Summer brings volunteers to the Scotchman Peaks

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Howard and Connie Shay love to volunteer in the Scotchman Peaks. (Courtesy photo)

The rugged Scotchman Peaks greet many visitors each summer.

Volunteers help make them welcome, safe and more aware of the place and the animals that live there.

Hundreds of hikers and sportsmen enter the Scotchmans each year. Volunteers like Howard and Connie Shay make incredible efforts to maintain trails and see that trail users of all sorts know about wildlife etiquette and leave no trace.

“We’re goat ambassadors and also work hard to keep the trails free to roam,” said Connie. “We love volunteering in the Scotchman Peaks. It’s an incredible opportunity.”

The season for hands-on trail work and trail ambassadors is coming fast.

In late April, Friends of Scotchman Peaks volunteer trail crew begins year-10 of working on trails all through the Peaks, from Little Spar Lake Trail on the east side of the Peaks around to East Fork Creek Trail in Lightning Creek. In June, Trail Ambassadors begin their fourth season of educating hikers about wildlife in general and mountain goats in particular on the popular Scotchman Peak Trail. The volunteer-led summer hike season begins soon, as well.

Volunteers are vital to saving the gifts of the wild and free Scotchmans for the future. The wild back yard in the Peaks has awesome trails. If each person who hikes in the Scotchmans puts in one day a year on maintenance, they will be the best in the country.

“It’s important to save this incredibly wild place,” Howard Shay said, “so my children and grandchildren can enjoy this rugged area as we do.”

Lean more at www.scotchmanpeaks.org/volunteer

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