ECO Mid-Summer Update Round 4
This week kicked off with a visit from a Missoula Parks & Recreation Young Explorers Camp. We spent the day thoroughly investigating the Northern Floodplain.
We looked at tracks in the sand left behind by the spring meltwater and then discovered the recent beaver activity along the Bitterroot River.
Students spent time along the river catching and releasing toads. All the toads returned to the water unharmed.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Aerie Backcountry Medicine brought their Wilderness EMT students for a class on the Northern Floodplain. They taught wilderness survival skills and backcountry patient care all day Tuesday. That night, they welcomed several volunteers who would act as patients for an all-night mass casualty scenario (MCI).
The intention of the MCI is to overwhelm the students with more patients than they have resources for, thereby putting their weeks of training to the test. Aerie traditionally starts these scenarios at 10 pm, and they last as long as they need to, often until sunrise the next morning. It may seem like an extreme test for their students, but having survived two such experiences with Aerie myself, I can say it is an incredible teaching tool.
The summer interns all joined forces this week for an epic day of fence removal. The high school field crew spent the bulk of their week collecting seeds, but joined with Katharine’s interns on Wednesday to pull the last remaining barbed wire out of Tongue Creek.
The blue line indicates the length of fence being removed.
The area was steep and full of brush. The fence consisted of mostly metal t-posts that needed to be hauled out. We were able to drop and coil most of the wire and remove the majority of the t-posts. Everyone worked until exhaustion forced an end to the day. The high school field crew and I will return to finish the job next week. We are looking forward to forecasts for cooler temperatures.