Thursday, July 3, 2014

Trails of Jericho

This past week the LANDS crew has been busy formulating a plan for and assessing the trails of UVM's Jericho research forest. Armed with the knowledge of a 30 horse "poker ride" passing through in the next month, we pushed through the hot, muggy, ten hour days to finish the project and have a three day holiday weekend!

Planning out routes for trail assessments
The week began with some general information gathering from Ralph Tursini and his intern Glenna Hartman. We gathered a general understanding of what Ralph was looking for from this project and with this began our planning. Planning was a long and sometimes arduous process, as we debated over the best ways to assess the trails and create a user friendly data collection template to be used in further monitoring of the forest. After nearly two days of planning things out and tweaking our data sheet we finally set out to map the features of each segment of the designated trail for the poker ride! Quickly though, we learned what was missing from our data sheet and also that we weren't completely sure where the trail was. So it was back to the drawing board!

Re-route Recon
After some short recon and tweaks to the data sheet we had our final route planned and set out to map in the 90 degree heat that was Wednesday. Of the six segments we divided the main route for the horses into we were able to easily map the features of five. Segment two was all that was left but it needed a reroute as the trail was overly muddy and blocked by quite a lot of debris. After some deliberation we split into three recon teams to assess other possible routes and found a few possibilities to recommend to Ralph and the horse riders.

As Independence day looms in the near future, we are once again back at base camp here in Aiken finishing up the writing and map making. The air conditioning is a nice change of pace but we still have a lot of work to get done as the day winds to end. At the same time we are looking forward to a fun three day weekend and our first real camping trip of the summer to Moosalamoo campground next week, for our work in Green Mountain National Forest.

Happy Independence Day Weekend everyone!

Until Next Time,                                                                               Written By: Travis Hart

Christmas in July!!! Boxes O' Swag
The LANDS crew

That's pretty neat
The original re-route recon team

Cooling off in the river

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