ChalleNGe cadets clear, plant at Bitter Lake

October 17, 2010 • Local News

Christian Trout, 16 of Santa Fe, waits to water the cottonwood tree he just planted. (Joe D. Moore Photo)

On a sunny Friday afternoon, New Mexico’s Youth ChalleNGe cadets and the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge engaged in a symbiotic relationship.

In the sandy soils along the banks of the Pecos River, refuge staff led motivated cadets in restoring native vegetation.

Sgt. 1st Class James Ward, the group’s leader, introduced the tree planting to the cadets as an exercise “for their future.”

The 12 young men, outfitted with boots, camouflage pants, tan shirts, canteens, wide-brim hats and a heavy coating of mosquito repellant, responded vigorously.

After partaking in a halftree planting practice, halfbiology lesson with Jef f Sanchez, refuge biologist, each cadet quickly covered the 100 yards back to the truck, swung up Login to read more

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