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Photo by Patrick Colleran
Feb 27 2018

Big Summer Plans for the Volunteer Trail Crew

Our 2018 trail projects are now open for registration!

Announcements, Around MWA

This summer, MWA’s Volunteer Trail Crew will carry on its legacy of service to Montana’s public lands. Since 2012, 650 volunteers have contributed over 27,000 hours of service on MWA trail stewardship projects across the state. Their efforts translated to 3000 drains constructed or maintained, 6 miles of new trail constructed, 90 trail structures and 250 miles of trail improvements. 

All of these accomplishments are powered by the hard work and dedication of our volunteers. The work isn’t easy, but that’s half the fun. As volunteer Bret Ludke puts it “the sense of accomplishment and pride in our work makes the volunteer experience exceptional.” 

The other half of the fun comes from meeting new people and sharing an adventure. After joining a crew in the Centennials, volunteer Dan Fenn commented “Sure, you have a few oddballs here and there (no doubt I've been considered one by others), but boy are they a good group of like-minded individuals.” Volunteer Haley Roe added that it was “heartwarming and humbling to see firsthand how the livelihoods and passions of so many people depend upon the health and accessibility of our public lands.”

The last six years of trail stewardship have been highly productive, but the 2018 season is shaping up to be our best yet. We’re expanding our work into new (and generally spectacular) landscapes, making projects more accessible for weekend warriors and young people, and celebrating 50 years of National and Historic Scenic Trails. It’s sure to be another exctiting year for the Volunteer Trail Crew. 

Here are some highlights of the upcoming summer:

New Landscapes - For the first time, the Volunteer Trail Crew will put boots on the ground in the Cabinet Mountains, Jewel Basin, Lee Metcalf Wilderness, and the Pryor Mountains

Fire Rehab  - In an effort to help the Forest Service recover from another devastating wildfire season, we’re pitching in to help rehab trails that burned last summer in the Alice Creek and Meyers fires.

Youth Engagement - This summer, we are partnering with Montana Youth Challenge Academy, Salish Kootenai College, Montana Conservation Corps, Blackfeet Community College, and Montana Academy to engage more youth in meaningful conservation service to Montana’s public lands.

Weekend Projects - Not everyone can spend a whole week on the trail, so we’re offering more weekend projects than ever before. You can spend a couple days working in the Pryors, Kootenai, Blackfoot-Clearwater, or the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. We’ll also be offering single-day projects on National Trails Day (June 2nd) and National Public Lands Day (September 29th).

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails System - We’ll continue our legacy of work on the Continental Divide Trail with projects in the Scapegoat Wilderness, Centennials, and Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness.

And the best news of all: registration is officially open for our 2018 projects! Sign up for a Volunteer Trail Crew to help keep Montana’s public lands accessible for years to come, but don’t wait too long because projects fill up quickly. 

To put your name down for a project, head over to our Volunteer Trail Crew page right now!

See you on the trail!

- Sonny Mazzullo, MWA stewardship coordinator