with staffer Courtney Oyler for a wonderful tour along the Selway River. The trio inventoried campsites, bucked and chopped firewood at Moose Creek Ranger Station, and did trail maintenance in the heart of the stunning Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.

      Project Fast Fact: The crew brought saw 49 visitors on the hitch…the most of any project this year
  • Jun 19 to Jun 27
    Three Links Trail Restoration

    Upper Three Links Drainage, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    The SBFC trail crew cut and brushed from Big Fog Saddle to the West Fork of Three Links Creek. Thought work was slow due to high water and snow, the crew still managed to open six miles of trail in seven days.

      Project Fast Fact: Six miles of trail brushed out on Trail #693
  • Jun 19 to Jun 26
    Colt Killed Creek Trail Opening

    Colt Killed Creek
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    As snow continued to melt out of the mountains, SBFC staff Charlie Smillie and Claire Muller led interns Sam Smith and Emerald LaFortune from the Colt Killed Creek Trailhead. Using single bits, grubbing tools, crosscut saws and chcoclate-bar calories, they cleared 13 miles to the Colt Killed Cabin site. The group then relocated to Warm Springs Trailhead. There, they soaked in the hot springs…uh, actually, they cut out the two-mile stock bypass trail and cleared drains and trees off five miles of the Cooperation Point Trail that goes straight uphill both ways (or maybe just feels like it).

      Project Fast Fact: 118 trees cut, 102 waterbars cleared, and approx. 41 chocolate bars eaten
  • Jun 20 to Jun 27
    Chamberlain Trail Opening

    Campbell's Ferry, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Payette National Forest, Idaho

    “To the top!” That was the motto for the week. The SBFC crew of Programs Director Eric Melson and interns Erik Ellison and Ben Berry spent six days brushing, cutting, re-treading, and water-barring between Campbell’s Ferry on the Main Salmon and Trout Peak. Though they had to hike up steep inclines for miles each day, they were thrilled with the final result of a fully-maintained trail to Trout Peak.

      Project Fast Fact: The crew reconstructed a 1/4 mile of trail and removed 65 trees during the week
  • Jul 3 to Jul 10
    Big Creek Canyon and Glen Lake Campsite Monitoring

    Big Creek Canyon and Glen Lake, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBFC staffer Rachel Kaufman and intern Rikk Dunn toured a few beautiful alpine lakes, including Glen Lake, Big Creek Lakes, South Fork Lake and the unofficially-named East House Lake. The crew inventoried 39 campsites and naturalizing them as necessary.

      Project Fast Fact: 21 excess campfire rings were removed during the tour
  • Jul 3 to Jul 10
    Selway River Trail Maintenance and Campsite Restoration

    Selway Trail, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    The intern crew had a very hot hitch, enduring 104-degree temperatures one day! Amidst the heat they hiked most of the length of the Selway River, inventorying campsites and clearing trails close to Shearer Guard Station. Altogether, they hiked more than 150 miles during the tour.

      Project Fast Fact: Seth and Christian rocked 36.5 miles of trail during the hitch
  • Jul 3 to Jul 10
    Wind Lakes Trail Opening

    Wind Lakes Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    The SBFC’s first-ever all-female crew, consisting of staffer Courtney Oyler and interns Samantha Smith, Harper Kaufman and Emerald LaFortune, worked on maintaining the Wind Lakes Creek Trail. After eight days the crew sawed out 480 trees from the trail, replaced one trail sign, inventoried eight campsites and learned that garlic cloves, eaten whole, are very spicy.

      Project Fast Fact: The crew spotted a wolverine during the hitch
  • Jul 3 to Jul 10
    Dan Ridge Trail Opening

    Dan Ridge, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    This is the SBFC’s third year of continuing to open up the long-neglected Dan Ridge Trail, with lots of trees cut but still more to go! Staffer Claire Muller and intern Allie Tincher sawed their way through 120 trees, clearing the way for continued work on the trail again in 2013.

      Project Fast Fact: A big 27-inch spruce took six hours of hard work and critical thinking to saw out
  • Jul 6 to Jul 14
    Big Rock Trail Opening

    Upper Three Links Drainage, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    The SBFC trail crew cut out the Big Rock Trail from the West Fork of Three Links Creek to the junction of Trails #693 and #405. They encountered several large trees (more than 36 inches) and had a great time cutting them out. They did extensive brushing to make Trail #693 usable for stock and also tackled several areas of re-tread, including removing and trundling large boulders, fixing sloughing trail, and improving the trail for stock use.

      Project Fast Fact: The crew built 30 feet of of rock retaining wall during the week
  • Jul 7 to Jul 11
    Pistol Creek Trail Opening and Improvement

    Pistol Creek, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho

    SBFC partnered with the Idaho Trails Association (ITA) and the Backcountry Horsemen of Idaho (BCHI) on this project. With the crosscuts blazing and a handful of other smaller saws and nippers running strong, the crew was able to make quick work of a nine-mile stretch of this log-jammed trail. The BCHI were of great help as they packed everyone in and made some fantastic food. Collectively, the crew cleared more than 124 trees and put in an impressive crib wall. Thank you ITA and BCHI for your hard work!

      Project Fast Fact: This was the SBFC’s first-ever project on the Salmon-Challis National Forest
  • Jul 9 to Jul 28
    Goat Ridge Trail Opening with University of Idaho Service-Learning Program

    Goat Ridge, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    Jim Ekins, the University of Idaho Service-Learning Center’s Interim Director, led three service-learning interns on a 17-day education and service project to open Goat Ridge near Shearer Guard Station. The group cleared approximately 200 trees from about six miles of the very steep Goat Ridge Trail, and did approximately 200’ of tread reconstruction.

      Project Fast Fact: The project included an on-campus orientation to U.S. wilderness history
  • Jul 12 to Jul 14
    Bass Creek Campsite Monitoring and Restoration

    Bass Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wildenress
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBFC staffer Rachel Kaufman and her mom, Stacey Miller, joined forces to do what their genes do best: Hike and get work done! The two trail-sleuhered their way up to Lappi Lake to remove trash and clean up campfire rings and then combed the Bass Lake area for more trash and fire rings. In all the duo cleaned up or reduced 16 campsites and hauled out 15 pounds of trash.

      Project Fast Fact: 23 excess campfire rings were removed during the three-day trip
  • Jul 13 to Jul 14
    Indian Creek Trail Maintenance

    Indian Creek
    Payette National Forest, Idaho

    SBFC interns Erik and Ben cleared the first two miles of a popular fishing trial, removing trees and brush along the way.

      Project Fast Fact: 105 feet of trail tread were repaired during this two-day trip
  • Jul 15 to Jul 21
    Dry Gulch Trail Clearing and Sagebrush Lookout Restoration with National Smokejumper Association

    Dry Gulch and Sagebrush Lookout, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho

    The SBFC once again teamed up with the National Smokejumper Association (NSA) to open wilderness trails, and this time we were joined by the Salmon River Back Country Horsemen (BCH), who packed in gear and food for the crew. The retired smokejumpers cleared 11 miles of trail between the Dry Gulch Trailhead to the Sagebrush Lookout. During the week, 380 trees were cleared and 275 water bars were cleaned out. Some clean up was also completed at the Sagebrush Lookout. Thanks so much to the NSA and BCH!

      Project Fast Fact: The whole area of this project was burned by the Clear Creek Fire in 2000
  • Jul 15 to Sep 22
    Saint Mary Peak Lookout Hosting

    Saint Mary Peak Lookout, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    Once again in 2012, SBFC volunteers staffed the iconic Saint Mary Peak Lookout, monitoring fire activity and weather while greeting visitors to the popular hiking destination. Patrick McCarron, Rob and Erin Saldin, and Clare O’Connell kept the lookout running during the season, while a multitude of horsepackers, including Dan Brandborg, Chris Eyer, Dave and Julie Schramm, and Brad Pollman helped keep the lookout supplied with food, gear and firewood. Thanks to all of the volunteers involved for keeping this cherished wilderness destination open once again in 2012!

      Project Fast Fact: Check out this amazing photo of packer Chris Eyer at the lookout in July 2012
  • Jul 17 to Jul 25
    Big Rock Trail Restoration

    Upper Three Links Drainage, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    The SBFC’s trail crew performed re-tread maintenance on Big Rock Trail from the West Fork of Three Links Creek to Frisco Peak, re-establishing 1.5 miles of trail tread in Three Links Meadows towards Frisco Peak.

