We started our second hitch on Sunday, June 24th in Winnemucca. After we met Nancy, who we would be working under for the next week, we drove one hour on paved roads to reach a thirty minute stretch of dirt road out to the east side of the Montana Mountain Range.
This land was silent and beautiful with an abundance of sagebrush growing on every hillside. We were there to help the diminishing population of the threatened sage grouse. After a study had been done on the main cause of death for the sage grouse birds, surveyors concluded that these birds were dying because nearly invisible barbed wire fences were impaling them before they could take flight. This is where we came in.
We worked nonstop for three days putting together thousands of reflective clips that could be placed on the top wire of the barbed fences to warn the sage grouse of the fence’s presence. First we made the clips and then split up in teams of two and hiked alongside the fence line, over rolling hills, placing four clips every sixteen feet. Working out on the sage covered hills throughout the warm days was a very pleasant activity.
After we completed the sage grouse project, we moved on to another location in close proximity to Lovelock. There we installed twelve carsonite posts in a large burn area behind a gold mine. The posts are to remind the public to not remove any of the historical artifacts in the area. The burn area had old building foundations, cars, and even an old mineshaft. This job was quicker than the last and only took one full day.
For our last project this hitch, we went to another Lovelock area again to clean trash from the Lovelock caves. These amazing caves were cut into limestone and sat high up on a hill, looking over an old lakebed. These caves were estimated to be used by the natives back in 2000 b.c. when they could still collect fish from the lake and harvest crops from the fertile soil. We collected a garbage bag full of trash and were able to explore the surrounding area.
Our team did very well working together this hitch and we are all looking forward to our third hitch together. Overall, installing reflective clips out in the middle of nowhere was wonderful. NVRES for life!