Monday, October 23, 2006

Mt. Rose- Hunter Lake Road Project

On Saturday, October 21st, Friends of Nevada Wilderness Forest Project Coordinator Angie Dykema and 6 Friends volunteers went up the Hunter Lake Rd. through Mt. Rose Wilderness to restore an area that had been impacted by illegal off-road vehicle trespass.The crew met at the Friends of Nevada Wilderness office at 6:30 in the morning and carpooled to the site in two vehicles, accessing the Hunter Lake Rd. from the Garson Rd. entrance out of Boomtown. There were three sites that needed restoration from illegal vehicle trespass into the north wilderness area, all located along the Hunter Lake Rd. The Hunter Lake Rd. divides the Mt. Rose Wilderness into two sections- the North and South.

Upon arrival at the first site, the crew hiked the illegal route up to the boundary sign, where it then continued past the sign well into the wilderness, in order to assess the damage and get an idea of the kind of restoration work that needed to be done.The crew set to work at the first site using the vertical mulching method, and also created natural barricades with fallen limbs and boulders from the surrounding area. While at work, the crew took note of about ten ATVs driving along the Hunter Lake Rd., a couple of which could be heard driving off-road a distance away.

After restoring the first intrusion site with sagebrush and other materials, the crew took a lunch break, and then went to work at the second site, which was down by the actual wilderness boundary sign. The crew inventoried a campsite at this spot and then dismantled the campfire pit, since it was only about 15 ft. from the Hunter Creek.

After hard work moving boulders and creating rock barriers on the route, the crew moved on to the last intrusion site and continued the restoration. Since there were no materials for revegging at this site, the crew placed logs and large rocks in the way to create obstacles and block access to the route from the Hunter Lake Rd.

After a long day’s work, the crew drove back down to Reno and enjoyed a delicious dinner provided by Friends of Nevada Wilderness. The new volunteers each received a Friends of Nevada Wilderness Warrior t-shirt and the second, third and fourth-time around volunteers each got a Nalgene water bottle with the Friends sticker. It was a very satisfying and rewarding project. The volunteers enjoyed the chance to get out and enjoy the wilderness on a beautiful autumn day while also working to restore the natural character of the land.

*There was a total of 80.5 volunteer hours recorded for this project.

Volunteers restoring an illegal vehicle route into Mt. Rose Wilderness along the Hunter Lake Rd.