      Project Fast Fact: 57 trees were cut out of the trail while re-establishing the 1.5 miles of tread
  • Jul 17 to Jul 24
    Pistol Creek Avalanche Debris Trail Opening with Treasure Valley Back Country Horsemen

    Pistol Creek, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho

    In contrast to the SBFC’s two all-female project in the Selway, this was the SBFC’s sole all-male project, which the crew cleverly named “Dudefest”. Programs Director Eric Melson led interns Seth, Christian, Rikk, Erik and Ben, with pack support from the Treasure Valley Back Country Horsemen, on a trip to clear out a massive amount of avalanche debris off of the Pistol Creek Trail. Hundreds of dead trees had been clogging the trail since 2002, but in a mere four days our crew cut 900 trees out of the trail, opening it for the first time in a decade.

      Project Fast Fact: Here is a photo of the crew working through one of several massive debris piles
  • Jul 18 to Jul 23
    Lost Horse Trail Opening

    Wahoo Canyon, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    The crew of SBFC staffer Courtney Oyler and interns Samantha Smith and Allie Tincher cleared 9.5 miles of the Wahoo Pass Trail and completed 11 campsite inventories along the way. All told, the crew cleared 104 trees from the trail, braved intense hailstorms and fended off multitudes of mosquitos.

      Project Fast Fact: The crew hauled out 10 pounds of trash and installed three trailhead signs
  • Jul 18 to Jul 23
    Siah Lake Loop Trail Opening, Part One

    Storm Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    The work on the Siah Lake Loop (including Beaver Ridge Trail #77, Storm Creek Trail #99, Siah Lake Trail #59 and Maud Ridge Trail #75), one of our key projects during the summer of 2012, began on this hitch. Interns Harper Kaufman and Emerald LaFortune joined SBFC staffers Claire Muller, Charlie Smillie and Steve Hodgdon, as well as Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest Wilderness Ranger Adam Washebek to cut out 360 trees from the first 10 miles of this loop.

      Project Fast Fact: A mid-trip windstorm forced the crew to cut their way back to the trailhead
  • Jul 22 to Jul 28
    Little Dead Elk Trail Opening & Maintenance

    Little Dead Elk, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater and Nez Perce National Forests, Idaho

    In our second project of the season with the National Smokejumper Association (NSA), the crew of retired smokejumpers cleared nearly five miles of the Little Dead Elk Trail along the Selway Divide on the boundary of the Clearwater and Nez Perce National Forests. The North Central Idaho Back Country Horsemen (BCH) supported the crew all week, and provided amazing meals as usual. Thanks again to the NSA and BCH for another outstanding project!

      Project Fast Fact: The now-repaired trail had been nearly obliterated by alder in some places
  • Jul 23 to Jul 31
    Isaac Lake & Maple Lake Trail Opening with Idawa Group

    Isaac Lake and Maple Lake, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    The Idawa Group (from Iowa) has been a big contributor to the SBFC and Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness over the past decade, and in 2012 they accomplished another outstanding project. The 14 volunteers from Iowa were lead into the backcountry by SBFC board member Connie Johnson. Over the week, the crew cleared and brushed the trail from East Moose Trail to Maple Lake, including the spur section between Isaac and Maple Lakes.

      Project Fast Fact: The volunteers cleared 84 trees from the trail and brushed eight miles of trail
  • Jul 31 to Aug 7
    Tin Cup and Triple Lakes Campsite Monitoring and Restoration

    Tin Cup Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBFC staffer Rachel, intern Rikk and three volunteers spent the week hiking through some of the most beautiful terrain in the Bitterroots. The crew naturalized campsites along the trail and at various lakes along the route. In total the crew inventoried 16 campsites and naturalized 29 campsites during the trip.

      Project Fast Fact: 27 excess campfire rings were disassembled during the week
  • Jul 31 to Aug 8
    Siah Lake Loop Trail Opening, Part Two

    Storm Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    SBFC staffer Charlie Smillie and interns Harper Kaufman and Allie Tincher continued cutting out the long-neglected Siah Lake Loop. After finishing clearing the Storm Creek Trail to the junction with the Siah Lake Trail, the gang met up with Nez Perce-Clearwater Wilderness Ranger Adam Washebek and camped at Siah Lake while clearing through an old burn along the trail. The crew then began clearing down the Maud Ridge Trail.

      Project Fast Fact: 433 trees were removed from 8.25 miles of trail during the week
  • Jul 31 to Aug 7
    Three Links Bridge Removal

    Selway Trail, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    In preparation for installation of a new bridge, the SBFC’s trail crew and intern Christian LaBar spent the week with Forest Service trail crew leader Barry Thompson taking down the 50-year-old Three Links Bridge on the Selway Trail. The old bridge deconstruction was finished ahead of schedule and the crew spent the remainder of the week installing the first sill of foundation for the new bridge.

      Project Fast Fact: The crew also managed to clear 45 trees from nearby trails during the week
  • Aug 4 to Aug 11
    Marble Creek Trail Clearing and Maintenance, Part 1

    Marble Creek, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Payette National Forest, Idaho

    In a continuation of our 2011 project, the SBFC partnered with the Idaho Trails Association and Squaw Butte Back Country Horsemen to continue opening the Marble Creek Trail, which is part of the Idaho Centennial Trail that runs form Nevada to Canada. After hiking past the section that last year’s crew cut out, the group met with a trail in shambles. But with hard work and perseverance of our volunteers we were able to open and repair the trail all the way to Dynamite Creek. Thanks to all the volunteers for your hard work!

      Project Fast Fact: 194 trees were removed and 3.0 miles of trail were brushed out during the week
  • Aug 4 to Aug 11
    West Fork Camas Creek Trail Opening

    West Fork Camas Creek, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho

    The SBFC, Idaho Trails Association, Boise Back Country Horsemen and Student Conservation Association came together to make this project a success! During the eight days in the wilderness, the collection of volunteers cleared nine miles of trail, reconstructed one mile of trail, and cleared 21 trees.

      Project Fast Fact: The four partner groups on this trip was our largest collaboration of the season
  • Aug 4 to Aug 11
    Siah Lake Loop Trail Opening, Part 3

    Dan Ridge, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    This trip was originally scheduled to head to Dan Ridge to finish opening that trail, but fire on the ridge forced the project down into Storm Creek, where a great mix of SBFC staff, interns and volunteers continued work on the Siah Lake Loop trails. Volunteer cook Sarah Walker prepared amazing meals all week for the 15 folks who continued to clear the Storm Creek Trail and Maud Ridge Trail, but in the opposite direction from the previous Siah Lake Loop trail opening projects (see above). By the end of the trip, the crew headed out of the backcountry with only 60 trees remaining on the loop.

      Project Fast Fact: 103 trees and 2.5 miles of brush were removed from the trail during this trip
  • Aug 12 to Aug 18
    One Horse Lakes Trail Opening

    One Horse Lakes Basin, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    The SBFC partnered with the Sierra Club, Selway-Pintler Back Country Horsemen (BCH), volunteer outfitters Mack and Connie Long (from Bob Marshall Wilderness Outfitters), and volunteer packers Nick Kauffman and Sandi Treadway to open the One Horse Lakes Trail. The Sierra Club volunteer group was a powerful group of women from all over the country. They combined their strength, endurance and intellect to clear the four-mile of over 400 trees.

      Project Fast Fact: 470 trees were cut out of the trail by the all-female crew
  • Aug 14 to Aug 15
    Kootenai Creek Trail Maintenance

    Kootenai Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBFC intern Rikk Dunn spent two days with the Bitterroot National Forest trail crew. The group cleared the trail all the way to the north and south lakes.

      Project Fast Fact: The crew finished clearing the entire trail system in Kootenai
  • Aug 16 to Aug 24
    Selway Trail Restoration and Lower Three Links Trail Opening

    Central Selway River area, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    Six SBFC staffers teamed up on this hitch to get some significant work done along in the central Selway River area. The team first headed to the Pinchot grade and repaired a treacherous stretch of trail taken out by a landslide. Claire Muller and Charlie Smillie also took a couple of days to finish opening the Three Links Trail from the Selway River to Three Links Point.

