Hitch 9 BLM Discovery Hill, Hitch Lead: Dan and John Member: Andrea, Kyle, Stevi, Eric, Nina, Steph

Hitch 9 BLM Discovery Hill Hitch Leaders John and Dan For our second to last hitch of the season, we worked with the BLM using vertical mulching techniques to close roads on Discovery Hill, or as we preferred to call it, Disco Hill. Vertical mulching basically consists of replanting vegetation on a closed road as well as aerating and seeding over it in order to disguise it and hopefully prevent future use. We had an arsenal of BLM tools at our disposal, including pulaski’s, shovels, hoes, loppers, mcleod’s and picks to name a few, and each person developed their own system on how best to replant and aerate the dense soil. Our crew technically consisted of two four-man crews, but we camped, cooked, and worked together as one large crew. We passed the time while working playing games like contact and the helmet game; however, the highlight of the hitch had to be getting buzzed by a local retiree in a motorized glider 20 feet above our heads, and then having him drop Hershey kisses on us in the middle of our work day. The work itself was pretty back-breaking, working ten hour days hacking at the soil in all types of weather; the first week the sun beat down on us all day every day, and the second week we were pounded by wind and rain. Overall though the hitch was pretty successful, getting fourteen roads closed over eight days and compiling the data in a user friendly format for the BLM for future projects on Disco Hill.