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Blue Water Arrowmen Donate to National Forest Service

posted Aug 30, 2008, 9:50 AM by Boy Scout Troop 856   [ updated Aug 30, 2008, 9:54 AM by Boy Scout Troop 856 ]
Back row left to right Alex Allen, Austin Brywig, Carl Rodgers, Dale Brywig Front row left Steven Brickel, Dave Lesinski Lodge Advisor (Wyoming Wilderness Local Volunteers)

Blue Water Boy Scout Arrowmen Donate to National Forest Service

Eight local Boy Scout Order of the Arrow members donate a week of their time to help the U. S. Forest Service in Bridger-Teton National Forest. Alex Allen, Steven Brickel, Austin Brywig, Dale Brywig, James Lavallo, David Lesinski, Carl Rodgers, and Travis Thomson of the Blue Water Council Boy Scouts Honor Society, Chicagamee Lodge traveled to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to take part in the largest service project since the Great Depression.

The Arrow Corp 5 was a cooperative effort between the U. S Forest Service and the Boy Scouts of America, Order of the Arrow to help five national parks build trails, control evasive species, and repair damage to the National Parks by unauthorized off road vehicle use. Five thousand Arrowmen donated one week of the time and labor to help the U. S. Forest Service. Starting June 7-14 at Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri, then Manti-La Sal National Forest in Utah, and G. Washington & Jefferson National Forest in Virginia rounded out the month of June. July started with Shasta-Trinity National Forest in California and The Bridger-Teton National Park ended the five-week volunteer effort.

Our local volunteers worked in the Gros Ventre (Grow Vont), Wyoming wilderness area. They were in a remote satellite camp 35 miles up into the mountains at 8,600-ft. elevation. Each morning came early as they rose at 5:30 AM to walk a mile to a river crossing that was aided by a Unimog military vehicle. They would climb in and be transported through the river to vehicles that would take them deeper back into the mountains where they would hike some more and walk across three more streams to get to the work site. There they removed five miles of barbwire fence in the first two days to help the migration of antelope, elk and moose in their winter migration routes. The next few days they repaired trails, built a horse-riding trail up a mountain, and built wooden fence parking structures to prevent unauthorized off road use of the area.

Seven hundred other volunteers worked from the Jackson Hole, High School location to build 12 miles of mountain bike trails over the Teton Pass in the Bridger-Teton National Park. The trail will be called the “Arrow Trail” in honor of the huge volunteer effort donated by the Order of the Arrow members.

Normally a project of this size would take the Forest Service years to accomplish. Linda Merigliano, wilderness trails coordinator for the Bridger-Teton National Forest said, “To build 12 miles of trail in a week is a monumental task.” The Arrowmen accomplished this and more in a week.

Lesley Williams, Bridger-Teton National Forest Service Incident Commander said, “This week has been a memorable one for all of us on the Bridger-Teton. We have all delighted in hosting you on our forest and working with you as you completed the last of your 2008 Arrow Corps 5 projects. You did good work and you not only impressed me and the rest of the Forest Service, but the Community of Jackson Hole as well.” There were 24,000 hours of work accomplished without a single injury. The Forest Service estimates the value of hours of service at over $1,000,000 donated by the Boy Scouts of America.

The contingent toured Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rushmore, and other interesting sites in route back to Michigan. If you want your son or daughter to have these opportunities contact your local Boy Scout Troop.

Adventures of a Lifetime in Scouting,Carl L. Rodgers CC