Our first day of hitch was spent preparing for our upcoming work week. We packed up camp and our belongings and headed for new campsite which turned out to be the Crestview Fire Station. We setup our camp anew and went shopping for all of the supplies we would need for the time we would spend there. Our first day of work was spent debarking logs to be used as posts for upcoming ATV road closure projects. The whole crew peeled a total of 76 logs that day which consisted of Jeffery Pine and Lodgepole Pine. Our third day, we began restoring ATV trails with Forest Service Ranger Rick LaBorde. We accomplished this by planting Sage and Bitterbrush over the trails to disguise them into the surrounding landscape. We also used a technique called duffing, where ground litter such as pine cones and pine needles were spread over the trail to assist in blending it in with the rest of the landscape so that passing by motorists would not think there was a road there.
Logs and branches would also be laid out to assist in this camouflaging. All of these techniques combined produced well disguised ATV trails which Rick LaBarde commented would not be noticed by anyone as they blended in so well. That evening we met the Friends of the Inyo work crew led by Stacey Corless accompanied with other administrative staff and Ranger Rick Laborde for pizza and a very informative question and answer session. The fourth day, we finished restoring the trail which we had begun the day before, as it was quite large and it took more than one day to complete. When we finished we moved on to another trail to close which was also substantial in size. We worked on this trail for the rest of the day but did not finish it.
This trail had multiple entrances which we soon found out as ATVers came from the other side trying to pass through. Fortunately they were kind and understanding of our project and left to use a different trail. The fifth day we continued restoring the trail we had left off on the previous day. After it was completed we restored the other side of the trail through which the ATVers had arrived the day prior which took the rest of the day. The sixth day we debarked more logs to be used as posts all day. Halfway through, project leader Chris Niebuhr excused himself to work on administrative duties. The crew debarked a total of 116 logs showing our productivity and skill had increased. The seventh day we left our current work area and went deeper into the forest to close more trails further from highway 395. We closed and restored 3 ATV trails this day but were not able to fully complete the last one due to time constraints, but the Friends of the Inyo work crew finished it for us so we could begin on other projects the next day. The eighth day we were in an area with many sand flats where the threatened species Dwarf Lupin grows. We closed and restored 2 ATV trails using previously mentioned techniques in addition to using preconstructed barriers to block passage of vehicles.
The Inyo National Forest Road Closure Crew assisted us by using an auger on a few trails to make planting easier. The ninth day we worked with both the Friends of the Inyo Work Crew and the Forest Service Road Closure Crew in a new location and closed and restored 5 ATV trails. The extra manpower helped us accomplish a great deal in a short period of time. The first 2 of these ATV trails was very large and required restoring a campsite as well, but with everyone working together we accomplished it in just a few hours. The later trails were smaller and midday the Friends of the Inyo Crew left to deal with other projects, but their prep work along with the Forest Service crew allowed us to close 2 more trails after they left. The tenth day we spent maintaining and inventorying our tools. Reorganizing and inventorying our trailer and preparing to move to our next hitch location in the backcountry of the Inyo National Forest, Coyote Flat.