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Wyoming Conservation Corps Tackles Summer Projects

June 19, 2017
two people carrying lumber up a trail
Wyoming Conservation Corps (WCC) members Chris Folsom and Lola Philips work on the Casper Rotary Club Park trail on Casper Mountain, one of the first WCC projects of this summer. (WCC Photo)

Projects ranging from building trails in the Shoshone and Bridger-Teton national forests in northwest Wyoming to building a yurt at Glendo State Park will be conducted this summer by members of the Wyoming Conservation Corps (WCC).

University of Wyoming students will gain valuable experience while developing leadership and outdoor skills on 24 projects, including trail maintenance and construction, fencing, boundary signs, noxious weed removal, beetle kill mitigation, tree planting, historic preservation and fuels reduction.

Administered by Residence Life and Dining Services in UW’s Division of Student Affairs, WCC is a grant-supported program that engages students in conservation-based projects throughout the state, says Program Director Patrick Harrington.

Additionally, for the first time this year, the WCC includes a Wyoming Veterans Trail Crew (WyVTC), funded by Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources, Serve Wyoming, the Recreation Trails Program and Rocky Mountain Power. The crew -- composed of military veterans -- is involved in flagging new trails, digging in trail tread, constructing stone staircases, building turns for mountain bike trails, constructing bridges and using chainsaws to remove hazard trees.

Founded in 2006, the WCC continues the civil service tradition of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s and Youth Conservation Corps of the 1970s. Hundreds of students have completed projects relating to energy, wildlife, recreation, grazing, timber management, property restoration and maintenance, and water and air quality.

Projects being completed this summer by the WCC are:

May 29-June 7 -- Trails on Pole Mountain (Medicine Bow National Forest); trails at Casper Rotary Club Park; and tree planting near Laramie Peak.

June 12-21 -- Historic preservation and trail work at Fort Fetterman State Historic Site near Douglas; Pole Mountain (Medicine Bow National Forest); and pheromone pack installation and fuel mitigation at Sinks Canyon State Park near Lander.

June 26-July 5 -- Trails in the Shoshone National Forest; trails in the Bridger-Teton National Forest; trails and fencing for the Casper Biathlon Club; and yurt building at Glendo State Park.

July 10-19 -- Boundary work and wilderness improvements in the Red Desert; fencing at The Nature Conservancy’s Red Canyon Ranch near Lander; campsite restoration at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area; and fencing for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) near Casper.

July 24-Aug. 2 -- Trails on the state-owned Duncan Ranch near Glenrock; fence removal near Cody for The Nature Conservancy; and historic preservation for Fort Bridger State Historic Site.

Aug. 7-16 -- Fencing and native plant work for the BLM near Buffalo; fence removal for The Nature Conservancy near Cody; trails at Duncan Ranch; and trails at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.

man removing a rock on a trail
WCC member Elling Mann works on a trail at Pole Mountain between Laramie and Cheyenne in the Medicine Bow National Forest. (WCC Photo)

WCC members, listed by hometown, are:

Crew leaders

Casper -- Madeline Onstott.

Hattiesburg, Miss. -- Emily Thornton.

Laramie -- Max Benson and Dillon Levi.

Parker, Colo. -- Tyler Carroll.

Saukville, Wis. -- Claire Heidel.

Upton -- Tyler Paul.

Worland -- Larissa Siirila.

Crew members

Bloomington, N.C. -- Viktor Stromberg.

Brighton, Colo. -- Will Dutcher.

Casper -- Simon Rachou and Kevin Jacobs.

Cheyenne -- Brian McInerney.

Colorado Springs, Colo. -- Austin Field.

Cross Plains, Wis. -- Elling Mann.

Des Moines, Iowa -- Lola Philips.

Evanston -- Sam Richins.

Genoa, Ill. -- Andy Walker.

Green River -- Cole Carpenter.

Laramie -- Tinsley Binning.

Madisonville, La. -- Addy Falghoust.

Narberth, Pa. -- Archie Millar.

Nederland, Colo. -- Tre Trofi.

Petaluma, Calif. -- Moi Bonilla.

Parker, Colo. -- Jessica Litch.

Peters Creek, Alaska -- Chris Folsom.

Prior Lake, Minn. -- Marissa Mattson.

Riverton -- Kate Gamble and Agate Gamble.

Sacramento, Calif. -- Celia Karim.

Sheridan -- Tera Thomas.

Star Valley -- Rachel McArthur.

The WyVTC, meanwhile, is working with Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites to develop, dig and maintain trails in individual state parks and historic sites all across Wyoming. Here is the schedule for its work:

May 30-June 18 -- Glendo State Park.

June 20-23 -- Guernsey State Park.

July 5-7 -- Curt Gowdy State Park.

July 10-13 -- Medicine Lodge State Historic Site.

July 14-18 -- Buffalo Bill State Park.

July 18-19 -- Legend Rock State Historic Site.

July 20-21 -- Hot Springs State Park.

July 31-Aug. 2 -- Sinks Canyon State Park.

Aug. 3-5 -- South Pass City State Historic Site.

Aug. 7-8 -- Fort Fred Steele State Historic Site.

Aug. 9-25 -- Curt Gowdy State Park.

WyVTC members are:

-- Kevin Wilson, who grew up in central Florida and served in the U.S. Navy for five years. He is serving as a crew leader before beginning nursing school at Central Wyoming College this fall.

-- Henry Bonds, who was born in Cheyenne and served in the U.S. Army’s ceremonial unit from 2013-16. He also is serving as a crew leader and is a UW history student.

-- Aaron Martin, from southeast Tennessee, who served in the Army for three and a half years based at Fort Carson, Colo. He is a UW student studying geography and environment/natural resources.

-- Brett McCartney, from Wheatland, who served in the Navy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from UW.

-- Briton Brooks, who grew up in Fort Smith, Ark., and served in the Army.

-- Mickey Finnell, of Cheyenne, who served in the Marine Corps for five years. He is studying criminal justice at UW.

-- Preston Villumsen, of Colorado, who served in the Army for four years. He is studying microbiology at UW.

-- Zack Myers, of Douglas, who served in the Marine Corps.


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Chad Baldwin

Institutional Communications

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Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929

Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

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