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Scout Enlists Community Support, Improves Bizz Johnson Trail

A team of local boy scouts celebrates completion of a bench project along the Bizz Johnson Trail.  Standing, from left are Misha Babichenko, Eagle Scout Candidate Hunter Fleshman and Austin Sturgess.  Seated from left are Will Ashmore, Jake Wilburn, Kenton Ritz and Kyle Leitaker.
A team of local boy scouts celebrates completion of a bench project along the Bizz Johnson Trail. Standing, from left are Misha Babichenko, Eagle Scout Candidate Hunter Fleshman and Austin Sturgess. Seated from left are Will Ashmore, Jake Wilburn, Kenton Ritz and Kyle Leitaker.

An Eagle Scout candidate from Susanville enlisted a cadre of community volunteers and has completed a project to add three resting benches at scenic overlooks on the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail.

Hunter Fleshman, of local Boy Scout Troop 159, fulfilled his Eagle Scout service project by overseeing the planning, construction and installation of the benches, which are now all in place west of the Devil’s Corral Trailhead about seven miles west of Susanville. His helpers came from Susanville’s business, government, education and Scouting communities.

Staff members from the Bureau of Land Management’s Eagle Lake Field Office volunteered time after work to help bring the project to completion. Joe Johnson, a firefighter, felled a bug-killed tree to provide the wood. Ed Merrill, BLM’s fire management officer, used his home sawmill to cut the tree into thick boards. Stan Bales, a BLM outdoor recreation planner and a local Scouting leader, mentored Fleshman on planning, site location and bench construction.

Terry Poulsen, owner of a local welding company, provided steel at a reduced cost, and Kory Konkol, welding instructor at Lassen College, coordinated construction of the steel backrest supports.

Scouts and their fathers from Troop 159 helped with all aspects of the project. Scouts from local Troop 405 helped install the benches.

“We have resting benches at various locations along the Bizz Johnson Trail, and 12 of them have been provided through Troop 159 Eagle Scout service projects,” Bales said. “They are great places to enjoy beautiful views and to appreciate the important work volunteers do for our community. We at the BLM thank Hunter and his team for their great work and commitment to our community.”

The Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail stretches about 30 miles between Susanville and Westwood. It is jointly managed by the BLM and Lassen National Forest with support from the Lassen Land and Trails Trust.

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso
SusanvilleStuff.com Publisher/Editor
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