      Project Fast Fact: The crew installed a major crib wall to hold in the Selway Trail
  • Aug 18 to Aug 25
    Marble Creek Trail Clearing and Maintenance, Part 2

    Marble Creek, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Payette National Forest, Idaho

    SBFC Programs Director Eric Melson met John McCarthy from the Wilderness Society and friend for a week of heavy log-out work and trail maintenance on Marble Creek, which is part of the Idaho Centennial Trail. The crew cut out over 150 trees and maintained six miles of trail with the help of the Treasure Valley Back Country Horsemen.

      Project Fast Fact: The crew maintained five more miles of Marble Creek this week
  • Aug 18 to Aug 25
    Gant Ridge Trail Maintenance

    Gant Ridge, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho

    The SBFC teamed up with the Idaho Trails Association (ITA) and Student Conservation Association (SCA), along with Salmon-Challis National Forest Wilderness Ranger Geoff Fast, to maintain the Gant Ridge Trail. Over the week, the crew of four repaired 1630 feet of trail and constructed 115 feet of new tread on this dry section of trail. Thanks ITA and SCA!

      Project Fast Fact: This was the second of two projects completed on the North Fork District in 2012
  • Aug 20 to Aug 22
    Kootenai Creek Campsite Inventory and Restoration

    Kootenai Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBFC staffer Rachel Kaufman spent three solitary days up Kootenai Creek inventorying and restoring campsites along the trail at the three lakes at the top of the drainage.

      Project Fast Fact: Seven excess campfire rings and five excess campsites were removed this week
  • Aug 28 to Sep 4
    Bear Creek Pass Campsite Inventory and Maintenance

    Rock Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBFC staffer Rachel Kaufman and volunteer Stacey Miller spent several smoky days in the Bear Creek Pass area. The duo inventoried and cleaned up campfire rings at Fish Lake, Lost Horse Lake, Upper Bear Lake and Coquina Lake. They packed out over 15 pounds of trash including a frying pan, wall tent poles and expired tin cans of food.

      Project Fast Fact: Rachel and Stacey removed 19 excess campfire rings in the popular area
  • Aug 28 to Sep 4
    Lost Horse Trail Maintenance

    Wahoo Canyon, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    SBFC staff members Courtney, Claire, Charlie and Sean were joined by SBFC Board Chair Lisa Gerloff for a week of trail maintenance on the Lost Horse Trail. The crew brushed and rocked 6.5 miles of trail thoroughly. They also installed two check steps on a severely downcut switchback, making the trail passable for stock and hikers.

      Project Fast Fact: The crew spent a total of 115 hours brushing the trail this week
  • Sep 1 to Sep 8
    Indian Creek Boat Ramp Replacement

    Indian Creek, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho

    The SBFC recruited eight burly volunteers for a week of reconstructing the entire Indian Creek boat ramp on the Middle Fork Salmon River. First, the crew tore the old rotten ramp apart and hauled away nearly 6000 pounds of logs. Next, the crew replaced all 52 steps with treated timbers and attached new side rails.

      Project Fast Fact: Check out this slide show of the project from volunteer Martha de Simon
  • Sep 9 to Sep 12
    Mocus Point Trail Maintenance

    Indian Meadows, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    SBFC staffers Courtney and Sean hiked up to Indian Meadows, then cleared Trail #208 from Indian Meadows to Mocus Point. The trail was between two forest fires which often left a dense cover of smoke.

      Project Fast Fact: The crew cut out 36 trees over 4.5 miles of trail on this short hitch
  • Sep 11 to Sep 18
    Eagle Mountain Trail Maintenance

    Indian Meadows, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    SBFC staffers Claire, Charlie and Steve teamed up with two Montana Conservation Corps crews to brush out the Eagle Mountain Trail. Despite smoky conditions, all eight miles of trail were fully brushed.

      Project Fast Fact: This was one of the only areas of the wilderness not closed for fire
  • Sep 12 to Sep 17
    Chaffin Lakes Campsite and Trail Projects

    Chaffin Lakes, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBFC staffers Corey and Rachel braved smoky conditions and chilly weather to do campsite inventories and haul out trash up Chaffin Lakes drainage. They cleaned up campfire rings at Hart Lake, Tamarack Lake and Chaffin Lakes. They also checked the string of Pearl Lakes for use, and Corey’s happy black lab Lucy swam in all eight lakes that were visited. The trio also cleared portions of Trails #528, #10, #93 and #3, and rebuilt water bars on the same trails.

      Project Fast Fact: The crew maintained 13.8 miles of trail during this week-long hitch
  • Sep 25 to Sep 30
    Lookout Ridge Trail Opening and Maintenance

    Lookout Ridge, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Payette National Forest, Idaho

    SBFC staffers Eric and Courtney teamed up to maintain an eight-mile section of the scenic Lookout Ridge Trail. The dynamic duo managed to cut out over 300 trees, clean 37 waterbars, and clear several miles of encroaching saplings, all while enjoying the incredible views offered by the high elevation trail.

      Project Fast Fact: Eight more miles of the Idaho Centennial Trail were maintained this week
  • Sep 27 to Oct 5
    Westside Canyons Campsite Inventory and Restoration

    Westside Canyons, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBFC staffer Rachel Kaufman headed up hammered out campsite inventory and restoration work on the Fred Burr – Mill Creek loop, at Baker and Gem Lakes, and up the South Fork of Lost Horse Creek over the course of a week. In spite of the long distances between the multitude of lakes in these canyons, Rachel was able to naturalize 24 different campsites during the week.

      Project Fast Fact: The elk were out and bugling during the week, a true sign fall has arrived
  • Oct 1 to Oct 31
    Shearer Guard Station Hosting

    Shearer Guard Station, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    Long-time volunteer Tony Rasch once again served as the volunteer host at Shearer Guard station on the upper Selway River. This year Tony had his work cut out for him after a fire burned much of the area very close to the cabins. Thanks so much for all your long-time volunteer service, Tony!

      Project Fast Fact: The cabin at Shearer Guard Station was moved there from Bear Creek years ago
  • Oct 10 to Oct 17
    Lantz Bar Wilderness Restoration Work

    Lantz Bar, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Idaho

    This project, our last of the season, will tackle the removal of non-historic portions of the infrastructure at Lantz Bar on the Main Salmon River with a team of three SBFC staffers and several Forest Service wilderness rangers. After deconstructing non-historic structures, the group will float the debris out of the wilderness down the Salmon to Vinegar Creek.

      Project Fast Fact: This is our first-ever project that involves boating as part of our work duties

2011 Projects

  • May 1 to Oct 31
    Wilderness Trails Projects from SBFC Wilderness Trails Lead Corey Swanson

    Various locations in Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    As the official Wilderness Trails Liaison between the SBFC and the Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forests, the SBFC’s newest staffer Corey Swanson of Syringa, Idaho, had a huge job to do. Corey’s job description included inspecting wilderness trail contracts, serving as technical expert on various wilderness trails projects, coordinating replacement of all wilderness trail signs in the wilderness on the Clearwater National Forest, coordinating volunteer projects and performing wilderness trail maintenance projects on his own. Corey took on all those duties and more, serving as one of the keystones of the wilderness trails program on the Clearwater National Forest in 2011. A brief summary of his accomplishments includes opening the Meadow Creek Trail, reconstructing portions of the Gedney Creek Trail, heavy trail maintenance on the Big Sand Lake Trail, trail maintenance on the Boulder Creek Trail and a variety of other trail projects. Corey also hung eight trailhead signs, nine wilderness boundary signs and ten reflective road signs near wilderness trailheads. Finally, Corey inspected eight different trail contracts, performed a trail condition survey on the Savage Creek Trail, and packed several trail crews around the wilderness. Corey’s role was indispensable to the wilderness trail program in 2011, and his expertise will be equally or more valuable during the 2012 wilderness trails season in the Selway. Thanks for all your hard work keeping our wilderness trails in shape, Corey!

