By Reader Staff
Volunteering for trail work is one of the most rewarding experiences out there. Not only do you get to improve beautiful trails throughout the area, but your work will be appreciated for generations of people connecting with the outdoors.
The Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness (FSPW) will host a party for all of their volunteers on Sunday, Oct. 8 at 4 p.m. MST (3 p.m. PST). The party will take place at FSPW program coordinator Sandy Compton’s property in Montana, near the edge of the proposed wilderness.
“The annual volunteer appreciation picnic and potluck is a rain or shine event,” said FSPW executive director Phil Hough, “We cook for all of the great folks who do so much for the cause — and buy the beer. Whether people put in time at any of the many events we’ve attended or sponsored in Idaho or Montana, planted white bark pine on Scotchman, hiked Trail #65 as a mountain goat ambassador, worked on trails or stuffed envelopes, they are welcome and encouraged to come enjoy the afternoon.”
The annual FSPW / Larson’s Good Clothing / Kaniksu Land Trust cooperative highway cleanup will also be held that day. Each of these entities have a stretch of Highway 200 they care for. Beginning at Pack River and working their way east, the combined cleanup crew will “untrash” about five miles of highway, ending just west of Clark Fork, before carrying on to the picnic for their just desserts. Contact Jacob Styer at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
On Oct. 14, outdoor education specialist Brian Baxter will lead a class entitled “Wetland Wanderings,” beginning at the Heron Community Center. Brian’s extensive outdoor experience and fun teaching style makes this education series enjoyable as well as highly informative.
Further out on the FSPW horizon, first aid instructor Carol Jenkins will teach Wilderness and Remote First Aid at the Sandpoint Event Center on Oct. 20 and 21. FSPW will lead one last trail work day on Pilik Ridge with students from the University of Montana on one of those days, as well. Goat Hop Ale returns to MickDuff’s Beer Hall on Oct. 26. In Libby, FSPW will sponsor a Nov. 9 presentation on safe winter travel and avalanche dynamics by snow expert Jon Jeresek at Simple Simon’s Pizza. On Nov. 15, FSPW and Idaho Conservation League team up to bring wildlife expert and advocate George Weurthner to the Coeur d’ Alene Eagles Club.
Dec. 1 marks the beginning of the fourth season of FSPW Winter Tracks, a multi-module outdoor education series for youth, fourth grade through high school. Last year’s program engaged over 350 kids from nine schools in Libby, Troy, Thompson Falls, Trout Creek and Noxon, Mont.; Sandpoint and Sagle, Idaho; and Spokane, Wash.
As the new year begins, on Saturday, Jan. 13, FSPW will celebrate 13 years of “working for Wilderness” with a big party somewhere.
“The venue is undetermined as yet,” said Compton, “but if the program we are working on comes together — particularly the featured speaker — it will have to be a big room.”
If you wish to sign up for the Volunteer Appreciation Picnic or the Highway 200 cleanup — or learn about any upcoming FSPW events — visit www.scotchmanpeaks.org/stewardship/events You can also learn about FSPW events at www.facebook.com/ScotchmanPeaks.