checking in on the weather station at Mt. Hood Ski Bowl upper bowl past our historic warming hut. Had to make sure the carbs were working ok on the sleds (they were).
Up the mountain we go, hmm hmm
ZZ Carp shop, fixing snow mobiles
Inside we have a series of 4 filtration systems monitoring/measuring and storing the data for different particulates and levels. This is one of 110 aerosol visibility monitoring stations selected to provide regionally-representative coverage and data for 155 different Class I federally protected areas (Wilderness). This is part of an EPA program, stemming from the clean air act, called IMPROVE – Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments.
One of our roof jobs on the Fire Whs in Parkdale
One of the many casualties in the November wind storms
Running one of the many machines we’d rented for some OHV trail work up at Ladee Flats on the Clackamas River RD. This particular one is a CanyCom, essentially a tracked ride-on hydraulically tilted wheel barrow.
This trail and the entirety of the OHV area here is a great example of project follow through – this is/was a long time coming. This project has exchanged “owners” a few times, been through many revisions, delays and various hold ups. Tons of collaboration go into these types of projects: the public, NEPA, private contractors, FS employees and volunteers, local resources, grants/funding from multiple agencies, training opportunities…etc
The scope of simply “building a trail” is not so near-sighted and thanks to the good work and follow through from the USFS, these sorts of projects get done for the sole purpose of the public having a good time out there.
As a father and husband leaving a full time job to try this on for size was a pretty big leap; the back of my mind always occupied with the words “but what about a job”. This, for me, was a great way to learn about how a forest is managed and how that is brought upon the districts themselves – and where in that picture I’d like to focus my own efforts on a career path. On top of that, I can say that as a direct result of this program and what you put into it, myself (and many of the other VetsWork Interns) have some great job opportunities. To any of you Vets out there considering getting involved with the USFS and/or another federal lands agency, you owe it to yourself to check out this program. There are many benefits to a sanctioned program like this, personally as well as professionally and the good folks at the Mt. Adams Institute are as sincere and good natured as they come. These sorts of partnerships are so beneficial to everyone involved I’d expect to see them grow quite a bit in the future; especially with a vested alumni base and the word continuing to get out there from the good work all of VetsWork is doing. Oh and no one even offered me so much as a stick of gum to write this.