  • May 1 to Jun 30
    Invasive Weed Treatment on Selway-area Trails

    Various trails, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forests, Idaho

    For the first time ever, the SBFC took the plunge into dealing with the massive issue of invasive weeds in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. While the issue is far too large to address in one season, or even one decade, we have to start somewhere and that’s what we did in 2011. Working with Jon Binninger and his crew, we were able to treat 105 miles of weed-lined trails in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in Idaho. The Selway River Trail, East Moose Creek Trail, Bear Creek Trail, Boulder Creek Trail and a portion of the Rock Creek Trail were all treated. All weeds within ten feet of either side of of these trails were sprayed in order to kill the plants and prevent seed production. Because the transportation of weed seeds down trails is one of the primary sources of new weed infestations, this project is critical to preventing the continued spread of weeds in the Selway Bitterroot. We look forward to continuing to assist the Forest Service with invasive weeds management in 2012 and beyond!

  • May 12 to May 13
    Wilderness Skills Trail with Bitterroot National Forest staff

    Larry Creek Trailhead
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    For the third year in a row, the SBFC joined Bitterroot National Forest Wilderness Rangers Bill Goslin and Charlie Mabbott to help middle school students learn about their public lands. The Wilderness Skills Trail is a fun, interactive nature trail that instructs students on Leave No Trace ethics, wilderness education, and fun activities.

  • May 15
    Blodgett Canyon Trail Maintenance with Montana Wilderness Assoc.

    Blodgett Canyon
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    As the snow started to melt (kind of) University of Montana’s Wilderness Association student group joined SBFC Staff Eric Melson on a quick trip up Blodgett Canyon for an initial attack on the long winter’s effect on the Bitterroot Valley’s most popular canyon. The team of seven was joined by USFS Wilderness Ranger Bill Goslin for the morning to talk about the formation of the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation and how it plays a pivotal role in connecting community members to the stewardship of their public wild lands. The day wasn’t all theoretical however. Good work was done on over thirty waterbars and numerous swaths of brush. Thanks to UMWA for an enthusiastic group of hard workin’ folks!

  • May 19
    Big Creek Trail Opening

    Big Creek
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    Equipped with cross-cut saws, shovels, loppers and grubbing tools, the SBFC’s 2011 Wilderness Ranger Interns embarked on their first of many trail maintenance projects. The crew was lead by SBFC staff Courtney Oyler and Eric Melson. The crew cut out 22 trees, cleaned 19 waterbars, and maintained 2.5 miles of trail. Not bad for a day hike!

  • May 22 to May 30
    Wilderness First Responder Training with Aerie Backcountry Medicine

    University of Montana
    Missoula, Montana

  • Jun 4
    National Trails Day: Kootenai Creek

    Kootenai Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    The SBFC spent this National Trails Day working to improve conditions on the Kootenai Creek Trail. The SBFC Wilderness Ranger Interns and SBFC Lead Wilderness Steward Courtney Oyler worked together to clear 15 trees, clean 83 waterbars and brush 1000 feet of trail, maintaining a total of 4.5 miles of this popular Bitterroot trail.

  • Jun 9 to Jun 10
    Crosscut Saw Training

    Magruder Historic Ranger Station
    Bitterroot National Forest, Idaho

    Bitterroot National Forest Wilderness Ranger and crosscut saw guru Charlie Mabbott joined the SBFC wilderness ranger interns to teach them the ins and outs of crosscut saws. Throughout the training at Magruder Ranger Station, Charlie informed the interns about proper crosscut saw use and maintenance, and helped them to gain an appreciation for this indispensible wilderness tool.

  • Jun 11 to Jun 15
    Wilderness Ranger Intern Field Training

    Shearer Guard Station, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    SBFC Wilderness Ranger Interns Charlie Smillie (University of Montana), Lauren DePaul (University of Montana), Mark Musumarra (Appalachian State University), Shane Hetzler (Yale University), Bryan Harwood (Humbolt State University) , and Jeff Beurkens (Grand Valley State University) were joined by SBFC Executive Director Rob Mason, SBFC Lead Wilderness Steward Courtney Oyler and SBFC Programs Director Eric Melson on the first full hitch of the 2011 field season. The crew backpacked down the Selway River Trail to Shearer Guard Station for a week of wilderness field training. The week ended with a hike up Goat Ridge to put the training to the test and the tools to work. Overall, the team cut out 48 trees, re-worked 20 feet of tread, and maintained 8 miles of trail.

  • Jun 21 to Jun 29
    Flat Creek Trail Maintenance

    Flat Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Idaho

    SBFC Wilderness Ranger Interns Bryan Harwood and Mark Musumarra spent a hitch trekking through patches of persisting snow, clearing trees and brushing near the isolated Magruder Corridor with SBFC Lead Wilderness Steward Courtney Oyler. The interns had a great opportunity to hone their cross-cut and ax skills, cutting 195 trees between the trailhead and Flat Creek. The trio also cleaned 46 waterbars, brushed five miles of trail and maintained a total six miles of trail on the Bitterroot NF.

  • Jun 22 to Jun 28
    Former Seminole Ranch Clean-Up

    Former Seminole Ranch, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    In 2010 the SBFC assisted the Forest Service in removing 37,000 pounds of garbage left from the former Seminole Ranch property, and we returned to the site again in 2011 to continue the restoration efforts. SBFC Wilderness Ranger Interns Lauren DePaul, Charlie Smilie, Jeff Beurkens and Shane Hetzler joined in to help USFS Ranger Anna Bengtson and several others remove the last shards of garbage from the old homestead. An estimated 3,150 pounds of trash were removed from the site this year. The fate of the structures remains to be decided, but with help from the SBFC’s Wilderness Ranger Interns, Seminole Ranch is one step closer to being turned back into wilderness!

  • Jun 28 to Jul 10
    Cooper’s Flat Trail & Cabin Maintenance with Univ. of Idaho Service-Learning Program

    Copper's Flat, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Idaho

    Jim Ekins once again volunteered a large chunk of his summer to help take care of the Selway Country! Leading a partnership project between the SBFC and the University of Idaho, Jim and his crew based out of the Cooper Flat cabin for two weeks. During their stay, the crew cleared five miles of the Canyon Creek Trail, performed about 60 feet of trail maintenance on Canyon Creek Trail, improved several hundred feet of the White Cap Creek Trail, and shored up dozens of water bars. They also oiled the entire interior and exterior of the Cooper’s Flat cabin, filled in chinks in the walls for insulation purposes, organized the cabin and removed debris to make room for animal-proof food storage boxes. Finally, the crew cleared a huge amount of soil off the Canyon Creek Trail/Cooper’s Flat pack bridge over White Cap Creek, and used the soil to fill in the approaches to the bridge. Let’s do it again in 2012, Jim!

  • Jul 5 to Jul 12
    Hidden Creek Trail Opening

    Hidden Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    While the snow in the high country melted, SBFC Wilderness Ranger Interns Charlie Smillie and Lauren DePaul spent the first few days of July working with USFS Ranger Adam Washebek and SBFC Programs Director Eric Melson on lower trails along the Lochsa River. Come mid-week and warm weather, they trudged through the snow backpacks loaded with tools on their way to cut 250 trees out from Hidden Creek, cleaning 203 waterbars along the way. The crew forded creeks chest high, making sure to keep the priceless cross-cut saws dry!

  • Jul 5 to Jul 13
    Cooper Point / Indian Ridge Trail Opening, Part 1

    Cooper Point / Indian Ridge, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Idaho

    Led by SBFC Lead Wilderness Steward Courtney Oyler, SBFC Wilderness Ranger Interns Bryan Harwood and Mark Musumarra cut their way from Indian Creek to Peach Creek along Indian Ridge. With the help of their trusty crosscut saw and well-sharpened axes, the three managed to cut out almost 500 trees during the eight-day tour. The crew maintained about 15 miles of trail, cleaning 30 waterbars, brushing 200 feet and retreading ten feet of trail. They trudged over 30 miles along the ridge through the impressive amount of remaining snow and were rewarded for their hard work with a last night spent at Cooper Point, enjoying the beautiful views of the Selway Country.

  • Jul 5 to Jul 12
    Moose Ridge Campsite Inventory and Trail Maintenance

    Moose Ridge, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    SBFC Wilderness Ranger Interns Jeff Beurkens and Shane Hetzler spent early July back at Moose Creek Ranger Station helping on various projects from phone line removal to cabin maintenance to campsite inventory. The duo encountered six overnight backpackers on their way to inventorying three campsites and naturalizing nine campfire rings along Moose Ridge. Jeff and Shane also cut out 23 trees, brushed back one mile of shrubs, and packed out 35 pounds of garbage.

