- July 11, 2018
- Posted by Kaya Patten
The month of June marked the beginning of hitches for MCC crews, and for the delightful journey of learning and personal growth.
On the first hitch all Wildland Restoration Crews out of Bozeman were in Yellowstone National Park working with their crews. We started learning how to identify rosettes of invasive species, and about the proper safety techniques of working with herbicide. Although not on the docket, the team also learned about “Camp Bison”, a morning treat almost better than a cup of coffee. The beautiful views of Yellowstone left us all invigorated for the rest of the season!
The next week all crews went out for the first time by themselves. Our crew, consisting of Laura, Connor, myself (Kaya) and crew leader Alex Sinclair headed off to Fort Union, a historic trading post in North Dakota. We helped fort employees prepare for a historic festival by assembling teepees, cleaning up the grounds and of course- spraying weeds. Fort Union is a special place because at this point they are in “weed management” and we were able to see lots of native grasses and flowers coming back to the prairie. One could only imagine the beauty of the land in the height of the trading days. The giant mosquitos couldn’t get us down- we hiked and sprayed on over 500+ acres, celebrated birthdays and reveled in the sunrises over the prairie.
We had the pleasure of working with the Bozeman Ranger District the next week in the Gallatin. Exploring Bozeman’s backyard was fun and we had all moved from getting to know eachother to friends, yay personal development!! Later in the week we worked on restoring a critical Bighorn Sheep winter grazing area at the entrance of Big Sky. If you’re driving by the big hill on the way up to Lone Peak during the winter make sure to keep an eye out for lots of grazing sheep! Their grazing grounds are going to be looking good.
The last hitch of the month was in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota - 9 days of beautiful views and amazing people. I for one am thankful for the opportunities to visit places I never would have before, and meet so many people who are as passionate as MCC is! We worked on spraying Canada and Bull Thistle in the Park, and had the opportunity to help on a Graduate Research Paper by observing prairie dogs. Good luck to the research team, they’re doing important work!
Everything we did this month was unlike any experience any of us have ever had, and in between all of the learning and spotting knapweed and houndstongue we did a LOT of laughing, growing, and exploring.
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