Black Hills State University climbing clubmembers met at Devils Tower National Monumenton Sept.22to restore vegetation.
Therestorationproject’sgoalisto keep visitorsonthe main trailand off the surrounding vegetation.BHSU climbing clubmembers teamed up with theclimbingrangersto scatter dead branches over abused areasin an effort to keep guests off the growing plants.
According to the National Parks Service, Devils Tower receives500,000 yearly visitors with 80 percentcoming from late May to early September.Many of these visitors do not leave the square half-mile around the tower.
Climbing club president, TravisBieber,is optimisticthat the club’s effortswilldiscourage people from leaving the trail so the plants canregrow.Bieber is an avidclimber,trail runner and supporter of theLeave No Tracemovement. Bieberhopes that the environment he enjoys so much will have the same natural feel for generations to come.
Climbing rangers like BenLewenstein,encourage people to get outdoors and visit the park. Theywould also like to help visitors understandthe benefits of preserving the biological growth.
The faculty at Devils Tower and the climbing club are waitingfor next springto see if their efforts will havepaid off.