MASTERING THE MARSH
There was no bull riding or calf roping at this rodeo. The 10 beasts showcased here at the Marsh Master Rodeo in Fergus Falls, Minnesota were of the mechanical kind. The Marsh Master, a fully amphibious tracked vehicle, was star of the show.
With the capability of carrying personnel and equipment through wetlands, peat bogs, and deep-water crossings, Marsh Masters are essential tools at numerous national wildlife refuges (NWRs) and wetland management districts (WMDs) throughout the Service. This specialized equipment is used to prepare and maintain firebreaks prior to and during prescribed fires and wildfires. The vehicles are also equipped with water tanks and a pump for fire suppression operations.
The Marsh Master Rodeo action involved 10 Marsh Masters and 43 participants -- Service personnel from Minnesota (MN), Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Idaho; staff from the MN Department of Natural Resources; and a representative from Coast Machinery, the manufacturer. The event included demonstrations and sharing lessons learned about safety, operations, maintenance, repair, communications, modifications, and other items related to this specialized equipment.
The rodeo was coordinated by Dan Angelo from Big Stone NWR and held at the Fergus Falls Wetland Management District (WMD). Dan Dearborn, Zone Fire Management Officer for MN, considered the event successful in meeting its primary objective, sharing a large amount of critical information.
Marsh Master Rodeo attendees with 8 of the 10 machines. Elizabeth Schmidt, USFWS
Jeff Denham from Coast Machinery, Marsh Master manufacturer based in Louisiana, talks with a group at the rodeo. Elizabeth Schmidt, USFWS
back to headlines
Back to News Archives