And we’re off!
The starting bell for TreeFight 2012 officially rang on June 24th, when a big yellow school bus pulled up to the clock tower at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and 28 Jackson Hole High School freshmen-to-be piled out of the bus into the hot June sun.
We had an ambitious plan — to protect with verbenone 200 Whitebark pine in Rendezvous Bowl, near the 10,450-foot summit of Rendezvous Peak. This seemed like a formidable challenge to two dozen easily distractable 14 year olds. But after riding the aerial tram up, hiking to the bottom of the bowl, and dividing into teams, it took only as long as the hike to the closest whitebark for the students to embrace our challenge. Soon shouts were ringing across the the talus as students and JHHS teachers spotted new trees, hiked uphill to them, stapled verbenone pouches to their trunks, and documented their work with photos.
It ended up working like a charm — the students swarmed up the top of Rendezvous Peak and protected nearly every mature whitebark in the Bowl, receiving an education in whitebark ecology and getting some good exercise in the process.
Many thanks to the staff of Jackson Hole High School and the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival for collaborating on the organization of Bronc Prep 2012 + TreeFight 2012. It was a great way to kick off our season.