- August 13, 2019
- Posted by Tori Clawson
Our August started with the end of a different than normal hitch. We were in Big Hole National Battlefield doing something other than spraying weeds. We began this hitch with a whole lot of history. We were greeted in the visitor’s center/ museum and watched a movie on the history of the Battle of Big Hole. This battle took place in 1877, in a town now called Wisdom, Montana. It was between the Nez Perce people and American settlers – a lot of the settlers were the men that discovered Custer’s men in Little Bighorn which was where our previous hitch had taken place. It was cool that we were able to visit two battlefields in chronological order of each other. After the movie, we then went on a tour of the battlefield. The battlefield itself is rather small – the trail only being 1.4 miles long. Despite the trail being short, the tour was around two hours long. The tour guide had a lot to say and gave us a play by play of the battle. We then met our project partner who gave us our assignments for the week. We’d be stripping lodge pole pines, moving lumber, and building tipis. We enjoyed our break from spraying and doing work that we could see progress on. All together our crew stripped about 12 lodge pole, moved over 200 logs and built 24 tipis in our four days there.
Our final hitch was at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, we were spraying this hitch but it would be the last time. We sprayed in a few different places in Teddy and when weather did not permit we surveyed. One night we surveyed for the park’s feral horses and elk populations to see how many of each were in each location. We ended up not finding any elk but we saw around 30 horses. On the last day of hitch it was overcast and eventually rained in the afternoon so our project partner sent us out to find beetles. These beetles are important because the park is starting to introduce biocontrol for invasive plants. These beetles eat the invasive plants so releasing them into the park help the resource department manage the weeds without using too many of their resources.
Overall, we agreed that even if we did not always enjoy spraying weeds that we enjoyed each other’s company, helping other people and the parks. It was an experience of a lifetime for a good cause with the best people.
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