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Volunteer Trail Crew

From: Steve Sergeant
Length: 07:56

A day on a wilderness trail maintenance crew.

Sawyers_small With severe budget cuts in National Parks and National Forests, volunteers are taking up more of the work previously done by government employees. This program is a portrait of a day on a volunteer trail maintenance crew. It asks (and answers) the question, "Why would somebody choose this kind of hard work as their vacation?" I took a backpacking trip to join the High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew < http://www.trailcrew.org/ > for a day and find out. The piece contains the sounds of camp and hard physical work on the trail, interviews with volunteers, and forest service staff. Sounds and interviews were recorded on location in the Jennie Lakes Wilderness, of the Sequoia National Forest, adjacent to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. NOTE: This is my first piece posted to PRX. I'm eager for any feedback.

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Piece Description

With severe budget cuts in National Parks and National Forests, volunteers are taking up more of the work previously done by government employees. This program is a portrait of a day on a volunteer trail maintenance crew. It asks (and answers) the question, "Why would somebody choose this kind of hard work as their vacation?" I took a backpacking trip to join the High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew < http://www.trailcrew.org/ > for a day and find out. The piece contains the sounds of camp and hard physical work on the trail, interviews with volunteers, and forest service staff. Sounds and interviews were recorded on location in the Jennie Lakes Wilderness, of the Sequoia National Forest, adjacent to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. NOTE: This is my first piece posted to PRX. I'm eager for any feedback.

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Review of Volunteer Trail Crew

I am a wilderness starved urban dweller. I listened to Steve's piece because I wanted to hear how he worked with software from Garage Band, which I am interested in using. I found the piece to be sound rich! It satisfied my curiosity about Garage Band, but it also drew me up a forest trail to hear information and actualities from a trail crew. Nice Work, Steve! I'll listen again for a virtual wilderness experience! Program directors: PLAY THIS PIECE! Give this same gift of information and wilderness sounds to your urban listeners!!

Broadcast History

An earlier version was posted on my PODcast: "The WildeBeat: The audio journal about getting into the wilderness." < http://www.wildebeat.net/index.cgi/2005/09/15 >

Transcript

STEVE SERGEANT: If you're a hiker, backpacker, horseman, or other wilderness visitor, do you ever stop to consider how the trail got there?

KEITH FIELDS: All the years that I went hiking, I never really thought about how the logs got cut, or how the trails were built. I assumed that there was a Forest Service crew that came up here daily, and just tidied everything up.

STEVE SERGEANT: Like Keith Fields, I never thought about it either. But then I noticed trail maintenance trips listed in newsletters and calendars along side recreational trips. And the question came to my mind, why would somebody choose this kind of hard work as their vacation?

Curiosity got the better of me, so I joined such a trip to find out. I backpacked seven miles over a nine thousand foot pass to meet the High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew. I found them at their week-long base camp in the Jennie...
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Timing and Cues

This could use some music in or especially out -- I haven't provided any. The piece begins immediately with narration, and ends with my name.

At 7:42, the main piece ends, and a final bit of narration gives a website and then my name. That could be cut, but in that case I ask you to air the three seconds of silence from 7:39 to 7:42 for the dramatic effect, since the piece talks about quiet at the end.

Musical Works

(none)