The National Smokejumper Association Colorado Chapter site for information on trail and work projects taking place in Colorado. Maintained by Bill Ruskin (CJ '58).

Monday, November 22, 2010

Smokejumpers Returning to Glade RS for 3rd Project in 2011

The photos below (by Bill Ruskin) are of the progress of the previous two projects and are provided as more background for the project of next summer (2011).
This year Julie Coleman (of USFS) had money to drill a well, install solar power for a pump and install a septic tank. There will be water out to the barn. This has been completed since our last project.
The current information on the Glade Project for Colorado is:
1. This is the third year of work on the Glade Guard Station in the San Juan National Forest, Dolores District. A project was completed in 2008 and one in 2009. No project was done in 2010. The work is done in conjunction with the USFS and BLM through the San Juan Public Lands Office. The USFS (particularly Ms. Coleman) has been most supportive and all work is monitored by the San Juan Public Lands archaeologist. The USFS Regional Office in Denver has visited and is aware of the success of the project.
2. The current plan is for the crew to arrive June 5, 2011 (with some arriving June 6) and to work through Friday Noon June 10. The work is not fully described at this time; however, our interest is in building a corral and doing some work on the barn as well as a bit of work on previous tasks that were not quite finished.
3. At this time we have about 10 volunteers for the project and a couple of possible additions. This should be sufficient to complete the work that is planned. If there are one or two more persons interested, we can always use additional help.

Rich Hilderbrand
960 7th St,
Penrose, CO 81240


Tuesday, February 02, 2010





October 9, 2009 Boise, Idaho

Overview: This was the program’s eleventh year. Created by the late Art Jukkala (Missoula ‘56), it continues to expand in popularity with our NSA membership and demand from the USFS, and this year from the U S Park Service. During 2009, we sponsored or provided for 27 projects with 282 project volunteers, compared to the 213 volunteers in 2008. No injuries or lost time incidents occurred.

Production: Projects were completed in Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Utah, California, Minnesota and Colorado.

· Our volunteers cleared more than 150 miles of trail, completed major repairs to Forest Service facilities at Big Prairie in the Northern Bob Marshall, repaired and built trail and major trail structures, upgraded building structures and built major corrals and fences. The Big Prairie project required hiking 3 days for 30 miles one way to reach the site. (60 miles round trip)

· They also repaired numerous water bars and check dams, cleared brush, cut hundreds of trees and logs, rebuilt sections of many trails, and hacked out miles of tread.

· In the Bitterroot National Forest they cleared severe downfall on 7 miles of trail that was considered impossible in the time allowed.

· They provided management and labor for building a bridge across the Clearwater River and clearing trail around Clearwater Lake in the Lolo N F in Montana. This project was doomed to failure as drop outs had occurred in early July leaving 4 volunteers to complete this difficult assignment. The Missoula Smokejumpers heard about this situation and jumped 5 smokejumpers on the project and assigned a 20 man fire training crew. All assignments were completed on time. This bridge has become a showplace to visit and admire the bridge.

· A one-week crew completed restoration of the Double Arrow Lookout near Seeley Lake Montana. This was a 5 year effort and will allow the lookout to be rented out in summers ahead.

· Roger Savage (Missoula ‘57) and his scouting teams continue to be a major factor in our success in opening long abandoned trails in wilderness.

· California, Colorado and Minnesota continue to expand as more volunteers sign on for these projects.

Mann Gulch. A project in Mann Gulch in July and August produced NSA publicity on TV and major Montana Newspapers as we provided former Smokejumpers to act as hosts to visitors during the 60th anniversary of the Mann Gulch Fire.

Funding: Funding this year came from the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, Sawtooth Society, Lolo, Idaho Pan Handle, Dixie, Beaverhead, Superior, Tahoe, Helena and Clearwater National Forests, Robie Foundation, ExxonMobil Corporation and Johnson’s Corners (a truck stop on Interstate 25 near Fort Collins, Colorado) thanks to Stan Linnertz (MSO ’61). Various NSA Members continue to provide donations on a yearly basis. We express our sincere thanks to all.

