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Archive for the ‘Moose Creek’ Category

Work Crew at Moose Creek 1979

Work Crew at Moose Creek 1979

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Episode 41 (32:06)

Thank you for joining us for the forty-first episode of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness History Project. In this episode, titled “Thirty Miles from Paradise,” we take a look at the community that exists in the Moose Creek Ranger Station. Located deep in the heart of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, Moose Creek has housed Forest Service employees, work crews, volunteers, outfitters, visitors, and celebrities. Because it can only be accessed by airplane or thirty miles of non-vehicle trail, Moose Creek Ranger Station tends to foster tight communities within the people who live and work there each season. From the early days of the Forest Service in the 1920’s and 30’s, to the passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964, to the present day when the Selway-Bitterroot Foundation organizes volunteer crews to maintain the trails and manage fires, Moose Creek has been one of the central heartbeats of the Selway-Bitterroot area. The various comments presented in this podcast about living and working at Moose Creek give a small glimpse of this unique place.

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Jane Holman, 2011

Jane Holman, 2011

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Episode 40 (15:31)

Thank you for joining us for the fortieth episode of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness History Project. In this episode, titled “Re-wilding,” Jane Holman describes some of the practical aspects of returning settled sections of the Selway-Bitterroot country to wilderness.

Jane graduated from the University of Montana after growing up in Dixie, Idaho. She spent the years of 1968-1972 at Moose Creek Ranger Station with her husband, Bill Holman, who was the wilderness ranger there. From there, she moved to Washington, DC and spent 29 years working for the U.S. Department of Education, although she always revisited her Idaho roots. After retirement in 2004, she returned to Moscow, Idaho. Among other pursuits, she serves as the secretary for the Selway-Bitterroot Foundation and remains active in stewarding the wilderness, both politically and on the ground.

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Nels Jensen, 2011

Nels Jensen, 2011

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Episode 35 (12:28)

Thank you for joining us for the thirty-fifth episode of the “Selway-Bitterroot History Project.” This episode is titled “The 1979 Crash.” In June of 1979, a DC-3 aircraft with ten passengers and two pilots was headed for Moose Creek when one of the engines overheated, and the other failed. An experienced backcountry pilot, “Whitey” Hachmeister attempted to land the plane on one of the sandbars on the Selway river, but the wing caught a tree, spinning the plane out of control. The crash killed eight of the passengers and both pilots, and caused the US Forest Service to completely re-think their policy of using aircraft to transport seasonal workers and supplies to backcountry locations such as Moose Creek, and revert to primitive methods such as pack strings or backpacking.

Nels Jensen, himself a backcountry pilot and friend of Whitey, remembers the crash vividly as he was one of the first on the scene and assisted extensively in the search and rescue afterward. A native Montanan, Nels worked for the Forest Service first as a smokejumper, and then as a bush pilot throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. Today, he still flies into the back country, and is an active member of the Recreational Air Field Foundation. Here, he shares his memory of the 1979 crash and following investigative efforts.

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Anna Bengtson

Anna Bengtson

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Episode 34 (10:50)

Thank you for joining us for the thirty-fourth episode of the “Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness History Project.” In this episode, titled “Letters by Mule Post,” Anna Bengtson, the Wilderness Ranger at Moose Creek, talks about the sense of history that she feels, working deep in the heart of the Selway-Bitterroot. Anna grew up in northwestern Montana and remembers visiting Glacier National Park with her family. After obtaining a forestry degree, she applied to work on fire crews in Montana and Idaho, finally ending up at Jumbo Mountain Lookout for five seasons.

As a wilderness ranger at Moose Creek, Anna does on-the-ground wilderness management, including cleaning up camp sites, and returning fire rings to a naturalized state, as well as teaching Leave No Trace principles to wilderness users. In this excerpt, she describes living deep in the back country for months at a time, and reasons for using historic methods of transportation in the wilderness.

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Bruce Farling, 2011

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Episode 28 (13:23)

Thank you for joining us for the twenty-eighth episode of the “Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness History Project.” In this episode, titled, “Rangers at Moose Creek,” Bruce Farling describes his duties while he worked as a Wilderness Ranger at Moose Creek from 1980 to 1988. Bruce, who obtained his degree from the University of Oregon, first became acquainted with Moose Creek Ranger Station in the mid-1970’s, as the policies for managing wilderness were being written after the passage of the Wilderness Act. Later, as a Ranger, Bruce helped to educate users on minimal impact wilderness use, and reveals how the job honed his own wilderness ethic, and his approach to human interaction with pristine lands.

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First Trip In

Mary Erickson

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Episode 24 (11:08)

Thank you for joining us for the twenty-fourth episode of the “Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness History Project.” In this episode, titled “First Trip In” Mary Erickson talks about falling in love with a wilderness area she hardly knew existed.

Mary Erickson grew up on a farm in Wisconsin, but fell in love with the wilderness when she visited her brother at the University of Montana. A trip into the Selway-Bitterroot wilderness turned into seven years’ employment at Selway Lodge and North Star Ranch. Here, Mary talks about the first time she flew to Selway Lodge and the magical way that the wilderness captured her heart. Her love for the area even earned her the nickname “Selway Mary,” a moniker that still follows her to this day.

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