16 | Methow Trails “Cows on the loose” was a call frequently received by Deed Fink, Methow Valley native who used to have a USFS and DNR grazing permit in the Wolf Creek area. Deed had to respond to calls of cattle that got out of their fences. One of the most likely places for them to get out was at the “green swing gates” that allow trails to cross a fence line. These gates could be mistakenly left open by trail users or have maintenance issues that meant that they didn’t close securely when swung open by a biker, runner, or equestrian. Deed came up with the cattle guard roller as a solution that would be more secure for the animals and less maintenance for the trails staff that would allow the trail traffic free passage through the fence without stopping. Deed and his nephew Meritt continue to make the gates for Methow Trails and have been very responsive to tweaking the design to better fit the trail users’ needs while still keeping it a barrier for livestock. Meritt who is studying welding on his way to engineering school, uses income from making rollers to help pay the tuition to college. Deed covers his cost and is happy to spend time with his nephew and contribute to a more workable solution where trails cross fence lines. So far Methow Trails has installed four of these “rollers” and we have many more swing gates to replace as time and resources allow. Let us know what your experience with these rollers is and consider contributing to Methow Trails with an earmark towards more Cattle Guard Rollers. Trails Manager Jon Albright Meet Our Team! Jon brings a high level of skill to our organization that is as diverse as our trail system. Jon’s eductational background is in resourcemanagement and experiential education. He has worked as a contractor, ski area professional, educator, carpenter, and logistics manager. His loving, caring family keeps him from eating only cookies on the job, but if you want to sneak him one on the trail, it would be much appreciated. Michael Tay lor Trails Technician Michael Taylor is a huge asset to our trails team. He’s been described by many as one of the hardest-working people they have have ever worked alongside. He has years of outdoor trails-based experience with the Forest Service. When you see him on the trail get ready for a happy hello and some thoughtful insights about the beauty of the Methow Valley.