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One Hitch Down - A Whole Season to Go

A crew leader chainsaws a log from above.

These past 9 days, crew leaders out of the Greater Yellowstone Region traveled East to Wyoming for chainsaw training at Keyhole State Park! While we practiced overnighting a few weeks ago on our cabin retreat, this was the first time we pulled off a 9-day schedule. I think it's safe to say that everyone from our region had a blast. We finally got to practice the technical skills we've been trained on, the leadership skills we've been discussing, and getting to bond as leads for one of the last times all together. We had the most knowledgeable and supportive instructors that taught us an insane amount of skills on the saw - thanks KR, Dillon, and Mallory! Their training allowed us as a group to remove over 500 trees to contribute to fuels reduction in the park and help restore the forest. Our project partners at Keyhole State Park were so kind as to provide us with cabins and trailers to escape the cold and windy weather that is characteristic of Wyoming. This gave us the solace to be able to rest and fully take in the training and knowledge that we were gaining throughout the workdays. I can personally say that I am feeling exponentially more skilled to be a crew lead this season after this week. The beautiful community that we've built here in the GY region has allowed me to grow into a stronger person and friend, a better listener and communicator, a more skilled sawyer, and maybe most importantly.... someone who makes an insanely good chili mac on hitch. I can't give enough thanks to the people who I work with for helping to foster this culture of growth and care that we've seen over the past week. With a hitch as good as this, I can only imagine with excitement what the season as a whole will bring.