The next day, after our following the Boulder Creek trail up the mountain from Sam Billings Campground in search of the hard to reach falls, we opted in favor of something a little less strenuous. The plan was to take the truck up a forest service road above tree line on Trapper Mountain. The Nez Perce road was wonderful though we didn't take the route all the way down into Idaho. A local Ranger had advise me that there were many switchbacks and long views down, which Mrs. T. doesn't much care for...
So returning by the same route down the mountain the following view appeared as we came around a corner. There were two pines blocking the road. And they were clearly beyond our capacity to lift and move off the road. Our cell phones didn't, work here and we hadn't seen a soul all day. We were trapped on Trapper Mountain. Thirty miles from Darby, Montana, the nearest town. Stressing that patience was a virtue we opted to go back to the truck and eat our picnic lunch. Finally, almost two hours later a white van was noted coming down the mountain.
As eight people jumped out of the van, we noted they were young, energetic and all had axes. We were saved! In about a half an hour, the two trees were delimbed. Then another half hour and the trees were cut at the two ends. We all pitched in and lifting one end pivoted them onto the shoulder and then rolled them into the ditch.
And so we left the mountain rescued and inspired by a group of young men and women from all over the country .... Montana Conservation Corps. All volunteers.
Mission Statement - "Montana Conservation Corps is a nonprofit organization that empowers youth and young adults through hands-on conservation service and education. Each season we enroll over 200 young adults from across the country, age 18 and up, in our AmeriCorps program, and more than 100 local teens, ages 15 to 17, in our Youth Service Expedition program. Our members live, learn and serve together, in crews of six to eight members, in some of our country’s wildest places. They complete conservation projects in local communities, national forests, state and national parks, wildlife refuges and federally designated wilderness areas. Participants receive the experience of a lifetime through challenging projects and the rigors of camp life, coupled with education aimed at creating engaged citizens and lifelong environmental stewards. All of these factors create an ideal situation for personal growth that leads to increased confidence, communication and leadership skills, and the ability to work well with people from all walks of life. Our mission to inspire young people through hands-on conservation service to be leaders, stewards of the land, and engaged citizens who improve their communities, is brought to life through our five core program objectives. Our goal is that each participant will leave MCC with the following: An ethic of volunteer service and civic responsibilityStrengthened communication and team-building skillsEnhanced competencies to be leaders and contributing team membersIncreased knowledge of the natural environmentAn enthusiasm for the benefits of hard work and quality results."
Similar organizations exist in many states often as an extension of
AmeriCorps. They also represent the heritage of the CCC. The Civilian Conservation Corps was part of President Franklin Roosevelpts "New Deal" in the 1930's