When I was a volunteer with Friends of Bagby, the first thing of the day we did was to scrub the tubs out so they would be clean for the visitors. Then we picked up all the trash left from the night. Then we washed out the outhouses. There were always minor repairs to do, especially with the cold water system in the fall. The most difficult job was picking up cigarette butts, which we also did daily.
We were able to provide a 24 hour presence by being able to stay in the Volunteer cabin. Our only contact with the outside world was a forest service radio. And when we needed to call in for an emergency it was two hours usually before anyone was able to get to the springs (due to the distance from town). We were instructed by the Forest Service not to enforce prohibitions on alcohol, only if it was serious were we to radio in. We also got formal CPR training and carried Red Cross cards.
The biggest problems were car breakins. This happened to us twice. We learned to bring up a junk car. And this was a problem at all remote trailheads as the local theives knew it would be an hour before law enforcement could respond, at the quickest.
In the late 1980s and early middle 90s Bagby Hot Springs was well maintained by loving volunteers.
It is unfortunate the Friends of Bagby organization was destroyed by two feuding volunteers. I was involved at that time and there was a moderate group of volunteers who were trying to maintain control of the organization and probably would have succeeded if the Forest service had not ended the contract.
At that time the Forest Service thought they could maintain the springs better, even though they could not support a person at the springs. This is when the springs fell into disrepair in the late 1990s. It really takes someone on site to keep up with the repairs.
I do think a properly set up volunteer organization could easially maintain the springs , especially now. Communication is much easier with direct to satelite communication, even though it is still a hour plus drive for law enforcement. Communication was one of the biggest problems in the 1990s.
Currently I am on the BOD of the Oregon Country Fair, a successful organization with 4000 volunteers. I have considerable experience forming non profit and volunteer organizations. I know that Bagby Hot Springs could be successfully run by an organized non profit corporation.
posted 2 years, 5 months ago
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