Boy Scouts, volunteers clean Magee airstrip
of debris left behind by harsh winter
A small army of volunteers descended on the Magee Airstrip east of Coeur d’Alene recently to remove residuals of a long winter and a noncompliant nearby creek.
Early inspections showed more winter leftovers at the backcountry airstrip than usual because of a long, hard winter and a creek that escaped its banks, explained airport manager Gary McElheney. The popular grass airstrip needed some additional help.
That’s where members of a local Boy Scout troop stepped in. About 18 Scouts and their supervisors joined 16 pilots and friends to remove rocks, stream debris and other material that littered the airstrip.
Collectively, they devoted about 219 person-hours of cleanup – or nearly half of the hours logged at all of the state’s adopted airstrips combined in 2008, McElheney said.
Many of the volunteers endured a two-hour drive from Coeur d’Alene to reach the airstrip Friday night (May 22). They devoted all of the following day to spring cleaning.
Volunteer groups have adopted half of the state’s 30 backcountry airstrips as part of Idaho’s Adopt-An-Airport program. Last year they devoted 516 hours, worth an estimated $6,700 in labor, working at the airports. Activities include cleaning, removal of rocks and debris from the landing strip, mowing, and cleaning camping facilities.
“They did a great job preparing the airstrip for a busy season,” McElheney said. “We really appreciated all of their time and labor. Volunteers help us maintain and operate one of the best backcountry airstrip programs in the country.”