The east side of the Zirkels is fairly unknown territory to me. When Bob proposed a trail work day at Lake Katherine trailhead, I looked for other hikes in the area. Just below the Katherine trailhead runs the Helena-Grizzly track. On the topo maps, a bicycle icon is shown. Oh how I wish it were so. There was evidence of motorbike tracks but I fear I would be pushing/pulling or carrying any type of bike more than I would be riding. Jon Meyers, the Parks Range ranger, said that folk carry chainsaws with them when they ride along this trail. It parallels the wilderness boundary, so this section of our hike was fairly clear (5 trees to skirt/climb over/crawl under).
After 1.5 miles along the Helena-Grizzly, we headed west into the wilderness. There are two miners cabins and tailings from the mine about .5 mile up the trail. After 4 or so miles and 38 downed trees, we stopped for the night with a great view down the valley with the lights of Walden in the distance.
Rondell & Curt, FoW volunteers, had the privilege of attending the 2017 Wilderness Ranger Academy held at Mesa Verde Nat’l Park in early June. The Academy brought together a range of attendees from college age seasonal Wilderness Rangers, to scientists, to leaders & senior level USFS professionals. To a person the attendees went out of their way to convey their thanks for Friends of Wilderness, and similar volunteer organizations, for the work that we do on behalf of Wilderness stewardship.
YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS ARE DEFINITELY APPRECIATED!
Rondell enjoys MVNP’s Balcony House
tour with Park Service Ranger David Franks
Some key Academy take aways:
· There is an enthusiastic, capable & motivated new generation lining up to build on the
great Wilderness work of their predecessors (ie. the young professionals were paying
As Friends of Wilderness we enjoy the Mount Zirkel, Flat Tops and Sarvis Creek Wilderness Areas, but did you ever want to know more about “Wilderness”.
Why are watches and cell phones OK, but bikes prohibited?
Why are previously existing bridges left, but new bridges not built?
How does the Act balance protecting endangered species (ex. a plant) but prohibit building an irrigation system .
I stumbled on a great (free – super great) online course offered by the University of Montana / Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center that does a great job of explaining the origin and implications of the Wilderness Act.
The course is self-paced and covers approximately two hours of material.
If you're interested go to the following site http://www.wilderness.net/NWPS/elearning