For years the United States Forest Service has struggled maintaining our trail systems in central Idaho. Lowering budgets have caused reduced manpower to get the job done. It seems volunteer work is being relied upon more and more.
Last spring I had talked to my interim permit administrator Phil McNeal and asked him if there was any way of clearing 3 or 4 trails in the Yankee Fork of the Salmon. They had not been cleared since I bought the business 10 years ago. Fortunately, these trails were not in the Frank Church Wilderness but they bordered it. Since we were not relegated to using primitive equipment, it opened up more options.
As luck would have it, Joe Getty, who manages a fire crew in Challis, asked my permit administrator if there were any trails that needed clearing. Phil told Joe about the Yankee Fork. Joe took his fire crew in and went to work. They not only cleared the downed trees across the trail, but cleared other trees that looked like they would soon fall across the trail.
When my guides rode up the trail this fall, they were impressed. This year was like riding horses on a highway that last year we could not access. I want to thank Phil and Joe for their work. It is nice to see that even when we can not come up with more money, we can work together and get the job done.