Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation Launches Packer Apprentice Program
HUNGRY HORSE, MONTANA— In the 20 years since its creation, Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation volunteers have maintained over 5,000 miles of trails in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and donated millions of dollars of labor for public lands stewardship through trail work and noxious weeds management. This backcountry stewardship work would not be possible without pack support from horse and mule strings carrying gear, food, and tools up to 30 miles each way from trailheads to wilderness project locations. Packing and stock use has a rich heritage in The Bob and has helped to shape the character of the Wilderness Complex and its users. However, packing is a fading skill: as members of the packing community retire, there are fewer and fewer young packers coming up to take their place. Ensuring that packing knowledge and skills are passed on to future generations of wilderness packers is critical to preserving Montana heritage and enabling wilderness stewardship to continue for years to come.