Trail work, campground cleanup and potluck planned for Bull River Campground.
Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness will host their annual Sanders County Picnic beginning at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 9 at the pavilion at Bull River Campground, (MP 13 ± on Montana Highway 200) their traditional picnic venue. As in past years, the picnic is a potluck, with FSPW bringing burgers and beverages. FSPW exec Phil Hough and board member Doug Ferrell will also provide an update on the state of the wilderness proposal, which has gotten a boost this year from the March release of the movie Grass routes: Changing the Conversation from Wildman Pictures.
“Exciting things are happening around the movie,” says Hough, “and more than ever before, it feels like the time is now for a bill for the Scotchmans.”
In addition to the picnic, and in celebration of National Trails Day, FSPW and the Cabinet Resource Group will team up with the Forest Service and Avista on cleaning up the campground for the coming season. Workers will also continue work started earlier this spring on a trail running north along Bull River from the campground.
“We’re clearing brush and rebuilding tread on about a half-mile loop starting at the Pavilion that has fallen into disrepair over the years,” says FSPW program coordinator Sandy Compton. “It will make a nice amenity for the campground, as well as making the fishing a bit more accessible.”
Joining FSPW on the trail work — as well as the picnic — will be volunteers from Cabinet Resource Group and Forest Service workers. “It’s great to have CRG as well as Avista and the Forest Service working with us on this project,” says Compton. “CRG is really the old hand on conservation in Sanders and Lincoln Counties. CRG’s help early on made starting the Friends much less difficult.”
The trail work at Bull River Campground got a jump start in May when the Forest Service, Friends of Scotchman Peaks and the Continental Divide Trail contingent of Montana Wilderness Association used the old pathway as a demonstration project for a weekend trails skills class on May 11, 12 and 13. Instruction on the use of chainsaws, crosscut saws, Pulaskis, McCleods and other trail building and maintenance tools, as well as trail-building methods and specifications were utilized in hands-on sessions on the campground trail as well as the historic Star Peak trail reconstruction.
“The picnic is open to anyone who wishes to come, no matter which state you live in,” says Hough, tongue in cheek, “but if you want to have a good appetite for the picnic, come swing a Pulaski for a while.” Picnic-goers are asked to please bring their own table service as well as a dish to share.
The National Trails Day event kicks off at 9am MST with coffee, rolls, and tools of the trails. Trail and cleanup workers should wear stout boots and denim pants (no shorts), and come prepared with a long-sleeved shirt, rain gear, lunch, water and high-energy snacks. FSPW will provide hardhats, gloves and tools. The picnic begins at 3 p.m.