Tools: We maintain a large tool cache and we’re able to provide tools for all projects with the exception of the saws, hammers, levels, squares and other hand tools needed for cabin rehabilitation projects. Those, for the most part are provided by our volunteers. The Missoula Aerial Fire Depot continues to loan us crosscut saws every year. Tool certification is provided by our in-house certifiers (Jeff Kindeman and Richard Hulla) and First Aid training and CPR certification is provided by Missoula AFD. Rod McIver oversees/maintains our hand tools while Chuck Fricke oversees/maintains our Chain Saws. Tom Blunn provides carpentry skills necessary to build and maintain our stove boxes and yearly warehouse modifications.

EMT’s: A new position has been created this year and that is “Chief EMT”, or chief “DR” (Doctor) as he is called. This position is held by Jim Phillips (MSO 67-71). The objective of this position is to provide communication with all EMT’s and to bring attention of our volunteers, to their personal responsibility toward health and physical conditioning before arriving on project. In support of Jim is Ivan Kays (Associate and retired Pharmacist) who oversees our First Aid kits and supplies.

Scholarships: The NSA Trail Maintenance Program has undertaken the sponsorship of two scholarship programs:

The Art Jukkala Scholarship Program. A program sponsored and funded by the Trail Program, interested members of the NSA and the general public. This program provides a $2000 yearly scholarship to children of smokejumpers killed in the line of duty at a college or school of their choice. Two scholarships have been awarded in 2006.

The NSA Trail Maintenance Smokejumper Chair Scholarship Fund at the University of Montana College of Forestry and Conservation at Missoula. A program sponsored by NSA Trail Maintenance and funded by interested members of the NSA. This program provides one yearly scholarship to a smokejumper forestry student or a forestry student child of a smokejumper. One Scholarship has been awarded in 2009 to Steven Mohr, son of a former smokejumper. Steven was a Hot Shot fire fighter.

Advisory Council: The NSA Trail Maintenance Advisory Council, formed in May 2002, meets at least once each year. Its fifteen members are advisers to the Trail Maintenance Coordinator who serves at their pleasure. They review operations and financial accounts, recommend policies and serve as an oversight committee. A list of these names is available upon request.

Jon H. McBride (Missoula ‘54)

NSA Trail Maintenance Coordinator

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Storm King / South Canyon Meeting Notes

Dear Storm King Trail working group,

I have attached the notes from yesterday’s extremely productive meeting. Thank you to everyone who attended! If I’ve missed anything at all, please do not hesitate to let me know and I will gladly add it in!

I hope this outlines the majority of our meeting. I know there were a few other details discussed, but I think this covers the main outcomes, goals and objectives moving forward.

Lindsey Lewis
Marketing Project Manager
Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association
1102 Grand Avenue
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

Phone| 970-945-6589 x110
Fax| 970-945-1531

Storm King Trail Meeting Notes
Monday, November 9th
Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association

Richard Hildebrand- NSA
Doug Wamsley- NSA
Jimmie Dollard- NSA
Kay Hopkins- BLM/White River Nat. Forest
Shelley Kaup- Glenwood Springs City Council
Kate Collins- GSCRA
Lindsey Lewis- GSCRA

The NSA volunteer group is seeking formal approval from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to volunteer their services to help maintain the Storm King Trail.

Kay Hopkins will compose a memo that grants approval to the volunteer crew, summarizing the priorities of the BLM and highlighting how they could most efficiently use the NSA volunteer’s time.

Priorities for NSA & BLM

o Contacting the families of the fallen firefighters (by letter or phone) explaining what the NSA is and your feelings/goals and to see if the families will allow the NSA crew to collect the weathered and deteriorating mementos to be archived at the Federal BLM building in Denver.

o With approval from the families, collect the mementos according to procedural guidelines specified by the BLM office and deliver to BLM for archiving

o Clear overgrown brush from the memorials

o Possibly tackle the fire line and restore flagpole indicating initial lightning strike. Waiting for more specific info from Kay Hopkins regarding whether the Hot Shot crew training will improve fire line or if it will need more attention after their departure.

o Clear Heli spot and under slung line

o Rebuild steps

Priorities for GSCRA & City Council

o Lindsey will get Storm King brochures for the Visitor Information Center

o Add information about Storm King and link to the BLM website from the website

o Kate & Lindsey will work with Shelley and City Council to improve the signage at the Memorial at Two Rivers Park. Add a sign and brochures that talks about the trail and how to get there.

o Shelley will ask the Parks & Rec Dept. about solutions regarding the Blue Spruce tree that blocks the view of Storm King Mountain from the memorial at Two Rivers Park.

