Montana BHA teamed up with the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation (BMWF) to treat a weed infestation deep in the Scapegoat portion of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. Using targeted spraying, the group primarily sprayed oxeye daisy, toadflax and musk thistle.
The treated area is centered around the Webb Lake Cabin and is the accidental legacy of livestock in the area. Livestock continues to play an important role in the Bob however, and practices to reduce the spread of noxious weeds have come along significantly in recent decades. Without livestock, much of the required maintenance and minimal infrastructure in wilderness would not be possible.
On this trip the group was generously packed in by the Backcountry Horseman of Montana, which was much appreciated by all the volunteers. BHA, BMWF and the Backcountry Horsemen are kindred conservation spirits and came together to ensure the spirit of wilderness is carried on.
The group made quick work of the weed treatment (partially because of the success of previous treatments) and moved onto trail work the second day. About 1.5 miles of secondary trail leading up Sourdough Creek was cleared.
As usual, the wilderness offered a sense of adventure and experiences hard to find in any other place. The group watched a young bull moose feeding on plants beneath the surface of Parker Lake, negotiated some high water stream crossings, and got to sort out the difference between black bear and grizzly bear tracks.
These trips have a way of bringing out the best people; a father and son spending time together before the son heads off to college, a political science professor and adult-onset hunter who drove from two states away to work in the wilderness, and a retiree who is spending her non-working years “giving back to the areas she has spent so much time in.”
The list goes on but all of these volunteers just as easily could have been on their own adventures, or stayed home and watched the tube. These boots-on-the-ground are what get the hard work of conservation and access done. The time and hard work our volunteers put in is deeply appreciated.
If you are interested in attending one of our stewardship projects you can find them here. We hope to see you, your boots and a sturdy pair of work gloves soon!
Thanks to Stewardship Leader Corey Ellis, plus Zoe Nemerever, Luke Brandon, Thomas Brandon, and Zach Schlanger for the photos!