VetsWork: Many Opportunities on the Pisgah National Forest

by | VetsWork

This is Adam Eriks again from the Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest. The last few months since my last blog have been pretty eventful and I have been able to do many different new tasks. I have had the opportunity to do some trail work here in our district on some pretty intense trails! I was able to do some trail benching and water diversions, which I learned how to do in our trail maintenance course. It is way more interesting taking my family out on hike now because I am able to explain to them why the trail looks a certain way.

I also was able to take a chainsaw course, which enables me to help with trail clean up and hazardous tree removal throughout the district. I already knew how to run a saw but you have to be certified in order to help on a National Forest. I was able to learn more about the safety aspects of running a chainsaw. Most recently I was able to go out and help remove some trees with a few other guys from our district. I really enjoyed that; it was one of the things that I was looking forward to when I started this internship.

Over the summer I was part of a crew that maintained and mowed the campgrounds in our district along with the day use areas. We go out on our last day of work every week and interact with the campers and day users. It is fun to talk with all the people and learn where people travel from to come to our district. I have met many very nice people in the six months that I have been here. I have also had the opportunity to work with some local volunteer groups that help us with trail maintenance and I will actually be partnering with one group for my Community Action Project here very soon.

Over the summer I was able to participate in several different training courses which are great to have on my resume. I took trail maintenance training, CPR training, red card fire training, and chainsaw training. This has been a great learning experience and also a great way of showing my talents as well. I am looking forward to the rest of my time here.

Last weekend my family and I had the opportunity to fill in as the camp host at our Curtis Creek campground on our district. The camp host we had left when Hurricane Florence came through and the new ones won’t be here for another week. It was a fun experience that my kids really enjoyed. We just went around in the golf cart and checked on the campers and checked on the day users as well and made sure they knew where the trailheads were, it was a fun experience for the whole family.