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Everything posted by LNTfan

  1. The Boy Scouts need to "advertise" the conservation projects they do so they get the positive credit they deserve. We are woefully quiet when it comes to tooting our own horns. I am currently working with 5 Eagle Scout candidates who are involved in various projects on national forest lands. When you visit your public lands, how often do you see evidence that the bench or trail you are using came from the labor of a Boy Scout? Much of what we take for granted can be traced back to a Scout!!!
  2. LNTfan

    Wallow Fire

    Link to Willow Fire in Inciweb.org This fire is on the Black Mesa Ranger District. http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2346/
  3. LNTfan

    Wallow Fire

    Best place to find the most up to date information on wildland fires is Inciweb.org. Each federal agency active in fire suppression reports on their progress here. This link is tuned to the Wallow Fire.... http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2262/
  4. LNTfan


    My son decided he no longer believed in God around the age of 11 too. After the initial shock wore off and I had a few discussions with my dad, a minister, I allowed my son to question his faith in his own terms and his own time. At 13, he is an acolyte at church, was baptised last summer, listens to the sermons and enjoys going to church. He just needed time to find HIS faith!! Those who question and at the same time are exposed to church often find their questions result in a deeper and more personal faith than those who never question. By expressing his disbelief to a figure in authority may also be a way of feeling out his boundaries, or it could be a way of rebelling. Perhaps the new patrol could work on a religious emblem or the prayer patch (http://www.praypub.org/dutytogod.htm) with a scout friendly pastor as a way of helping all the boys see the importance of their "duty to God". More boys may have the same questions, doubts, concerns but are not comfortable discussing them. It's a dicey subject.
  5. LNTfan


    At our last Scout-O-Rama we invited the local Forest Service unit to participate. They brought sawbucks and 6" trees so each boy could a "tree cookie" with a bow saw. They also brought firefighting back pack pumps (also called bladder bags) and let the boys shoot at targets. The boys loved it!! Especially the water pumps. We had markers so the boys were able to put the date and location of the Scout-O-Rama on their tree cookies.
  6. LNTfan

    LNT over-rated!

    In reply to: Thomas54 "In the leave no trace training course I had with Boy Scouts the trainer extrapolated the highly sensitive areas of the desert southwest or the delicate mountain alpine regions with your neighborhood forest. The general training was a scare tactic that if you take a step off the trail the entire ecosystem will fail." Not a scare tactic...The entire ecosystem won't "fail", but can be significantly damaged. Cryptobiotic soil crusts, consisting of soil cyanobacteria, lichens and mosses, play an important ecological role. In the cold deserts of Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico, these crusts are extraordinarily well-developed, often representing over 70 percent of the living ground cover. Cryptobiotic crusts increase the stability of otherwise easily eroded soils, increase water infiltration in regions that receive little precipitation, and increase fertility in soils often limited in essential nutrients such as nitrogen and carbon. Just saying...they are pretty darn important and should be protected from disturbance such as trampling by hooves or feet, or driving of off-road vehicles. Hence the LNT messages provided at your training....
  7. LNTfan

    LNT over-rated!

    You can pull apart and complain about the various pieces of the LNT program, but taken together the 7 principles work to protect both the natural resource and user. And honestly - the program works! Too much of our nation's public lands are loved to death. A little less impact on the land is not a bad thing. People go where they are comfortable and usually there are a lot of other people there too. The newer Front Country LNT program helps people deal with the basics of stuff like dog poop, or throwing trash away. Common sense really. You can still build forts etc. but do it where the land will heal when you are gone. Hard surfaces could be grassy areas, sandy stream beds etc. THE most important principle of the Leave No Trace program is Plan Ahead and Prepare. Which sounds sort of scout like to me. LNT is a GREAT program. It saves lives and protects our countries natural resources. And yes, I am an LNT Master Educator!!!!
  8. LNTfan

    USFS Visitor Centers

    Your local US Forest Service offices are great resources for a variety of information, assistance with conservation merit badges, Leave No Trace, Tread Lightly programming as well as opportunities for hiking and camping trips. Our local ranger district office provides our troop with free camping at their group sites or family campgrounds in exchange for a service project such as trash pick up, or a recreation area clean up day. They have also been extremely helpful when our boys find an Eagle Scout project they want to do on NF lands. We have built bridges, trailheads, painted parking lot lines etc. The local FS office partnered in our BSA 100th anniversary celebration and provided hands on displays for the CS and BS to cut tree cookies and squirt back pack water pumps! The USFS can certainly be an untapped resource for scouts! The state Departments of Forestry are also wonderful resources for scouts. Both state and federal agencies can provide fire prevention handouts (Smokey Bear) and information on conservation issues.
  9. LNTfan

    Night Hike

    Nocturnal animals have some really cool physical and behavioral adaptations so they can be active at night. This includes their eyesight, hearing and smell. A discussion on animal niches & habitat, as well as hunting behavior and survival strategies might intrigue your boys. Besides the fact that a lot of things "go bump in the night..." Have fun!!