The Wilderness Institute at the University of Montana will offer volunteers the opportunity to explore and contribute to the conservation of Idaho's Gospel Hump Wilderness - the northern border to the wild and scenic Salmon River.
During three- to four-day trips in July and August, small groups of volunteers will work with experienced leaders to map and monitor weeds and inventory campsites. They will learn about invasive species, native plants, wilderness stewardship, monitoring methods and the natural history of the Gospel Hump.
Backcountry experience is helpful but not necessary. Dinners are provided, and transportation is available from Missoula. Volunteers receive T-shirts and prizes.
Following are the trip dates and descriptions:
• July 18-21: Sheep Mountain area. Hike up to alpine meadows southeast of Sheep Mountain for camping the first night. Then continue on to the saddle north of North Butte Pass. Monitor areas around alpine meadows and across high-elevation ridges to the Black Butte lookout.
• July 25-27: Twin Lakes area. Travel to scenic alpine lakes set among the craggy peaks of the Gospel Hump Wilderness. Map invasive weed species, inventory campsites and learn the natural history of this high-country wilderness. Spend two nights camping near Twin Lakes and monitoring surrounding trails and creek bottoms.
• July 31-Aug. 3: Slate Lake and Marten Hill area. Hike to scenic Slate Lake, walk through an alpine area of the Gospel Hump to the wilderness boundary, then return via Slate Lake. Monitor areas on the trail and around the lake for invasive weed species and inventory campsite impacts at the lake.
• Aug. 7-10: Sawyer Ridge Lookout. See Gospel Peak and Dome Hill from the lookout (elevation 7,300 feet). Monitor invasive weed species and campsites and learn the plants and animals of the area while hiking above the Moores Lake Creek drainage in the far northwest corner of the wilderness.