Sunday, August 28, 2016

2016 BCHW State Wide Work Party -- Final Report

The 2016 BCHW State Wide Work Party (SWWP) is over, but the trails will show the effects of the work party for years to come.
MVBCH Trail Boss Bill Ford and wife Jan compiled a complete account of the pre-SWWP conditions of the trails, the work done during the SWWP, the outcomes of the work party, and the MVBCH continuing work on the trails in 2016. This account was submitted to the Forest Service and we would like to share it with our readers. Please click on this link to open and read the report. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

The 2016 State Wide Work Party (SWWP): Working the Trails



Can you find the trail?
Projects on eight trails in the Twisp River drainage were undertaken during the SWWP. These had mostly been selected on the basis of scouting and preliminary work carried out by MVBCH members in May and June, especially by the certified sawyers mentioned in last month’s newsletter "Horse Tales". These selections were firmed up during several visits by Jason Ridlon in June, and efforts were made to clear the way to the work sites so that the time taken to reach them was reduced as much as possible. (Part of this had been done earlier when MVBCH members cleared trails to the wilderness boundary using chain saws in order to facilitate the passage of Washington State Trails (WTA) crews to the wilderness for their clearing work in mid-June using cross cuts and hand saws.) 

With the exception of the Twisp River Trail #440, the trails worked on were predominately in the wilderness where chainsaws and other mechanized tools could not be used.
Conditions on all these trails hindered their use especially by stock and many were completely blocked, even to hikers. 
  

The 2016 BCHW State Wide Work Party Begins: Getting the Camp Ready for Workers to Arrive

As usual we held our annual clean-up of the Horse Camp just before July 4th.  This time, however, we were also setting up the camp for the State Wide Work Party (SWWP), due to start a few days after the clean-up.
Fortunately we had a good turnout of members (22) and we got it done!

Bringing out the kitchen
First we had to get the chapter’s two trailers (Kitchen and Equipment) maneuvered into convenient positions in the general use area at the center of the Camp Ground.  This was accomplished, with many directions, and some removal of obstacles. Three canopies were taken out of the equipment trailer and erected, one over the large picnic table and the others nearby as shelter for food preparation and serving.  This would be the general gathering area.
A truck named "Orange"

Mike McHugh brought a truck (named Orange) with a tank for dispersing water to individual campsites, and he was working out how best to do this task. A few members loaned drinking troughs to be spread around the site.

We unloaded three tons of weed-free hay brought in to feed stock during the SWWP.

Unloading 3 tons of weed-free hay for stock









On the day prior to the clean-up Richard Erickson had organized the siting of six porta-potties to augment the vault bathroom on site.  Two wash stations were sited near the eating area. We were beginning to look as if we expected people to arrive!
In the meantime the routine annual tasks were underway...
Fallen trees and branches in campsites were cut up by one of the three chain sawyers, and moved out of the way by swampers. 
(L-R) Betty Wagoner and Ann Port armed with "gunk"

Wooden troughs were painted with (?gunk?) to deter chewing by equines.

High lines were tested and adjusted and the area beneath raked.


Kiosk is almost ready for the SWWP!
While all this was going on, Larry Zimmerlund, with able help from three others (and anyone else who was around at the right time), was raising the new kiosk/notice board. He and four helpers had built this from steel and brought it to the camp site to replace the old wooden structure which had succumbed to old age (and vehicle damage?).



We left in late afternoon with the Twisp River Horse Camp in good shape to receive an influx of volunteers.  Only Ann Port remained to stay the night as ‘care taker’.





2016 Loup Loup Campout

We had a sizeable group joining us at our annual Loup Loup--"North Summit"--future horse camp on July 27-29. Everyone not only had some great rides but, the food was good too! In particular, we again enjoyed the famous "egg in a bag" specialty for our camp breakfasts. What a treat!
Setting up for the camp breakfast
 
Camp cooks Carol Hebert and Carla Lange (L-R)

  Thanks very much to Nancy Palagruti for sharing her FB post!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

"BBQ Flats" -- Washington's Newest Horse Camp!

On the weekend of May 21st Cathy Upper and Betty Wagoner traveled to Wenas Valley for the BCHW dedication of the new BBQ Flats Horse Camp. 
Cathy and Betty found that the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) did an excellent job in developing and providing public access for the camp. The Pierce County chapter, as well as other BCHW chapter volunteers, put in countless hours to complete the project. This horse camp showcases what the DNR, the State legislature, and our BCHW volunteers can do when working together. The camp is mult-use, and Cathy and Betty had 3 great rides while they were there.
Cathy on a ride near the BBQ Flats Horse Camp