Summer is the busiest season for Cache Valley’s outdoor recreation areas. Zach Maughan, who manages trails and outdoor recreation at the Uintah-Wasatch-Cache Forest Service, says now is when he begins to plan how to maintain and improve the area’s trails. He says it wouldn’t be possible without volunteers.
“I think it’s really critical that the community is involved with what we do on the forest," he said. "Being a volunteer allows you to be a steward of the land, and get out on your public land and do some work and have some ownership on the trails and the things that you enjoy on the national forest. And that helps us too because then we have people that are more interested and they care for what we’re doing, and builds a really good sense of community, which is critical.”
Before coming to Cache Valley, Maughan spent ten years working on trail crews seasonally. During that time, he saw the legacy that this kind of work can have in a community.
“A volunteer does work tomorrow on a trail, and in 30 years, they go up there with their grandkids and they say, 'Do you see that rock wall right there? I helped build that.' That’s the long lasting legacy that a community can look back on and say, this is part of our identity, and who we’ve become," he said.
On June third, National Trails Day, the forest service will host a hike of Crimson Trail and Riverside Nature Trail; the group will meet at Spring Hollow campground on June third at 9 am to hike the loop and do trail maintenance along the way. Maughan says volunteers are welcome.