We’re still seeing the effects from this year’s major snowstorm on hiking trails.
There isn’t enough staff on the U.S. Forest Service to clean it all up.
But luckily, there are a few groups of volunteers taking on the job–this one in our neck of the woods.
Hikers wouldn’t have a handful of trails without them.
“We go out–snow, rain, sleet, hail, cold, it doesn’t make any difference–we go out; we’re a bunch of old whatever,” said Ron Robinson, Scorpion Crew Chief.
And, some of their wives had to learn to get used to them being gone.
“Over the years maybe she regretted that because it does take a lot of time,” he said.
Do you ever wonder how our hiking trails are maintained so well? A big part of that comes from the Scorpion Crew – a group of volunteers. Hear about their good work tonight #liveonkval #liveonkmtr 5:30/6 pic.twitter.com/UZvuWwfUPv
— Kelsey Christensen (@KelseyReports) October 10, 2019
Robinson has been with the Scorpions from the very start.
“In the beginning, if I could get one person to go out with me, that was a crew,” he said.
Fast-forward 13 years later, the group has about 100 volunteers restoring trails after this year’s “snowmageddon” knocked down thousands of trees, including hundreds at Brice Creek Trail.
“This is the biggest mess that we’ve seen in all our trail years,” Robinson said.
So why volunteer thousands of hours to pick up a mess that’s not your own?
Well, there’s not many others to do it.
The U.S. Forest Service says it has only has a two-person crew in town to maintain the trails.
‘We would not be where we are in the time that we have without the Scorpion Crew,” said Jed Hancock with the U.S. Forest Service.
But this hard-working bunch says the work does even more good for them than what they do for us.
“It’s gave me a life; I was on a walker for a year in 2014, but hey, this is what got me through it and got me back out here,” Robinson said.
“It’s a big group, but the core of us, we’re a pretty close and pretty tight-knit,” said Jim Suiter, a volunteer with the Scorpions.