Just a Few of Your 2007 Accomplishments:
The Road Hogs Mend Fences By Building Them
The Road Hogs volunteer group played an essential role in completing the land swap agreement between the park and MacGregor Ranch. The group physically determined the new park boundary and built extensive fencing which protects park resources and private property. They not only removed 2,267 feet of buck and rail fence from within the former park limits but they constructed 6,358 feet of new buck and rail fence along the updated boundary. The fence was erected to prevent MacGregor Ranch livestock from grazing on park lands and to keep park visitors from inadvertently wandering onto private land.
The Road Hogs harvested the enormous amount of timber materials required from a fuel reduction project within the park. Ironically, the fuel reduction work was also completed by the Road Hogs. Then they removed the existing fence line with great care so the bucks and rails could be reused to construct the new fence. Finally they built 6,358 feet of buck and rail fence from scratch.
The project site was about a half-mile from any roads or trailheads, the Road Hogs carried by hand the bucks and rails up steep, arduous terrain. Believe it or not, the project was completed ahead of schedule. Considering the group works only one day per week and was responsible for other projects simultaneously make this accomplishment even more remarkable.
The Butterfly Team-12 Years Counting
Since 1997 Rich Bray has lead a cadre of almost 30 volunteers, known as the Butterfly Team, inventorying and monitoring the park’s butterflies. Since the project inception the team has donated almost 30,000 hours to the park. At the Ecological Adaptation to Climate Change Workshop in November 2007 a group of 50 professional scientists cited this project as the model future citizen-science long-term monitoring projects should follow.
This project is exceptional because it represents a full 12-year effort to inventory and monitor park species. Once a week for the entire summer, the team hiked up to 15 transects in the park and counted and identified butterflies in a five-meter box while they walked, took weather data, and noted plant associations. They noted early or late arrivals, density of species, and rare species. The transects, or routes, covered the entire park: both sides of the Continental Divide from the montane ecosystem up to the alpine tundra. At the end of the summer and often through the winter they compiled all the notes into a database for analysis and to identify trends. This long-term project has already shown patterns likely associated with bark beetle outbreaks and possible effects to butterflies from climate change or short term regional climate patterns such as El Niño.
The Butterfly Team refined a 70-year old butterfly list and added 40 new species. They confirmed 139 butterfly species in the park, 77 are classified as "major" or more commonly found species. To date the team has surveyed 2,565 routes, entered more than 5,000 lines of data, and donated 29,912 hours to the park.
By following strict scientific protocols, Rich and the team established an excellent baseline by which future comparison studies may be conducted. Based on the collected information our park managers may make science-based decisions which protect these species in perpetuity.
Lois Sumey and the Great Web Migration of 2007
When Lois’ extensive computer and computer software skills were realized she was immediately recruited by the park’s web staff (both of them, for whom the website is a collateral duty) to help with the monumental task of migrating the park’s extensive website (over 1,700 pages) into the new layout. Since then, Lois has devoted hundreds of hours to this project. She was instrumental in the park’s completion of the migration, and the park meeting and exceeding every deadline, expectation, and challenge set by the Web Management Division in Washington, D.C. At every stage of the migration, on every evaluation, the park received A+ grades from the Web Management Team. In 2007 our website grew to almost 2,000 pages, to date Lois has authored, migrated and/or maintains over 1,100 of them (each page takes at least ten minutes to create). She even accomplished this task without any formal training. Thanks to Lois we have a website that is current, accurate, and, very importantly, fully migrated.