  • Jul 18 to Jul 24
    Blodgett Canyon Trail Maintenance with National Smokejumper Association

    Blodgett Canyon, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    The SBFC teamed up once again in 2011 with one of our most long-standing partners: the National Smokejumper Association. This project, the first of two completed by the NSA in 2011, focused on clearing several major jack-strawed piles of downed trees over the course of the week. The crew cut 60 trees out of the trail, including many complicated and suspended widowmakers that took hours to remove. We were glad to once again have the NSA out in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness!

  • Jul 19 to Jul 22
    Bitterroot Campsite Inventory & Restoration

    Bitterroot Canyons, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana & Idaho

    SBFC Wilderness Ranger Interns Shane Hetzler, Bryan Harwood and Jeff Beurkens joined with SBFC Programs Director Eric Melson and SBFC Lead Wilderness Steward Courtney Oyler to spend a week covering a lot of ground in the Bitterroot. The group divided and conquered to inventory and clean up campsites on Rock Creek, Little Rock Creek, Chaffin Creek, and Glen Lake. They inventoried 25 campsites and removed or contained 17 campsites, replaced 3 wilderness boundary signs, removed 11 pounds of trash, and hiked about 50 miles in 4 days. The ambitious crew also cut out 47 trees along the way.

  • Jul 23 to Sep 25
    Saint Mary Peak Lookout Volunteer Host

    Saint Mary Peak Lookout, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    In one of our favorite new initiatives of 2011, the SBFC was thrilled to be able to provide volunteer lookouts to staff the iconic Saint Mary Peak Lookout above Stevensville for the entire field season! Mark Brown, Patrick McCarron and Clare O’Connell volunteered for major chunks of the summer to staff the lookout and keep it functioning. The trio performed fire lookout duties, facility maintenance duties and public education duties during the snow-shortened 2011 lookout season. Special thanks to Dan Brandborg for volunteering to help pack volunteers up and down from the lookout! We look forward to staffing this magical place again in 2012.

  • Jul 23 to Jul 26
    Indian Lake Trail Maintenance, Part 1

    Wahoo Canyon / Indian Lake, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    SBFC Lead Wilderness Steward Courtney Oyler teamed up with SBFC Wilderness Ranger Interns Shane Hetzler and Bryan Harwood to clear Trail 430 from Wahoo Pass to Indian Lake. In the first few days they cut out sixty-two trees. And then they hit the Blowdown. Sometime in the previous fall, a microburst hit just east of Indian Lake and uprooted/broke off/demolished an entire stand of trees making one of the largest jackstraw piles of logs Courtney had ever seen. The crew did what they could in the remaining days of their hitch but the amount of work was overwhelming and it was decided they needed to return at a later date to finish the job.

  • Jul 24 to Jul 30
    Hang Tough Puncheon Replacement with National Smokejumper Association

    Hidden Creek Ridge, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    The second of our two partnership projects with the National Smokejumper Association, this project finally was accomplished after years of being on the work docket. Bob Whaley’s crew was packed in by the North Central Idaho Back Country Horsemen and spent a week replacing a rotten puncheon on the Hidden Creek Trail near Hang Tough Creek. The crew felled and stripped all the logs for the puncheon and managed to clear 18 trees from the trail as well. A big thanks to all of the NSA and North Central Idaho BCH folks for finally accomplishing this important project!

  • Jul 26 to Jul 30
    Little Dead Elk Trail Opening with Idawa Group

    Little Dead Elk Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    For the last two years, SBFC Board Member Connie Saylor-Johnson has lead a group of school teachers and students from Iowa into the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness for a week of trail and campsite restoration. The group returned in 2012, but this time were assisted by SBFC Wilderness Ranger Interns Lauren DePaul and Charlie Smillie. The group of eleven took on a tree-cutting trip on the Little Dead Elk Trail, located in the Clearwater National Forest. Over the course of the week the crew cut out 144 trees, cleaned 81 waterbars, brushed nearly 6000 feet of trail and inventoried and naturalized five campsites. Both interns raved about how much fun they had with the Idawa folk. We look forward to more volunteer trips with this great partner organization in the future.

  • Aug 1 to Aug 7
    Marble Creek Trail Opening and Maintenance with Treasure Valley BCH and Squaw Butte BCH

    Marble Creek, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Payette National Forest, Idaho

    This was SBFC’s inaugural volunteer project in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, and what a success it was! Nine volunteers from Idaho and Montana braved the rough roads back to Thunder Mountain to embark on a week of wilderness stewardship. Back Country Horseman volunteer packers Joe Williams and Phil Ryan packed the group down to our basecamp at Belleco, a historic mining site at the headwaters of Marble Creek. The crew, led by SBFC Programs Director Eric Melson and SBFC Wilderness Ranger Intern Charlie Smillie, cut trees and brushed out heavy shrubs that blocked access to this scenic and remote canyon. Highlights included completely restoring nearly seven miles of overgrown and burned trail, beautiful views of the Frank, stories around the campfire and ending the trip at Yellow Pine’s Harmonica Festival. A BIG thanks goes out to all the volunteers who dedicated a week of their time, energy and sweat to breathe life back into this remote trail.

  • Aug 5 to Aug 12
    Indian Lake Trail Maintenance, Part 2 with Selway-Pintler Wilderness Back Country Horsemen

    Indian Lake, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    Equipped with three saws, trail opening gear, several mules and six people SBFC Lead Wilderness Steward Courtney Oyler and SBFC Wilderness Ranger Interns Shane, Lauren and Bryan joined forces with USFS Wilderness Trails Manager Katie Knotek, USFS Trails Specialist Doug Olive and the Selway-Pintler Back Country Horsemen to tackle the remaining mess of trees that clogged Trail 430 just east of Indian Lake. 147 trees were removed in less than one mile, which gives you an idea for how powerful microburst wind storms can be. With perseverance and a lot of work, the team reached their destination at Indian Lake, finally opening this essential artery into the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.

  • Aug 14 to Aug 20
    Dan Ridge Trail Opening & Maintenance

    Dan Ridge, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    In 2010, the SBFC led a week-long trip up Dan Ridge with 15 hard-workin’ volunteers to cut out the first six miles of trail, removing hundreds of trees that had fallen over the past decade. This season, we were joined by Idaho Trails Association’s Joe Pickett, legendary wilderness cook Mary-Helen Ferguson Pope, and Dan Ridge veterans Jon Binninger and Jim Heidleberg. The crew, led by Interns Charlie Smillie, Lauren DePaul, Bryan Harwood and SBFC Programs Director Eric Melson were able to accomplish a tremendous amount of work, cutting over 100 logs in the first six miles, and over 300 logs in total. We were also joined by SBFC Board Member Jason Kauffman who, when he wasn’t busy taking photos and video for the upcoming film about SBFC, was getting dirty crosscutting trees and helping to
    brush back massive amounts of alder that clogged the trail. USFS Wilderness Trails Manager Katie Knotek stopped by for a day with SBFC Wilderness Trails Liaison Cory Swanson to lend a hand (and saw). We look forward to one more year working on re-opening Dan Ridge all the way to the old lookout!

  • Aug 16 to Aug 20
    More Bitterroot Campsite Restoration annd Inventory

    Bitterroot Canyons, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBFC Wilderness Ranger intern Shane Hetzler and SBFC Lead Wilderness Steward Courtney Oyler teamed up to monitor and reduce as many campsites as they could. The two traveled to Baker and Gem Lakes, Boulder and Canyon Creeks, and Sawtooth Creek, covering 55 miles in 5 days. They inventoried 13 campsites, reduced 10, and obliterated one site. They also removed around 10 pounds of trash from the wilderness.

  • Aug 21 to Sep 10
    Moose Creek Ranger Station Hosting

    Moose Creek Ranger Station, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    SBFC Board Member Diane Pettit returned to Moose Creek for the third year in a row to be the volunteer host at the station. Between interacting with visitors,
    taking care of facilities and helping out field crews, Diane kept plenty busy taking care of one of the most special places in the entire Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.