o Kate & Lindsey will mobilize the community when the NSA crew comes to town in either the spring and/or fall of 2010. We can encourage locals to provide food and accommodations in appreciation of the NSA’s efforts.

o Kate & Lindsey can work with local event organizers to start thinking about organizing a memorial service for the 20th anniversary on July 6, 2014

ADDITIONAL REPORT ON MEETINGNotes by Rich Hilderbrand following his release from jail in Glenwood Springs

I want to add my thanks to all for the most productive meeting and the immediate follow-up. What is clear is that this entire group has a vested, and significant, interest in this project. I look foward to the development of the plans and the implementation of those plans. Rich

Doug is going to give an update on the meeting yesterday at Glenwood. But it went really well. The BLM is very cooperative and very supportive.

Lindsey from Chamber is going to sumarize the meeting in an email. But I will give a couple of observations outside of the plan itself.
There was a city council member there. Very supportive.
The BLM rep lost a personal friend (heli-tack crewmember) and was in Glenwood with BLM at time of fire. She is now with USFS White River Forest.
There is more work to do than we had estimated. They do want some trail work and fireline work done.
We talked about next June or September.
More later on the report.

I thought Doug and Jim were going to have to bail me out of jail. I got to Glenwood a little early and stopped in at a Diner up the street from the meeting place for coffee and to read the paper. I got a couple of papers out of the vending machines in front of the diner and sat down to read. Within a few minutes three squad cars whipped into the parking lot and three officers came into the diner showing a photo and drawing of someone. I didn't pay any attention to them and kept reading. They left the Diner and I thought they were gone - again not paying any attention. In a couple of minutes they were back in the Diner again looking around - and looked at me. They left again, I paid my bill, took the papers and walked out of the Diner to be surrounded by the officers. One briefly flashed the picture and said, This drawing looks a lot like you and I do you have identification? Of course I showed him my Military ID and drivers license and they let me go. It was clear they took this outside to ensure I was outside the Diner and surrounded before they approached me. I am not sure who phoned in a report but it happened pretty fast. I did not think I looked like the drawing at all, but one never knows. Rich.

ADDITIONAL REPORT ON MEETING Notes by Doug Wamsley in an email to JonMcBride

3. On the subject of Storm King we have made what I think is some substantial progress. Yesterday Rich Hildebrand, Jimmie Dollard and I met with three community representatives and a BLM/USFS representative in Glenwood Springs. The community is very supportive of efforts to maintain the site and seemed pleased that we wanted to help. The big question in our minds was would BLM welcome our participation. The response we got was very positive.
Kay Hopkins, the representative who attended, was the Recreation/Trails person for the BLM District for the past several years and has been responsible for the site. She had only recently tranferred to a new job with USFS in the White River NF. The BLM employee who has taken over responsibility for the site was not available so she attended at the request of BLM and with the blessings of her Forest Supervisor. She knows the site very well and is very interested in its future.
After we explained a bit about NSA and our Trails program she seemed enthusiastic about our participation. It seems there is more work to be done than we anticipated. We discussed the possibility of rebuilding a part of the access trail, brushing around the monuments, clearing the Helispots, repairing a flag pole at the site of the original lightening strike and maintaining the fire line that the Jumpers and Hotshots were building just before the blowup.
We mentioned the problem of the hundreds mementos left on the monuments by well meaning visitors. It has, frankly, left the site in a trashy condition. She said that it has been such a sensitive issue that BLM has simply left them there but it was clearly time to do something. We suggested collecting the items from each location and archiving them. This is what is done at a number of other monuments across the country. We said we would be more than willing to do the collection. We got a very favorable response to that proposal IF it meets with a favorable response from the families of the fallen.
Kay explained that all matters relating to the site and its maintenance were the subject of a memorandum of understanding between the families and BLM when the site was established.
She also said that BLM had adopted some ground rules about the site including:

Only organizations from the "fire community" would be allowed to do work on the site,

The site would be maintained in a condition as close to that at the time of the fire as possible,

While public access to the site has been and will be maintained BLM is NOT promoting it as a tourist destination type location. The existing infastructure simply will not support that and can't readily be expanded.

