A Day in the Dirt with The SCMTS Trail Crew

April 30, 2021
Last Wednesday, the SCMTS office team snuck out to Upper Fall Creek, a portion of Henry Cowell State Park, to join the Trail Crew on the final day of their second spike. It was dry and hot, and the office team got put to work! Let’s just say that the office team was happy to be back on their computers Thursday morning… admittingly or not. Enjoy a photo recap from the day below.

Every day in the field starts with a briefing, where the team discusses the plan, goals, and safety requirements for the day.

Once on site, each sawyer (chainsaw operator) gets paired with a swamper (person who clears cut brush) or two.

No such thing as too much equipment maintenance. Maintenance takes place before, during and after a day’s work. SCMTS Executive Director, Matt De Young, seen here adjusting the chain. Fun fact: Matt has over 15 years of experience behind a saw.

No, that’s not graffiti. CA State Parks Environmental Scientists noted any tree that has the potential to fall onto the trail within the next 5 years. Those trees are marked accordingly.

Deciding on the best cut to make in order to fell a tree can be a team effort. There isn’t always a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer. Most often, the best cut is the cut the sawyer feels most comfortable making.

Creating a burn pile isn’t just throwing a bunch of sticks in a pile. Always start a burn pile with your largest logs at the center, on the bottom. Pete says so….

After the smaller sticks and brush get thrown on top of the large logs, a sawyer comes through to chop things up. Denser the burn pile, the better.

Emma notices a dead, burnt madrone still holding some moisture in its core. Impressive beings.

New growth fighting through the charred bark. Hopeful signs.

As it sits now, the crew has two more spikes on their calendar out in Upper Fall Creek. While there is hope to open Upper Fall Creek up this summer, the timeline to open up an entire park, much like Big Basin, could take years. It costs nearly $2,000 to have our crew out in the field for one extra day. Can we count on your support to keep this work moving forward? Donate today via the button below - every dollar helps keep our crew repairing charred parks.


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