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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 446 

SCA Wild Corps crew finishes BLM trail work season in the King Range

Student Conservation Association’s (SCA) Wild Corps is a group of six young, outgoing, and adventurous people living together and working on BLM trails throughout California.  They are wrapping up their time in the King Range National Conservation Area.   In the King Range they dedicated themselves to working on the trails as a team and creating a sustainable community. (text continues below)

Four young people in yellow hard hard lift a large log

The trail work consisted of hiking into the backcountry, setting up base camp, and organizing themselves and their time to get their assigned projects done.

The youth worked on a variety of tasks in the King Range:

The group "logged out" trails, cutting out all the wind-fallen trees that were obstructing the trail with a crosscut saw.  They also used loppers and handsaws to cut back overgrown vegetation that blocked the trail.  Retreading the trail; cutting a bench back into the mountainside, and making the trail more comfortable to hike on by clearing rocks with hazel hoes, McLeods, mattocks, shovels, and pulaskis.*

They also built timber retaining walls -- using downed timber that they harvested and cut by hand with crosscut saws, then pealed with a draw knife, spud bar, and pocket knives.  They then set, scribed, augured, and spiked the timber into retaining walls.

The crew also built a staircase out of rock. 

The Wild Corps ended their time in the King Range by rerouting portions of The Lost Coast Trail -- rerouting it south of Sea Lion Gulch due to a rock slide that had made the beach around the slide impassable at any tide, and at the junction of the Cooskie Spur trail to clear up the confusing trail junction and to improve trail flow across the coastal bluff and back onto the beach. 

A section of trail, before...
Two young men stand above a collapsing section of trail

...and after SCA members installed a stone staircase:
Stones line a new staircase

A news section of log retaining wall:
A log helps hold back dirt on a hillside trail

Five youth pose for a photo on the beach above the waves
SCA members take time out for a group photo on the beach at the Lost Coast

- Megan Petermann, Project Leader for the SCA WildCorp team, 8/11/10

*The hazel hoe, McLeod, and pulaski are tools used by wildland firefighting crews, and by others for working on trails or to work with problem soil.  The McLeod combines a hoe-like blade on one side and sharpened rake-like tines on the other, to loosen and clear surface material.  The pulaski combines an axe and an adze. It can be used both to dig soil and to chop wood.  The Hazel Hoe is a heavy-duty hoe often used in building fire lines.

- Megan Petermann, Project Leader for the SCA WildCorp team, 8/11/10

- BLM-California News.bytes, issue 446

Last updated: 09-02-2010