  • Aug 31 to Sep 6
    Cooper Point / Indian Ridge Trail Opening, Part 2

    Copper Point / Indian Ridge, Selway-Bitterroot Wildenress
    Bitterroot National Forest, Idaho

    Following up on the effort put in by Courtney, Mark and Bryan earlier in the summer (see Cooper Point / Indian Ridge Trail Opening, Part 1), SBFC Executive Director Rob Mason stepped out from behind the computer and stepped into the woods equipped with loppers, axes and saws ready to finish off the remaining section, this time starting from the Montana side and heading up Watchtower Creek. Eric Melson, SBFC Programs Director, teamed up with Rob for a week of stunning scenery working past Cooper Point removing nearly 500 trees from the trail. For the first time in years, the entire trail from Watchtower Creek to the Selway River, via Watchtower Pass, Cooper Point, Burnt Strip Mountain, Green Mountain and Indian Ridge is open and ready for you to get out there and explore this remote and spectacular area of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.

  • Sep 3 to Sep 5
    Tin Cup Outfitter Camp Inspection

    Patsy Ann Falls, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Idaho

    SBFC Lead Wilderness Steward Courtney Oyler hiked in from Tin Cup Trailhead to Patsy Ann Falls to make sure a non-permitted outfitter camp was not being used. Fortunately, the camp was not in use. Along the way, one campsite was reduced, one fire ring was removed, and five pounds of trash were hauled out.

  • Sep 13 to Sep 18
    Swet Lake Cabin Maintenance

    Swet Lake Cabin, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Idaho

    Volunteer Douglas Brinkerhoff joined up with SBFC Programs Director Eric Melson to help Bitterroot National Forest Wilderness Ranger Charlie Mabbott and a trail crew to fell approximately 200 beetle-infected lodgepole pine that were hazardous to Swet Lake Cabin in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.

  • Sep 17 to Sep 18
    Glen Lake Campsite Clean-Up

    Glen Lake, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBFC Lead Wilderness Steward Courtney Oyler made an overnight trip to Glen Lake and the nearby ponds to remove trash, fire scars and reduce campsite impacts. She reduced four campsites, obliterated four campsites, and removed eight fire scars and one large debris hut on the southeast side of the lake.

  • Sep 30 to Oct 2
    Stanley Hot Springs Clean-Up with Washington State University

    Stanley Hot Springs, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    For the second straight year WSU’s Outdoor Recreation Program partnered with the SBFC to help clean and naturalize campsites around Stanley Hot Springs. Stanley is one of the most visited spots in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and the condition of surrounding camping areas is proof. WSU brought eight students to help clean and naturalize Stanley, and in total the group cleaned 16 fire rings and hauled out 20 pounds of garbage. Great work Wazzu!

  • Nov 1 to Nov 11
    Moose Creek Ranger Station Hosting and Shut-Down

    Moose Creek Ranger Station, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    SBFC Programs Director Eric Melson and two volunteers spent ten days working on end-of-the-year projects, which included repairing a cedar skirt around the a cabin, bucking/splitting fire wood, repairing gates, building hitch rails., and felling/peeling Douglas fir trees that will be used to replace sill logs in the cookhouse.

2010 Projects

  • May 14
    Blodgett Creek Trail Brushing with Montana Wilderness Assoc.

    Blodgett Creek
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    The Montana Wilderness Association’s youth-focused Ridgerunner program, met with SBF Lead Wilderness Steward, Rachel Kaufman, to clear and brush the first 3.5 miles of Blodgett Canyon Trail.  The group focused on lopping the young lodgepole pine and spruce trees that were crowding the trail corridor.

  • May 20 to May 25
    Selway River Trail Opening

    Selway River, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    After hiking into Moose Creek Ranger Station with our six Wilderness Ranger Interns and Executive Director Rob Mason, Lead Wilderness Stewards Rachel Kaufman and Eric Melson continued up river with a newly sharpened cross-cut to take out seasonal downfall between Dog Creek and Shearer Guard Station. The two knocked out twelve 20-inch (or greater) trees and hiked nearly 30 miles over the course of 48 hours.  They returned to Moose Creek Ranger Station after dark on the second day, using headlamps to find their way back, and they were welcomed with some of Rob’s famous tortellini, a great way to start the 2010 season in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness!

  • May 20 to May 25
    Moose Creek Airstrip Campsite Restoration

    Moose Creek Airstrip, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    While Rachel and Eric headed up the Selway Trail to clear trees (see page 4), Rob and the SBF interns spent several rainy days with the Moose Creek wilderness staff improving the wilderness character and safety of the camping areas around the Moose Creek airstrip.  They dug new holes for two pit toilets and constructed one pit toilet, obliterated another pit toilet, moved information boards to the new camping area between the two runways, and eradicated all campfire rings in the area.  The area now is more safe and has greater wilderness character.  Head in to Moose Creek next summer to check it out!

  • Jun 5
    National Trails Day: Rock Creek Trail Repair with Montana Wilderness Assoc.

    Lake Como
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    The SBF staff and interns partnered with the Bitterroot National Forest trail crew and the Montana Wilderness Association’s youth-based Ridgerunner program for a day of hard work and celebration on one of the Bitterroot’s most popular trails. They completed an ongoing turnpike project by constructing over 90 feet of turnpike on the Rock Creek Trail beside Lake Como.

  • Jun 10
    Kootenai Creek Trail Maintenance

    Kootenai Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBF Lead Wilderness Steward Eric Melson led all six of the SBF interns on a day-trip up Kootenai Creek, where the group  cleaned 40 water bars, reconstructed three water bars, retreaded 15 feet of trail and hauled out 15 pounds of trash.

  • Jun 23 to Jun 28
    Boulder Creek, Surprise Creek and Pell Creek Trail Maintenance and Campsite Inventory

    Boulder Creek, Surprise Creek and Pell Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    SBF Executive Director Rob Mason and SBF Lead Wilderness Stewards Eric Melson and Rachel Kaufman took five SBF wilderness ranger interns on a six-day long training trip into the Boulder Creek drainage.  For the first three days, the group was joined by Clearwater National Forest wilderness rangers Adam Washebek and Dylan McCoy.  The group removed and illegally constructed bridge across Boulder Creek and performed trail maintenance on Trail 247 between Boulder Creek and Lone Knob, and above Stanley Hot Springs.  The group brushed nearly 7 miles of trail, cleaned 40 water bars, reconstructed 9 water bars and retreaded 77 feet of trail.  The second half of the trip took the group to Surprise Creek and Pell Creek where the group inventories 8 campsites and brushed these two spectacular trails.

  • Jul 5 to Jul 28
    Seminole Ranch Restoration Project with University of Idaho Service-Learning Program

    Former Seminole Ranch Site, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    All hands on deck! SBF interns Drew Wendeborn and Bart Gutke were called to duty for the project of the season, the continued transformation of the former Seminole Ranch site back to wilderness.   They were joined for the duration of the project by University of Idaho Service-Learning coordinator Jim Ekins and his student Therese Smith, who were involved in a joint SBF/UI wilderness service-learning course.  Also joining in the work intermittently were SBF Lead Wilderness Steward Eric Melson, SBF interns Stephen Countryman and Ben Stein, and an SBF-sponsored National Smokejumper Association crew.  The SBF workers labored side-by-side with the Forest Service’s Moose Creek wilderness crew to remove over 37,000 pounds of trash and old items on the site.  Items removed include refrigerators, cement mixers, generators, mattresses and box springs, mummified unidentifiable creatures, and packrat-infested personal items.  To add icing to the cake, SBF intern Drew joined the Moose Creek trail crew on his time off for five days of trail brushing and retread work on the Lost Horse Trail 430.  Great work all!

  • Jul 5 to Sep 15
    Fish Lake Guard Station Volunteer Hosting

    Fish Lake Guard Station, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    The SBF sponsored all of the volunteer cabin hosts at the iconic Fish Lake Guard Station in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.  The education and facility maintenance efforts that the rotating cabin hosts provided were invaluable resources.  We are glad to have been able to provide the hosts with the resources they needed to be effective wilderness stewards.

