We were the lucky crew. We were the first crew of the entire statewide corps to have the opportunity to work in this beautiful park this year. We arrived to find sights typical of a Montana summer, such as elk, mountains, and road construction. The weather was wet, but it was hard to be disappointed when staying in such a beautiful area. In the days that had weather which permitted us to spray, we knocked back invasives along a steep side hill adjacent to the highway running through the park.The work was challenging, but we had our crew of 4 along with 5 others assisting us from NPS resource management.
Our large party helped us spray massive swaths of weeds, but even though we were traversing the wilds in a large group we still managed to sight plenty of interesting wildlife, such as a black bear only 75 yards away. He didn’t seem particularly interested in us luckily. The wet weather opened up plenty of interesting opportunities for us that strayed from our usual spraying activities. We pulled hounds tongue, a terrible invasive that leaves prickly hitchhiker seeds on your clothing. Even more exciting though was a small task we participated in during a rainy and muddy day in which we assisted NPS doing work in the “top secret” Stevens Creek Bison Facility. As a favor to those we worked with in the park, I am unfortunately not allowed to describe the work that we carried out in the facility, but I can say that we worked alongside stampeding yet curious 2 year-old male bison while no fence separated us from the majestic beasts. Overall the hitch was excellent, and we learned valuable invasive management techniques while receiving excellent cultural and environmental education from our friends at NPS!!!