Maintenance and Rehabilitation


Teton Wilderness Maintenance and Rehabilitation Projects - Wyoming

In designated Wilderness work must use only traditional tools

Rick Taylor and his crew perform wilderness tail work utilizing only traditional tools.

The quality of work that has been done on these projects by Rick Taylor and his crew is of an incredibly high standard given that the Wilderness Act of 1964 and forest Service policy directs trail work within wilderness areas to be performed utilizing only traditional tools (traditional tools include cross cut saws, hand tools, horses and mules).

The projects have replaced structures that were badly deteriorated and unsafe and also provided environmental rehabilitation to areas that had been severely damaged as a result of previous trail use.

Specific projects which earned this award:

  • Teton Wilderness Drainage Structure and Bridge Replacement, Repair and Maintenance, FY 2002 and 2003 -- The purpose of these projects was to replace, repair and perform maintenance on existing puncheons, bridges and other drainage structures on trails located in the Teton Wilderness that had deteriorated to the point where they posed a safety hazard to stock and to wilderness visitors.
  • Teton Wilderness/Yellowstone Meadows Turnpike and Drainage Work, FY 2003 -- The purpose of this project was to turnpike sections of trail that travels through Yellowstone Meadows in the Teton Wilderness where bog problems have created safety issues and caused environmental damage.

New trail tread with improved drainage

New trail tread with improved drainage

  • Westside Teton Wilderness Trail Relocation, Realignment, Clearing and Drainage Work in 1988 Burn Area, FY 2003 -- The purpose of this project was to maintain and enhance access to trails located in the west side of the Teton Wilderness by re establishing existing neglected trail corridors through realignment of steep sections of trail, relocation of trails when feasible away from creek beds, clearing trails of yearly heavy downfall that is the result of fire scarred dead standing trees falling across trails from the massive 1988 fires season in the Greater Yellowstone Area and installing draining structures to slow erosion of trail tread. Project components include the Whetstone, Pilgrim, West Pilgrim, Middle Pilgrim, Arizona, Sheffield, Wolverine and Coulter Creek Trails.

Draft horses were used for the project

Draft horses were used for the project

One of the unique aspects of one of these projects is that draft horses were purchased with some of the grant funds, as equipment, for the purpose of working on these trail projects in the Teton Wilderness. This need was identified as a result of reviewing historic practices of accomplishing heavy maintenance and heavy construction trail projects.

Specifically of concerns was the ability to move heavy materials safely. Pack stock have served as an extremely valuable tool for supporting district trail crews in their work on wilderness trails to pack in supplies and project materials.

More winners of this award

2023: Royal Palm Beach Pines Trails System

2021: Statewide Fourteeners Maintenance

2021: Neahkahnie Mountain to Manzanita Trail

2020: Cal-Ida connector Trail

2019: Stage Coach Trail Improvements - Vermont

2018: Horseshoe Bend Park Trail Restoration - New Jersey

2017: Alaka'i Swamp Trail - Hawaii

2016: Cochran Mill Park Trail - Georgia

2015: Ice Age Trail - Wisconsin

2014: Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area - Pennsylvania

2014: Sawyer Trail Project/Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area - Louisiana

2013: Northern Erie Sno-Seekers Trail Grooming - New York

2012: Lombard Trail - Idaho

2011: Musselshell Trail System - Idaho

2010: Rampart Range OHV Development (Phase Three) - Colorado

2009: Kings Campground and Trailhead Project - California

2008: Storms' Crossing - Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Trail - South Dakota

2007: Cary Bayou Trail - Texas

2006: Wyoming State Trail Crew

2005: Kerby Peak Trail - Oregon

2003: Wayehutta ATV Trail System - North Carolina