07 July 2008

Life in Recovery: German Gulch Restoration, part 3

Josh Vincent, the project manager for the George Grant Chapter of Trout Unlimited's German Gulch restoration project, recently organized a trail maintenance party & picnic. The work gang consisted of about six GGTU members; several others constituted the cooking crew that had burgers & cold beer waiting for us at the upper trailhead; and Bruce Farling, Montana TU director, also joined us.

The trail runs several miles, from lower German Gulch Creek (near its confluence with Silver Bow Creek) to near where the creek intersects the Forest Service access road to upper German Gulch/Beal Mountain Mine. See the separate blog entry for directions to the lower trailhead, located about midway between Anaconda and Butte, Montana.

The main purpose of the work party was to clear the trail of vegetation. Much of this consisted of pulling knapweed, as Paul Olson is doing:

In the riparian reaches of the trail, woods rose (Rosa woodsii) was closing in the trail and had to be cut away:

It was a pleasant hike, and the blooming wildflowers balanced the trail work.

Found in the wetter areas along the trail, cow parsnip (Heracleum lanatum):

The weather was hot and the cicada were buzzing. Here's exoskeletal evidence of a recently emerged bug:

The shaded, woodland areas of the trail were graced with sticky geranium (Geranium viscosissimium):

In the dry, sunny upland areas, arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsammorhiza sagittata) lit up the meadows:

Note that many locals simply call these "mule ears," along with the true mule ears (Wyethia sp.). True mule ears have a long and relatively slim leaf, as compared with the shorter and arrow-shaped (with pronounced barbs) leaf of balsamroot.

In other areas, lupine dominated the scene:

At the end of the trail, there were burgers and cold beer:


Previous posts regarding the German Gulch Restoration Project:

31 July 2007: Layton family land transfer

09 June 2008: Willow planting party

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