Wednesday, June 17, 2015

WMNF Bear Patrol: Week Four

Monday (06/08) and Tuesday (06/09) we had off for rest days. Wednesday (06/10) Emily and I attended a workshop in the warehouse woodshop. We were introduced to the machinery that was available for us to use, proper safety protocol, and where our wood supply was. A lot of the power tools used in the shop are mainly for making/painting signs but we will be using the drill press, band saw and skill saw for building duck, bat, butterfly and bee boxes.

After the woodshop meeting, we convened with Clara and revised the older versions of the picnic table bear notice. The language needed updating, a reinforced/more austere tone, in order to better communicate proper food storage. We were able to print 150 copies, laminate them, and distribute them to priority campgrounds; Hancock, Big Rock, and Jigger Johnson.

We also launch one of the pyrotechnic deterrents for bear hazing, "Bird Banger" at Campton Day Use Area. They can shoot up to 35 feet and should be aimed at a 45 degree angle above a nuisance bear. It should only be shot off in open canopy and away from people. It's very similar to a flare gun or firework and makes a loud "pop" noise after the cartridge is released.

Thursday (06/11) we searched for an extra Bear Alert poster because our district printer was out of use... The day consisted of a lot of driving along the Kancmangus Highway. We even went to the Saco district to see if it could be sent to there plotter and laminated, but no luck. We stopped at some of the campgrounds along the way and didn't find any major problems. Lastly, we stopped at Lincoln Woods Trailhead and found a spare sign to put up at Hancock Tentsite Parking lot.
Friday (06/12) and Saturday (06/13) we spent majority of our time patrolling Tripoli Rd and Russell Pond Campground where there was an incident last weekend because of improper food storage. An LEO was not available until Saturday, so all of the name and photo documentation we recorded on Friday was given to the LEO after meeting up at Russell Pond Campground in the afternoon Saturday, sites were revisited, and citations were distributed. 

Sunday (06/14) we visited Tripoli Rd again to make sure everyone camping this weekend left clean sites. Then we made our way to Dolly Copp Campground which is a little over an hour north. It has 175 sites and only 23 of them were occupied, many with hard sided RV's which usually don't pose problems (people are able to store their food easily in their hard-sided RV's). Even with a small amount of campers, we made some good contact and familiarized ourselves with another side of the forest. 

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