Richelle Primm, SVI Media
Friends of the Bridger-Teton, an NPO organized in 2018, is holding two events on August 2 and 3 to clean up a couple trailheads in Bridger-Teton National Forest, and is hoping to enlist some volunteers to help.
Friends of the BT (Bridger-Teton) invites you to McDougal Gap on Friday, August 2, where they will be rerouting a significant section of connector trail. It will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On Saturday, August 3, Friends of the BT invites you to a morning of trail maintenance on the Middle Ridge Trail. It will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can meet them at the Middle Ridge Trailhead, just past the Little Greys–approximately nine miles from Alpine.
Sarah Walker, director of Friends of the BT, said she loves how she gets to travel and engage with the communities across western Wyoming. She said she’s excited to listen and respond to the needs shared by the community members pertaining to Bridger-Teton National Forest.
Walker said she mastered in Natural Resources and Science Education from the University of Wyoming and has a background in wildlife and fisheries biology.
“I first moved to Wyoming in 2006 and fell in love with Wyoming’s public lands,” Walker said. “My husband and I get out and enjoy the Bridger-Teton and Shoshone National Forests almost every day.”
Walker said she hopes to impact the relationship between Bridger-Teton National Forest and the surrounding communities by inspiring stewardship through volunteer events and by prioritizing projects that are community-driven and community-supported.
“I absolutely love that this is one of the first Friends groups for an entire National Forest,” Walker said. “I love that each community has a diverse set of needs and opportunities on the National Forest, and that we get to build an organization responsive to those differences.”
Walker said Friends of the BT focuses on access, watershed health, and wildlife habitat on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. She said they focus on access, like trails and infrastructure, because this is where the federal budget is decreasing while visitor use is increasing.
“Our National Parks receive four times the federal funding than our National Forests, and our Forest needs Friends too,” she said.
Some projects Friends of the BT are pursuing right now include getting the Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail signed and maintained, getting volunteer ATV or camping ‘ambassadors’ in high-use dispersed camping sites, like the Greys River Road, improving trailheads and campgrounds, like the Swift Creek Campground, and pursuing citizen science trail/roads inventory projects, Walker said.
If you want to volunteer at Friends of the BT upcoming events, you can visit www.btfriends.org for more information. Feel free to contact Sarah Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 307-699-2379. You can also visit their Facebook page, Friends of the Bridger-Teton.
An annual membership to Friends of the BT costs $25 per year, which is less than a one-day pass to the National Parks. Walker invites you to join Friends of the BT to help launch the organization and best meet the needs of you and surrounding community members.