Written by Lexi Miller, Wild Stew Field Crew Member
Join the Wild Stew Field Crew!
Interested in working for Wild Arizona’s Wild Stew Field Crew? We are continuing to hire crew members and encourage you to submit your application if working outdoors doing trail maintenance, habitat restoration, naturalization, invasive plant management, and more is something that you would like to be a part of! Click to read the hiring announcement and learn more!
Join our summer Youth Conservation Corps Program!
Are you or your child a high school student who enjoys the outdoors and conservation and would like to get paid to work and live together with a crew of similarly aged people, camping and backpacking to remote areas in the Chiricahua Mountains of southeast Arizona and learning the skills required to maintain and repair hiking trails? Click to send in an application!
This past week the Wild Stew Field Crew returned to the Miller Peak Wilderness for one final hitch in the area. After being greeted by turkeys, javelina, and deer on the short drive into Ramsey Canyon, the crew hiked into our original backcountry camp location as skies darkened and the wind began to pick up. Soon enough after setting up camp the snow began to fall, blanketing the pointy, green desert plants in a beautiful contrast of white fluff. Though it was cold, the snow was thoroughly enjoyed and made for beautiful views from the overlook on the trail.
Our work this week differed from the past three hitches in the Huachucas, this time taking more of a focus on implementing drains and removing past failed water bars and other structures that were no longer assisting with water runoff along the trail. This made for exciting work and all were happy to be back digging in the dirt, swinging picks, and smashing rocks once again. All told, we built nearly 40 drains and cleared the trail for 1.5 miles above the Wilderness boundary.
After coming back to camp and discovering a ringtail had come into several tents and destroyed two sleeping pads, a tent, and multiple food bags (in bear hangs), the crew decided to move camp down to Miller Canyon Road, where we were still close to the worksite but able to sleep in peace without little critters. As a result, the crew was able to meet up with those who were camping nearby for a trailwork training and enjoy Brian’s lovely (and very generous) cooking.
As the week went on the sun came out and the days became quite spectacular in weather, drawing many hikers to the area. It was much appreciated to be able to see people enjoying the trails and knowing the work would hopefully make for safer hiking in the future.
After a lovely hitch, the crew headed back to Tucson a little early to participate in a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training together. This opportunity to create a better, safer space for all was wonderful and we hope to continue to engage in meaningful conversation and training in the future!