  • Jul 6 to Jul 10
    Lost Horse Trail Opening

    Lost Horse Trail, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    Lost Horse Trail 430 was in need of attention this year.  Interns Drew and Bart teamed up with SBF Lead Wilderness Steward Eric Melson and the Forest Service Lost Horse trail crew to cut their way to Indian Lake. The SBF team removed two weather stations on their way to Moose Creek Ranger Station after leaving the Forest Service crew to work on drainage structures around Wahoo Pass. On his way out, Eric noticed how great the rock work was that the crew had completed, which stopped a small river from cascading its way down the trail and preventing resource damage.

  • Jul 6 to Jul 14
    Indian Ridge Trail Opening

    Indian Ridge/Cooper Point/Burnt Knob, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Idaho

    SBF Lead Wilderness Steward Rachel Kaufman, SBF interns Stephen Countryman, Ben Stein and Cassie Kes, and community volunteer Anne Marie Scott opened nearly 30 miles of trail extending from Indian Ridge Trailhead to Watchtower Pass.  The trail which had been partially burnt, had not been opened in several years, and it showed.  The crew cleared out an astounding 623 trees along the dry but spectacular ridgeline trail.  Crosscut saws, pulaskis, axes and hand saws all got a serious workout on this spectacular early-season trail project that was partially pack-supported by Bitterroot National Forest wilderness ranger Charlie Mabbott.

  • Jul 15 to Oct 1
    Elk Summit Guard Station Volunteer Hosting

    Elk Summit Guard Station
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    Similar to our sponsorship of the Fish Lake Guard Station hosts, the SBF sponsored all of the volunteer cabin hosts at the iconic Elk Summit Guard Station this summer.  This wilderness portal is a critical point-of-contact for wilderness visitors, and the hosts wilderness education work is a critical component of keeping the Selway-Bitterroot wild.  We are glad to have been able to provide the hosts with the resources they needed to be effective wilderness stewards.

  • Jul 17
    Baker and Gem Lakes Campsite Clean-Up with Montana Wilderness Assoc.

    Baker Lake and Gem Lakes, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBF Executive Director Rob Mason and a crew of four Montana Wilderness Association volunteers spent the day at Baker Lake and Gem Lakes below the towering Trapper Peak.  The group cleaned up 17 campsites and eradicated 12 campsites in this spectacular lake basin.

  • Jul 17 to Jul 23
    Meadow Creek Guard Station Restoration with National Smokejumper Assoc.

    Meadow Creek Guard Station, Meadow Creek Roadless Area
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    Five ex-smokejumpers from the National Smokejumper Association and four North Central Idaho Back Country Horsemen headed into Meadow Creek in mid-July on an SBF-sponsored project to repair several roofs on cabins at the Meadow Creek Guard Station.  A washed-out trail didn’t stop the crew from arriving at the station on July 17 and spending the next five days removing old roof and installing new roof on one-and-a-half cabins.

  • Jul 19 to Jul 27
    Dan Ridge Trail Opening, Part 1

    Dan Ridge Trail, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    New school teamed up with old school as Lead Wilderness Steward Eric Melson met up with Forest Service veteran Jim Wiebush to scout Dan Ridge Trail 903 ahead of the SBF/Idaho Trails Association trail opening project scheduled for later in the summer.  After climbing over hundreds of trees across the trail leading to a historic lookout, the two knew they were up for a challenge and some heavy log-out work.  Plans were formulated for how to tackle a project of this scale.

  • Jul 20 to Jul 28
    Cove Lakes Trail Maintenance

    Cove Lakes, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    SBF veteran Connie Saylor-Johnson led our long-time volunteer partners from the Idawa Group on a weeklong trip to the Cove Lakes area out of Big Fog Trailhead.  The crew of 12 high school students and two advisors cleared 70 trees, brushed Trail 31 towards Chimney Peak, and removed 10 fire rings and disassembled a raft left at the lakes by previous visitors.  We look forward to continuing to work with this Iowa-based group for many years to come!

  • Jul 20 to Jul 28
    Colt Killed Creek Trail Opening

    Colt Killed Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    SBF intern Cassie Kes teamed up with Clearwater National Forest wilderness ranger Dylan McCoy to open the Colt Killed Creek Trail 50 from the trailhead all the way to Packbox Pass.  Along the way the duo cleared out 71 trees and inventoried a handful of campsites.

  • Jul 24 to Jul 30
    Big Creek Trail Opening with National Smokejumper Assoc.

    Big Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    An SBF-sponsored National Smokejumper Association crew flexed their muscles for the second year in a row in the Big Creek drainage of the Bitterroot National Forest.  The crew cleared Big Creek Trail 11 up the Bitterroot crest at Packbox Pass, then spent the remainder of the week opening Trail 306, which leads from Upper Big Creek Lake to an unnamed lake to the west.  The trail, which hadn’t been opened in ten years, is now cleared and open for use!  The Missoula Back Country Horsemen provided pack support for this project.

  • Jul 31 to Aug 7
    Boulder Creek Trail Maintenance with Wilderness Volunteers

    Boulder Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    SBF veteran Connie Saylor-Johnson led a group of 12 volunteers from the Wilderness Volunteers on a week-long trip up Boulder Creek to do some much-needed trail maintenance.  The team installed or repaired 46 water bars, installed six rock check dams and three wood check dams, and brushed much of the trail.  The group was lucky enough to be packed in by Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness veterans Jim Renshaw and Lloyd Johnson.

  • Aug 2 to Aug 10
    Warm Springs and Wind Lakes Trail Opening

    Warm Springs Creek and Wind Lakes Basin, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    SBF intern Cassie Kes and Clearwater National Forest wilderness ranger Dylan McCoy enjoyed a summer week hiking up Warm Springs Creek for some visitor contacts and clean-up at Jerry Johnson Hot Springs on their way to Friday Pass and Wind Lakes. The two maintained 30 miles of trail over the course of eight days.

  • Aug 3 to Aug 11
    Goat Ridge Trail Clearing and Bear Creek Jackpot!

    Goat Ridge and Bear Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    SBF Executive Director Rob Mason and Lead Wilderness Steward Eric Melson hiked into Shearer Guard Station to meet up with SBF interns Bart and Drew, and volunteer Betsy Kepes.  The team first worked for a day clearing the Goat Ridge Trail, which is susceptible to high winds leaving it scattered with lodge pole pine.  After a day of work on Goat Ridge, Eric led Bart, Drew and Betsy on the week’s primary project up Bear Creek, where a jackpot of three four-foot wide cedar trees had fallen across the trail tread, leaving the route impassable to all users. They were joined by Nez Perce wilderness ranger Paul Marone and cross-cut expert Roy Avery, both highly experienced sawyers who were called in on the perplexing project.  After deeming the stacked trees, which were 50-feet high, unsafe to cut, the crew did the best they could in making the trail passable.  On the way out the team cleared up and over the Bitterroot crest, ending at Lost Horse where campsite inventories kept them occupied. Thanks to Betsy Kepes for her skills, saw and stories!

  • Aug 3 to Aug 5
    Roaring Lion and Bass Lake Campsite Inventories

    Roaring Lion Creek and Bass Creek Canyons, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBF interns Stephen and Ben spent three days inventorying campsites in Roaring Lion Creek and Bass Creek.  The duo inventoried 14 campsites and restored 5 campsites during the trips.  The pair knocked out 7 trees that were blocking the trail during the course of the trip.

  • Aug 6 to Aug 7
    Saint Mary Peak Lookout Maintenance

    Saint Mary Peak Lookout, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBF Lead Wilderness Ranger Rachel Kaufman and Executive Director Rob Mason joined Bitterroot National Forest wilderness ranger Bill Goslin, Stevensville district ranger Dan Ritter and Bitterroot National Forest historian Mary Williams to discuss repairs and restoration needs for the lookout. The group painted the ceiling to match the lookout’s historic color scheme and mortared portions of the structure’s fragile foundation.

  • Aug 8 to Aug 10
    Kerlee Lake and Little Rock Creek Campsite Inventories

    Kerlee Lake and Little Rock Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBF Lead Wilderness Steward Rachel Kaufman inventoried and restored 15 campsites, and removed 17 campfire rings along the Tin Cup Trail and at Goat and Kerlee Lakes.  She also trekked over to Little Rock Creek for more of the same.  Along the way, she gathered up 15 pounds of trash that was hauled out in her pack.

