Members of VGC Crew 12 have completed two more hitches since graduation from fire guard school. The first project was a collaborative effort with VGC Crew 11, and the US Forest Service to build a fence, and to slash and scatter potential ladder fuels in the Horsehead Flats area of the Custer-Gallatin National Forest. For the more recent project, Crew 12 returned to the Lost Trails Wildlife Refuge and continued to perform fuels reductions.

During the first project the crews were housed in a cabin, and enjoyed the modern conveniences of indoor plumbing and a full kitchen. The crews also enjoyed the opportunity to bond with each other by swapping stories, playing games, and working hard; and that hard work paid off. The fence line was completed keeping cattle from wandering into the Stillwater Mine, and the crews scattered low hanging branches and fallen logs so any wildfires in the area should stay on the surface and not climb into a crown fire. US Forest Service members congratulated and thanked the crews on a job well done.

On the next hitch Crew 12 returned to their first project site, Lost Trails Wildlife Refuge, and saw how their skills as sawyers has grown. On the first day, members completed work that would have taken two days a mere month ago. The crew continued to roll with this momentum for the remainder of the hitch, clearing trees from a large section of road. The wildlife viewing was once again fantastic, with members seeing herds of elk, deer, owls, and a black bear cub.

Returning to the scene of the first hitch drove home that the Veteran Green Corps have only two hitches remaining in their MCC terms of service. Some days this feels like an eternity, other days it is the blink of an eye. Either way, may both crews continue to meet success.


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