Trail Plans - April, 2003
The 2003 trail season will follow the basic pattern established last year: A 4-person crew is being recruited through the Student Conservation Association for an 11-week season. But rather than spending the entire time with the WODC, the crew will spend 4-5 weeks working with the Forest Service. This will provide a more varied crew experience, while reducing the amount of supervision required by the WODC. The crew will continue to be housed at the Mead Conservation Center, and supported by funding from the WODC and US Forest Service. Everyone is invited to welcome the crew on May 30th with a potluck supper at the Mersfelder’s.
During the first three weeks with the WODC, the crew will work on a range of basic (but critical) tasks, such as cleaning the 600+ water bars on WODC trails, and attending to any special requests from adopters, such as brushing in ice-storm impact areas. The crew may also have the opportunity to participate in special Forest Service training, including a 2-day wilderness first aid program.
For the next four weeks the crew will work alongside US Forest Service crews from the Saco District. Projects will include the construction of a 42' footbridge on the Sawyer Pond Trail, during which the crew may be camped in the Sawyer Pond area, in order to avoid a long daily commute from Sandwich to Bartlett.
The final four weeks will focus on trail restoration and reconstruction work with the WODC. Possible project include replacement of rotten log water bars on the Dicey’s Mill Trail, or a continuation of the rock step and water bar construction that began on the Wiggin Trail last year.
Lacking a single full-time leader, our summer crew will continue to focus on the more accessible projects, where training and supervision can be provided by members of the Trails Committee on a day-trip basis. For the longer term, the TC continues to explore alternatives for addressing more serious trail restoration projects, including portions of the Lawrence, Wiggin, and Blueberry Ledge Trails. Although the SCA continues to be a reliable source of crew members, finding experienced leaders continues to be the greatest obstacle to addressing these major projects.
While many organizations are able recruit leaders from their prior trail crews, this hasn’t been successful given the small number of crew members we work with each year. Prior crew members (and anyone else who might be interested) are always encouraged to contact the Trails Committee about these opportunities. One way or another, we’ll find a way to put you to work!
While our SCA crew is focused on a few specific projects, general trail tending will continue to be performed by WODC adopters, with an extra boost from several public trail days: May 17th will be a general trail clearing day, followed by a potluck supper at the Boettiger’s. July 19th is NH Trails Day, with a variety of brushing and water bar cleaning projects, and a potluck supper at Dick Daniel’s pond.
Anyone wanting a real backcountry trail work experience is invited to join us for the annual Sleeper Trail weekend on September 12-14. (Reservations are requested!) While we can’t promise a repeat of last year’s exploding stove, a couple of days of clearing and treadway stabilization are always a satisfying experience, and the camaraderie is great. Or join us for an end-of-season trails day on October 18th, followed by a great pizza supper.
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