National Trails Day! June 3rd 2017 Report
National Trails Day – 2017
BLM Cody Field Office
On June 3rd, 2017, the BLM Cody Field Office and the Park County Weed and Pest hosted National Trails Day at Sheep Mountain, located along the North and South Fork Shoshone River corridors. The day started with a meet and greet at the BLM Cody Field Office with 25 people present (including 6 BLM and 2 Park County Weed and Pest employees) all enjoying a cup of coffee provided by local coffee shop Cody Coffee Roaster, and then caravanned to the Sheep Mountain Trailhead. After gathering the tools, a brief tailgate (safety) meeting, and a fascinating geology lesson about the Sheep Mountain Detachment and the area’s geology given by BLM’s Geologist Gretchen Hurley, the work began. The volunteers broke out into different work groups; a few to assist Park County Weed and Pest’s Mary McKinney in spraying weeds, a few to work on the trail, and a few other groups who wanted to explore and enjoy the Sheep Mountain area chaperoned by BLM specialists. County Commissioner Lee Livingston and son Wesley graciously offered their time and horses to haul the heavy materials (four 8’ 6”x6” posts, a jackhammer with bits, and many other construction materials) approximately a mile from the trailhead to the project site along the trail.
The trail work completed that day included patching up two washed-out sections along the Sheep Mountain Trail, and constructed a retaining crib wall and hewed out steps and footholds on a slab of limestone outcrop suitable for horse passage (as recommended from Duane Whitmere by an earlier visit to Sheep Mountain with some of the BLM staff). Volunteers also identified and sprayed White Top from the trailhead area towards the top of Sheep Mountain. Afterwards, many of the volunteers were able to enjoy a nature hike which allowed them to acquaint themselves with the Sheep Mountain area, learn about the BLM’s management role in the area, and discover a new trail they can enjoy close to home.
Volunteers also dug musk thistle near the first water tank adjacent to the trail with a prize going to the individual that removed the largest plant! Congratulations to BLM seasonal employee Tyler Kerr for digging the largest musk thistle rosette! He received a Play Clean Go vehicle sunshade for his help in eliminating this noxious weed along the trail. A big shout out to all those that participated!