Devon Baum
Jewell-Cutler Scholar
United States Forest Service Experience, Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

"I filled out the paperwork for a few locations, but one in particular responded to my application quite quickly. This was a “job” for the U.S. Forest Service on the Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho trail crew. Based on the job description, the trail crew cleared trees on existing hiking trails and opened new ones in the national forest."

"These were not just makeshift paths through the woods. The only thing that made them different from a sidewalk through a town was the concrete. They were nice trails. I learned (all of the tasks) on the go because I had never done it before. It was easy to pick up and not much different than other similar things I have done. We would swing pulaskis, pick on one end, axe on the other, for eight hours a day, This was probably the most challenging part for me. My hands would cramp to the handle and by the end of the day I could barely hang on to the tool to swing it. But I… we all kept going until the end of the day and finished the job. It was physically challenging but mentally rewarding after seeing the trail."

"On the weekends I would hike the trails we word on and climb to some of the highest peaks in the area. When I reached the top of a 7,700 foot mountain, I could see for miles. I would sit at the top and have lunch and just admire the country."

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