With these things in mind Kay asked if we would be willing assist in contacting as many of the family representatives as possible to explain what work we were planning to do especially regarding the collection and archiving of mementos. We assured her that we would. Rich, Jimmie and I agreed that any such communication from the NSA Trails Project would most appropriately be in your name. With that in mind we are working on a suggested draft for your editing and approval. We hope you will agree with this approach and will let us know your thoughts on the communication and the overall project as outlined.
Doug Wamsley

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Agenda Set for November 9 Meeting

Dear Storm King Trail working group,

We are scheduled to have our meeting on Monday, November 9th from 12pm – 1:30pm in our conference room here at theGlenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association (1102 Grand Avenue). Let me know if that time works for everybody. If so, would everyone be willing to pitch in $5.00 for lunch and we can order something to be delivered here?

We will be discussing the following agenda items:

o       Trimming back the overgrown brush around the memorials, 
with the full understanding that the BLM and families of the Storm King 14 
want to keep the trail "wild"
o       Replacing the flag (& flagpole?) that marks the initial lightning strike 
that started the fire
o       Collecting and archiving the mementos left by family/friends
 (does the BLM have an archaeologist we can get in touch with to archive these items?)
       Making certain that the fire line is intact - they think that smokejumpers train here, 
so it should be a non-issue
o       There are interpretive signs along the trail, is it possible to keep these maintained or update them?
o       The NSA volunteer crew would like to come up to complete these goals by September, 2010

Lindsey Lewis

Marketing Project Manager

Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association

1102 Grand Avenue

Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

Phone| 970-945-6589 x110

Fax| 970-945-1531

Planning Begins for November 9 Meeting on Storm King /South Canyon Memorial

Dear NSA crew,
I just wanted to update you on the status of the November 9th meeting.
So far, Shelley Kaup can attend as the Glenwood Springs City Council
representative.  Kay Hopkins just recently took a job with the White
River National Forest, but said that someone from the BLM will
definitely be able to participate.  Kay and I will be in touch within
the next couple of weeks to determine who the best point of contact will
Bill, I believe Nancy Shanks from CDOT had put you in touch with her
"sign guy" - do you happen to have a name/email/phone # for that person?
I know that the trail maintenance is your main area of interest; so I
would love to help expedite the process with improving signage to the
Storm King trail and memorial (if I can)!
Let me know as we get closer what time would work well for all of you on
November 9th and I can come up with a couple options for a venue.
K ind
Lindsey Lewis

Dear Kay, 
Thank you so much for getting back to me - I hope your days out of the
office were enjoyable!  I just spent a couple weeks out of the office as
well, so I completely understand how time consuming it can be to get
through all the emails that pile up.  Congratulations on your new
position with the White River National Forest!  What will your role be
with them?  I will definitely tou ch base with you in a couple weeks to
ee who the best point of contact will be for this project moving
Kind Regards,

Lindsey Lewis
Marketing Project Manager
Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association
1102 Grand Avenue
Glenwood Springs, CO  81601
Phone| 970-945-6589 x110
Fax| 970-945-1531 

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you....I have been out of the
for 12 days and just returned and am finally getting thru some emails.
There are a couple of things that we here at the BLM need to decide
saying who indeed is the contact.  I have taken a new job with the White
River National Forest and have indeed been the one that has managed most
things related to the Storm King trail...
I need to speak to my supervisor regarding who might be the best person
turn this over to.  Either way someone from the BLM will be able to
participate...howev er at this time I am not sure who that point of
will be...I should know more in the next 2 we
eks as we start to plan out
workload items.
Please contact me in a couple of weeks if you have not heard from me by
then.  Its should not be a big deal....its just getting that transition
period worked out.
Call me with any questions.
Kay Hopkins
Outdoor Recreation Planner
Bureau of Land Management
2300 River Frontage Road
Silt, CO  81652
Dear Kay and David,
I am following up with the email I sent last week regarding a volunteer
crew interested in maintaining the memorials on the Storm King trail.  I
have not yet heard back from either or you and was wondering if you were
indeed the appropriate persons to begin this dialogue with.  We are
to organize a meeting for November 9th and would very much like for
from the BLM to be represented.
  Please let me know if either of you can
commit a few hours on November 9th for a brief meeting, or if I should
communicating with someone else in your office.  I will look forward to
your reply.
Kind Regards,
Lindsey Lewis
Marketing Project Manager
Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association
1102 Grand Avenue
Glenwood Springs, CO  81601

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?