  • Aug 8 to Aug 11
    Kootenai Canyon Campsite Inventories

    Kootenai Canyon, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBF interns Stephen and Ben spent four days in Kootenai Canyon inventorying campsites.  The pair inventoried 10 campsites and removed 10 excessive fire rings during the tour.

  • Aug 15 to Aug 21
    Blodgett Canyon Trail Maintenance with Sierra Club

    Blodgett Canyon, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    The SBF had a successful weeklong collaborative volunteer project with Sierra Club volunteers, who were packed into Blodgett Canyon by the Bitter Root Back Country Horsemen.  SBF Lead Wilderness Steward Rachel Kaufman led the group in completing the opening of Blodgett Lake and Blodgett Pass Trails.  The group cleaned out 57 trees, cleaned 143 water bars and retreaded 100 feet of trail over the course of the week.

  • Aug 15 to Aug 15
    Dan Ridge Trail Opening, Part 2 with Idaho Trails Assoc.

    Dan Ridge, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    All the preparations and planning paid off when SBF Lead Wilderness Steward Eric Melson and volunteer co-leader Jim Wiebush lead 15 volunteers on a week-long trail opening project that had everyone laughing and learning. The SBF provided a week’s worth of meals, sturdy tools, leadership, a base camp and cook (thank you Sarah Walker!) for this  headline project.  Intern Cassie Kes led a saw team with volunteers from all over the state of Idaho, including three volunteers from the Idaho Trails Association.  Packer Jon Binninger met the crew halfway through the week and moved camp five miles uphill, where the team worked back toward the trailhead clearing the left over logs. Jon’s family joined in for the fun and even helped kick the coffee up a notch with his fresh-roasted Landgrove Coffee!  In total the team cleared over 300 trees from the trail, cleaned over 65 waterbars, and maintained 5 miles of trail that hadn’t seen a crew in nearly ten years!  A warm thank you goes out to all involved to make such a monumental project happen. We hope to continue working on Dan Ridge in the future, and would love to see all of you again for another round of thoughtful campfire discussions and hard work.

  • Aug 16 to Aug 19
    Indian Creek Trail Clearing

    Indian Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Idaho

    SBF interns Drew and Bart headed out on their first intern-only tour to clear trails out on the West Fork Ranger District.  Over four days the duo cut 245 trees out of Trail 32 along Indian Creek from the confluence with Schoefield Creek to the Montana/Idaho state line.  They also tacked on clearing parts of Trails 13 and 36 around the Cayuse Mountain area along the way.

  • Aug 18 to Aug 20
    Baker, Gem and Chaffin Lakes Campsite Inventories

    Gem Lakes and Chaffin Lakes, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBF interns Stephen and Ben once again spent three trekking in the Bitterroot Front, this time locating and inventorying campsites in the Gem Lakes and Chaffin Lakes basins.  The pair inventoried 10 campsites, removed 17 extraneous campfire rings, and contacted many visitors.

  • Aug 22 to Aug 24
    Little Clearwater Trail Opening

    Little Clearwater River, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Idaho

    SBF interns Stephen and Ben once again headed into the wilderness on an intern-only trip, this time to clear trail in a remote section of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.  The pair cut 166 trees out of Trail 13 up the Magruder Ridge and also cleaned water bars along the way.  It was a spectacular location for the last tour of the season for this productive team of interns.

  • Aug 22 to Aug 24
    Sawtooth Creek and Canyon Creek Campsite Inventories

    Sawtooth Creek and Canyon Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBF intern Drew Wendeborn headed out on his first solo tour of the summer, and enjoyed every minute.  Over three days, Drew inventoried 11 campsites, eradicated 5 campfire rings and experieinced two of the most beautiful canyons on the Bitterroot Front.

  • Aug 25 to Sep 7
    Moose Creek Ranger Station Cabin Hosting

    Moose Creek Ranger Station, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    In late August, SBF Board Member Diane Pettit returned to Moose Creek for a second year to serve as the volunteer host at the Moose Creek Ranger Station.  Whether she was performing general maintenance tasks at the station, checking in wilderness crews over the radio or talking with pilots at the airstrip, Diane stayed busy during her time at Moose Creek.

  • Aug 31 to Sep 6
    Storm Creek Trail Clearing

    Storm Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    SBF Lead Wilderness Steward Eric Melson and Clearwater National Forest wilderness rangers Adam Washebek and Dylan McCoy hiked into one of the Clearwater National Forest’s most notable drainages, Storm Creek, for some good ol’ fashion campsite hunting and tree cutting. The three inventoried four campsites and cleared Trail 99 to the junction of Maude Ridge where the trees get big and the first snow of the season left them soggy but energized.  Even though they were in a popular area during hunting season, they saw no one for a whole week. On the way out the crew stopped by Beaver Ridge lookout to gaze at Ranger Peak and even the Mission Mountains!

  • Sep 10 to Sep 12
    One Horse Lakes Basin Trail Opening with Montana Wilderness Assoc.

    One Horse Lakes Basin, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBF Lead Wilderness Steward Rachel Kaufman and Executive Director Rob Mason led volunteers from Montana Wilderness Association’s youth-based Ridgerunners program to open the One Horse Lakes Trail to the south of Lolo Peak.  The trail, which hadn’t seen maintenance in many years, was jam-packed with large, twisted, suspended trees on precarious slopes, which made for a fun weekend of problem solving.  The group also cleaned up six campsites and removes seven campfire rings at Carlton Lake.

  • Sep 14 to Sep 29
    Outfitter Camp Inspections in the Frank

    Various locations, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Idaho

    SBF Lead Wilderness Steward Rachel Kaufman inspected outfitter campsites at Two Buck Springs, Eakin Ridge, Harrington Ridge and along the Salmon River in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness on the Bitterroot National Forest.

  • Oct 2
    Blodgett Overlook Trail Restoration with Montana Wilderness Assoc.

    Blodgett Overlook Trail, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBF Lead Wilderness Steward, Rachel Kaufman, and the Montana Wilderness Association Ridgerunners closed off environmentally-detrimental switchback cutoffs with educational signs,  pulaskis, shovels and good clean muscle power.

  • Oct 2 to Oct 3
    Stanley Hot Springs Clean-Up and Trail Maintenance with Washington State University

    Stanley Hot Springs, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

    SBF Lead Wilderness Steward Eric Melson led a group of nine volunteers from Washington State University up Boulder Creek to Stanley Hot Springs.  The group brushed  the trail to the hot springs and cleaned up campsites in the heavily-used area over the weekend.

  • Oct 4 to Oct 16
    Moose Creek Ranger Station Cabin Hosting

    Moose Creek Ranger Station, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Nez Perce National Forest, Idaho

    SBF Lead Wilderness Steward Eric Melson and two volunteers spent two days cutting trees out of the East Moose Trail on their way in to Moose Creek Ranger Station, where Eric served as the ranger station host for 10 days.  Eric and the volunteers contacted visitors, performed facility maintenance, cut firewood and helped keep the station running during this busy hunting season.

  • Oct 13 to Oct 14
    Storm Ridge Campsite Inspection and Trail Maintenance

    Storm Ridge, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Idaho

    SBF Lead Wilderness Steward Rachel Kaufman joined Bitterroot National Forest wilderness ranger Charlie Mabbott to clean waterbars and inspect outfitter campsites in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.

  • Oct 15
    Camas Lake Campsite Inventory and Restoration

    Camas Lake, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBF Wilderness Steward Rachel Kaufman inventoried and cleaned campsites at Camas Lake.

  • Oct 18 to Oct 19
    Blue Hole and Schofield Campsite Inspection

    Schofield Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Idaho

    SBF Wilderness Steward Rachel Kaufman and volunteer Stacey Miller inspected Blue Hole and Lower Schofield Outfitter campsites.

  • Oct 21 to Oct 22
    Boulder Creek Campsite Inspection and Reconnaissance

    Boulder Creek, Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
    Bitterroot National Forest, Montana

    SBF Lead Wilderness Steward Rachel Kaufman and volunteer Stacey Miller inventoried campsites along Boulder Creek, at Pickle’s Puddle and at Boulder Lake. The duo also located and documented two trash caches left around Pickle’s Puddle.