Strong examples of this season’s Owens Peak crew’s accomplishments are the fence lines we built protecting the wilderness boundaries in Nine Mile Canyon and Short Canyon. The crew overcame difficult soil, steep terrain, and objectionable weather, yet still completed work to a high standard. The straw bale hill erosion controls we installed on hill climbs in Short and Sand Canyons are testaments of the hard work we put into the season. Finally, I want to acknowledge the scope and density of our restoration sites within each canyon. That the chaparral covered landscape of the Owens Peak Wilderness is thickly populated with vegetation, our task of disguising incursions required a higher density planting of vertical mulch than in the bajadas. This dense vertical-mulch planting process required great care during collection in order to avoid depleting local resources for wildlife. Our mindful approach to cultivating mulch and restoring project sites was time intensive, yet it was worth the greater reward of protecting habitat.
Thank You Ridgecrest BLM
On behalf of the Student Conservation Association Owens Peak Wilderness crew, I would like to extend our thanks to all the folks at the Ridgecrest Field Office who have contributed to the success of our season. In particular, I would like to thank Outdoor Recreation Planner Marty Dickes for her commitment to negotiating the red tape to clear our season projects, for the time she took to make field visits and provide feedback on our work, and for coordinating behind-the-scenes logistics with various specialists and agency partners. I would like to thank Supervisory Outdoor Recreation Planner Craig Beck for providing feedback and support whenever they were needed. I extend special thanks to Natural Resource Specialist Steven Gomez for assisting me with technological assistance throughout the season. More thanks to Archaeologist Danny Tyree for scoping out and granting clearance to our project sites, to Alex Neibergs for providing in depth training in fence construction to the crew, to Don Washington and the folks at the Salt Wells Fire Station for their time and training in the S212-Wildland Firefighting Chainsaw certification, and to Eddie Duque for providing us with ATV safety training. A note of thanks to Marguerite Powell and Jaylyn Fuller for helping me navigate the office. Due in part to your efforts, our crew has completed a large range of work projects to a high degree of excellence.