Montana Conservation Corps, Forest Service work to open trail
The Glacier View Mountain Trail is a Montana Conservation Corps and Forest Service project two years in the making.
"The Forest Service had some additional funding to actually help us outreach to under served populations who might be interested in natural resource careers," said Joni Packard.
The 3.8 mile trail is nestled in the North Fork region of the Flathead National Forest. For the last week, MCC volunteers reached new heights here, creating switchbacks and tending to weeds.
"Though we do a lot of conservation work our mission is about developing young people," said MCC's president, Jono McKinney. "Helping them learn job skills, learn to work together in teams, a lot of leadership and communication development."
The crew learned a bit about leadership Thursday from a special guest - Senator Max Baucus. Baucus grabbed his gloves and axe to work alongside the MCC for his 96th "Work Day." The senator has supported the conservation and preservation of the North Fork and its waters for nearly 40 years.
"We love our state. We want to get outdoors and recreate and that really requires good access," Baucus explained. "Building trails helps provide that access."
While the project nears its end, it'll leave a lasting impression on the volunteers with the Montana Conservation Corps.
"When you've finished the work, what you have created is something that will last," said McKinney. "So people really have a sense that the work they're doing really has a purpose, a meaning, and made a difference. And that's very rewarding."
The Forest Service hopes to open Glacier View Mountain Trail to the public this weekend.