NSA TRAIL MAINTENANCE REPORT 2009
NSA BOARD of DIRECTORS
October 9, 2009 Boise, Idaho
Overview: This was the program’s eleventh year. Created by the late Art Jukkala (Missoula ‘56), it continues to expand in popularity with our NSA membership and demand from the USFS, and this year from the U S Park Service. During 2009, we sponsored or provided for 27 projects with 282 project volunteers, compared to the 213 volunteers in 2008. No injuries or lost time incidents occurred.
Production: Projects were completed in Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Utah, California, Minnesota and Colorado.
· Our volunteers cleared more than 150 miles of trail, completed major repairs to Forest Service facilities at Big Prairie in the Northern Bob Marshall, repaired and built trail and major trail structures, upgraded building structures and built major corrals and fences. The Big Prairie project required hiking 3 days for 30 miles one way to reach the site. (60 miles round trip)
· They also repaired numerous water bars and check dams, cleared brush, cut hundreds of trees and logs, rebuilt sections of many trails, and hacked out miles of tread.
· In the Bitterroot National Forest they cleared severe downfall on 7 miles of trail that was considered impossible in the time allowed.
· They provided management and labor for building a bridge across the Clearwater River and clearing trail around Clearwater Lake in the Lolo N F in Montana. This project was doomed to failure as drop outs had occurred in early July leaving 4 volunteers to complete this difficult assignment. The Missoula Smokejumpers heard about this situation and jumped 5 smokejumpers on the project and assigned a 20 man fire training crew. All assignments were completed on time. This bridge has become a showplace to visit and admire the bridge.
· A one-week crew completed restoration of the Double Arrow Lookout near Seeley Lake Montana. This was a 5 year effort and will allow the lookout to be rented out in summers ahead.
· Roger Savage (Missoula ‘57) and his scouting teams continue to be a major factor in our success in opening long abandoned trails in wilderness.
· California, Colorado and Minnesota continue to expand as more volunteers sign on for these projects.
Mann Gulch. A project in Mann Gulch in July and August produced NSA publicity on TV and major Montana Newspapers as we provided former Smokejumpers to act as hosts to visitors during the 60th anniversary of the Mann Gulch Fire.
Funding: Funding this year came from the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, Sawtooth Society, Lolo, Idaho Pan Handle, Dixie, Beaverhead, Superior, Tahoe, Helena and Clearwater National Forests, Robie Foundation, ExxonMobil Corporation and Johnson’s Corners (a truck stop on Interstate 25 near Fort Collins, Colorado) thanks to Stan Linnertz (MSO ’61). Various NSA Members continue to provide donations on a yearly basis. We express our sincere thanks to all.
Tools: We maintain a large tool cache and we’re able to provide tools for all projects with the exception of the saws, hammers, levels, squares and other hand tools needed for cabin rehabilitation projects. Those, for the most part are provided by our volunteers. The Missoula Aerial Fire Depot continues to loan us crosscut saws every year. Tool certification is provided by our in-house certifiers (Jeff Kindeman and Richard Hulla) and First Aid training and CPR certification is provided by Missoula AFD. Rod McIver oversees/maintains our hand tools while Chuck Fricke oversees/maintains our Chain Saws. Tom Blunn provides carpentry skills necessary to build and maintain our stove boxes and yearly warehouse modifications.
EMT’s: A new position has been created this year and that is “Chief EMT”, or chief “DR” (Doctor) as he is called. This position is held by Jim Phillips (MSO 67-71). The objective of this position is to provide communication with all EMT’s and to bring attention of our volunteers, to their personal responsibility toward health and physical conditioning before arriving on project. In support of Jim is Ivan Kays (Associate and retired Pharmacist) who oversees our First Aid kits and supplies.
Scholarships: The NSA Trail Maintenance Program has undertaken the sponsorship of two scholarship programs:
The Art Jukkala Scholarship Program. A program sponsored and funded by the Trail Program, interested members of the NSA and the general public. This program provides a $2000 yearly scholarship to children of smokejumpers killed in the line of duty at a college or school of their choice. Two scholarships have been awarded in 2006.
The NSA Trail Maintenance Smokejumper Chair Scholarship Fund at the University of Montana College of Forestry and Conservation at Missoula. A program sponsored by NSA Trail Maintenance and funded by interested members of the NSA. This program provides one yearly scholarship to a smokejumper forestry student or a forestry student child of a smokejumper. One Scholarship has been awarded in 2009 to Steven Mohr, son of a former smokejumper. Steven was a Hot Shot fire fighter.
Advisory Council: The NSA Trail Maintenance Advisory Council, formed in May 2002, meets at least once each year. Its fifteen members are advisers to the Trail Maintenance Coordinator who serves at their pleasure. They review operations and financial accounts, recommend policies and serve as an oversight committee. A list of these names is available upon request.
Jon H. McBride (Missoula ‘54)
NSA Trail Maintenance Coordinator