American Frontiers PLIADOIBLMUSDA FSGeography Action from NGSHondaColemanCoca-Cola
Search
About
Dispatches
The Trek


The Trek

The Teams
Read bios about the team members and see photos.

Team Member Journals
Read online journals filled out by members of both Trek teams. Search by date, place and more.

Interactive and Downloadable Maps

Related Events

Trek Itinerary

Media Center



Exhibits
Lessons
Geo Action

PLIC Museum
Home

 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: North
Robert Ashley
Sunday, August 11
View
Ravi Gupta & Bob Ashley let the campers at the KOA in West Glacier know about the trek and its mission

Ravi Gupta & Bob Ashley let the campers at the KOA in West Glacier know about the trek and its mission

August 11, 2002. 3:00 p.m. KOA Campground at West Glacier

I’ve been working on text for tonight’s presentation, made necessary due to the unfortunate loss of the PLIA videotape, which I’d been using to introduce the program. The tape was not perfect, but it was certainly an excellent way to begin. At the session last night, the VCR player ate it, and I haven’t another to substitute. The text has taken all morning to prepare, and I’ve just finished my third revision. I think it is ready to go. Steven is cruising the internet to find images which can illustrate the text. When completed, we’ll put them together for an audio-visual presentation for tonight, which Amy Eckert, the grad student-Forest Service naturalist who conducts the campground programs, says could draw upwards to 120 people!
About 80 attended the first program, which was held here in the KOA shelter Thursday. All the Support Team was present, and I believe everyone was generally pleased with the presentation. Amy’s program took longer than I’d expected (about 30 minutes), so that left us with only a half-hour. After opening comments, I showed the videotape (14 minutes), introduced the Support Team, and asked for questions. The audience was pretty interested in the trek, and the whole team chimed in with answers and personal experiences.
Friday night’s program was in “Cajun Mary’s Café,” an open air restaurant at Glacier Campground, just a few miles away. Only about 25 people attended, but they became very involved in the trek and public lands. Questions were good; a visiting teacher from Germany compared our public lands to the German system, in which it is acceptable to hike on private property. Cajun Mary barbeques on an enormous wood fire grill, and she makes a delicious huckleberry pie. She is from New Orleans, she said. She visited Montana in 1990 and fell in love with the area.
Our traveling show went to Swan Valley last night. Charlie and Steven joined me for the 80+ miles drive to the small community of Condon, where the Swan lake Ecosystem Center operates out of the former Forest Service station. We were met by Diane Erickson, who teaches classes and conducts other programs, and by Anne Dahl, the SEC (“seek”) director. Soon others appeared. They were all on the board of directors and/or volunteers, so they were very familiar with the center. In fact, the whole community is familiar with the center. Of the area’s 900 residents, 200 of them performed some form of volunteer work for the center during the past year!
They listened patiently to my introduction, watched the videotape with interest, and seemed interested in the Trekking Team and the Support Team. However, I was not prepared for their questions. It became obvious that our program was targeting a much simpler idea than the issues with which the Swan Valley people have been working on for more than a decade. They felt our program should introduce issues, not just promote recreational uses of public lands. I explained that our task was to raise awareness about public lands, which we hoped would lead to a better understanding of issues. “If our program is as successful as we think it will be, people will want to know how to tackle the issues that affect them,” I said. “They will be calling you, because you are a model of how to deal with conflicts over land uses.”
The Swan Valley area is a unique ecosystem nestled between the Swan Mountains of the Bob Marshall Wilderness on the east and the Mission Mountains to the west. About 80% of the valley is managed by Plum Creek Timber Company and the Flathead National Forest. The square-mile checkerboard ownership pattern complicates efforts to ensure wildlife linkages between the Wilderness regions on either side of the valley. Plum Creek plans to sell approximately 20,000 acres in the next 5-7 years, some of it in the linkage zones. Of course, residents are concerned. Some have suggested purchasing the land and creating a community forest.
One person commented that our videotape presented public lands only as places for recreation, whereas in fact most public lands are also used for mining, timbering, and ranching. She felt our approach should be more even-handed. Another wanted to know of what value were the some 80 programs designed to educate our trekkers. The trekkers have been listening to presentations from a variety of sources, such as the USGS, Francis of the Kootenai tribe, the Bob Marshall Foundation volunteers who demonstrated trail maintenance, backpacking safety (bears), and the ranger history program. More are planned. “Who else benefits?” she wanted to know. She helped me solidify my own feelings that there was no guaranteed way that the presented information would passed on to the public; indeed, if the public were to become aware of the programs, it would be only if some one of the Trekking or Support Teams mentioned it in his/her journal!
“Everyone should hear the presentations,” said the woman.
“We must make sure our actions are sustainable,” said another person.
“Conflicts over land use don’t get solved in Washington,” another said. “They get solved on the local level, where everyone can be represented. Each place is unique.” How true, I thought. I’ve been saying the same thing in classes for years.
Great people, doing great work. Check them out on their web site:
for Sunday, August 11
North South Both




Biographical
•
Team: North
Robert Ashley
Bob Ashley poses with school children at the Wyoming Hunting and Fishing Heritage Exposition 2002
. Robert Ashley is a teacher from Illinois.
   >> more...



List of All Journal Entries
•
Thursday, September 26
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Tuesday, September 24
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Saturday, September 21
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Friday, September 20
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Thursday, September 19
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, September 18
Robert Ashley
Kemmerer
   >> more...

•
Tuesday, September 17
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Monday, September 16
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Sunday, September 15
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Saturday, September 14
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Friday, September 13
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, September 11
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Monday, September 9
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Saturday, September 7
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, September 4
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Tuesday, September 3
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Sunday, September 1
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Friday, August 30
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Thursday, August 29
Robert Ashley
Stoddard Creek (F.S.) campground
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, August 28
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Sunday, August 25
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Friday, August 23
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Thursday, August 22
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, August 21
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Tuesday, August 20
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Saturday, August 17
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Friday, August 16
Robert Ashley
Meyer Hill
   >> more...

•
Thursday, August 15
Robert Ashley
Aspen Grove
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, August 14
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Tuesday, August 13
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Monday, August 12
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Sunday, August 11
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, August 7
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, August 7
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, August 7
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Sunday, August 4
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Saturday, August 3
Robert Ashley
   >> more...

•
Thursday, August 1
Robert Ashley
   >> more...








TOP





All material copyright ©2002 - 2018, Public Lands Interpretive Association except photographs where ownership is otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.