We have a lot of talented, vigorous young people working on our trails this season. Starting around mid-June crews began arriving for the many trail projects that they were contracted on. In July, I was working with a Great Basin Insitute, Nevada Conservation Corps Crew. We worked on maintenance projects on the BLM’s Croy Trail Network.
The Ketchum Ranger District (KRD) has been working with a number of youth corps crews in the Deer Creek drainage. They have brought in 17 ten-person Idaho Conservation Corps crews to help them with the reconstruction of the fire damaged routes.
Our local KRD Trail Crew is made up of young people too. Justin Blackstead is the Crew Boss. An Idaho native, he worked for several years as a Trail Ranger for the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR). Being a Trail Ranger for the IDPR means you travel all over the state. You do so pulling a trailer and a dirt-bike behind a pick-up, and riding that dirt-bike all over God’s creation to cutout downed trees along forest trails. After his stint as a Trail Ranger Justin worked for about 5 years building and maintaining FS trails in McCall. He’s a super talented and friendly guy, and a great person to have leading the crew. The other members of the crew are also awesome; super strong, hard working, great attitudes. Thanks KRD Trail Crew and Recreation Staff for caring so much and working so hard!!!
Another youthful side of how are trails are being cared for comes from our local high school mountain bike team. The Wood River High School Mountain Bike Team is a National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) affiliate. NICA programs are taking off across the country and seeing tremendous growth. I’ve been watching this program grow over the years and have had the opportunity to meet and converse with the programs director, Austin McInerny, on several occasions. I’m impressed with NICA; how its put together and run.
Local coaches Joel Zellers and Cameron Lloyd encourage the team to work hard at becoming better athletes, but they also emphasize the important roll stewardship plays in the lives of successful mountain bikers. One way they do this is by providing opportunities for their team members to get involved in volunteer trail maintenance. One of their charges, 15-year old Savana Swan, is working to become a NICA Teen Trail Corps Trail Captain.
The mission of the Teen Trail Corps program sees young adults leading a movement encouraging and promoting trail advocacy, stewardship and courteous and respectful use of trails. Participants follow an advocacy framework built around tenants of speaking for, working on, and sharing trails.
Savana has joined in on several volunteer work sessions already. In July she helped the Far Back Outdoors group on their adopted trail, Oregon Gulch. Then, a couple weeks ago she was assisting the Wood River Bicycle Coalition on the maintenance of the coalition’s adopted trail, Forbidden Fruit. Now she is helping to organize her teammates on a volunteer work session that the team will take on together. Savana says she decided to work to become a NICA Teen Trail Corp Trail Captain because she really enjoys mountain biking and wanted to set a good example for her teammates and other riders.
The team will be working on the maintenance of the Two Dog Trail Wednesday, August 24 from 4 to 7 p.m. and meeting at the Croy Trailhead. Come help if you can. For more information click on this link to the Volunteer Information page at the BCRD Summer TraiLink Site: Link to Volunteer Info.