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Russian Olive Adventure

Our MCC crew woke up before the sun to meet our BLM partner at Pompeys Pillar National Monument, for a day of chainsaws and clearing. Despite a brief afternoon rainstorm and some soggy chaps, we cleared all of the Russian Olive from the banks of the river running through the farming areas. On day two, we were dropped into the Four Dances recreation area for our new work site. The area, located right on the Yellowstone River, is surrounded by gorgeous canyons and rock faces. But the hiking trails and beaches are suffocated by Russian Olive groves, restricting the view and access to the area.

We started up where the Forest Service left off, stumping Russian Olives that were left from last winter, making sure they don't re-grow and leaving burn piles to be cleared in the winter. After the stumps, we moved on to the shoreline and cleared the groves, so kayakers and boaters can enjoy the beach and have access to the recreation area. The weather was perfect for sawing, beautiful blue skies and a cool breeze coming off the river. Free time was spent dipping our toes in to the *too cold* water, happening upon a mama Turkey we named Helen, and watching the full moon come up and illuminate the canyons. We love looking back at the dozens of burn piles after a long day of work. Leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment and pride. Until next time Russian Olive.

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