Thursday, August 31, 2006

Mt. Rose Invasve Weed Removal Projects



As a result of the inventory/monitoring projects in Mt. Rose Wilderness, Friends and volunteers identified two sites along the Hunter Creek trail where an invasive weed had spread. The weed was Musk Thistle, a common invasive that grows between 4-6 feet tall.

The first infestation site took one project to successfully treat the area. The volunteers performed the work by lopping off the blooms of the weeds into large plastic bags. Each bloom of the Musk Thistle can produce 100 or more seeds. After collecting the blooms from each plant, the crew then pulled each plant by hand, including the short root system, to prevent further growth. Since the thistles simply wither up and die and cannot reproduce without the seeds from the blooms, the thorny stems were left away from the trail to die and only the blooms were bagged.

The second and larger infestation site spanned over three projects. This site covered the entire meadow located in the center of the north section of the wilderness area, which is about two to three acres. Although the entire site did not get finished before all the plants went to seed, the volunteers worked very hard and successfully removed hundreds of thistles over at least half the site.

A total of 8 volunteers participated in these weed removal projects and many trash bags full of thistle blooms were collected, representing thousands of seeds that would have spread and furthered the thistle infestation. Thanks to the hard work of these volunteers, Hunter Creek trail will no longer be covered by so many invasive weeds!

* There were a total of 97 volunteers hours recorded during these projects

Arc Dome North Twin trail project

On the weekend of August 5-6th, 2006, Friends of Nevada Wilderness did a trail restoration project along the North Twin trail in the Arc Dome Wilderness.

On Friday, August 4th, Friends of Nevada Wilderness Forest Project Coordinator Angie Dykema drove three Friends volunteers from Reno, NV to Austin, NV for the trail project in the Arc Dome Wilderness. The group camped at the Bob Scott campground outside of Austin on Friday evening and then regrouped at the Forest Service Ranger Station at 8:00 the next morning. After signing volunteer agreement forms and having a brief safety talk, the group set out to the North Twin Trailhead to begin the work.

The volunteers started working at the trailhead in toward the Werdenhoff Pasture, where the Sierra Club group had been staying for the previous week. The 13 Sierra Club women actually passed the Friends volunteers on their way hiking out of the wilderness on Saturday morning. The Sierra Club had finished about 7,685 linear feet of the North Twin Trail during the week they were there. The Friends volunteers worked hard over the weekend with the goal of getting close to the point where the Sierra Club group had left off.

The Friends volunteers worked hard from about 10:00am until 4:30pm Saturday, clearing large sections of the North Twin trail that were overgrown and hazardous for visitors. After a long day’s work, Friends provided a veggie stir-fry dinner and a trip to the Spencer hot springs located in the northeast Smoky Valley. After a relaxing soak in the hot springs and a good night’s rest, the group then set out Sunday morning to finish the trail work. The volunteers first hiked the entire trail to see the point where the Sierra Club had left off and to take in the beautiful scenic views. After the hike, the group put in a good couple hours worth of quality work before calling it a day and heading back to Reno.

Although there were only four volunteers on this project and a long stretch of brushing, lopping, pruning, and rock removal, the group worked hard and was able to successfully restore 4,488 linear feet of the trail. If left as it was, the North Twin trail in the Arc Dome wilderness would eventually have to be closed by the Forest Service due to overgrowth and neglect. Thanks to the hard-working volunteers with Friends of Nevada Wilderness and the Sierra Club, visitors will now be able to enjoy this beautiful trail and appreciate a special part of Nevada’s public lands for many years.

* There was a total of 204 volunteer hours recorded for the project over the weekend.

Friends of Nevada Wilderness

Friends of Nevada Wilderness

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Pine Forest Range



On August 25th through August 27th , Friends of Nevada Wilderness, the BLM, and the Nevada Outdoor School, joined forces to decommission two areas of illegal trespass in the Alder Creek WSA near Onion Reservoir and Knott Creek Reservoir.This Wilderness Study Area is located near Denio,Nevada in Northern Humboldt County. The elevation at the campsite was approximatly 7,500 ft. and we actually got a frost on Saturday morning, but the daytime temps were pleasent.
Friends of Nevada Wilderness provided the meal on Friday night, Gerald Gulley of the Winnemucca BLM, provided the breakfast fare and George Collier, a “Friends” volunteer created an incredible vegetarian rice dish on Saturday after the project.
Seven “Friends” volunteers and staff, two BLM staffers and seven volunteers from the NOS spent all day on Saturday de-compacting the road surfaces, and transplanting native vegetation into the damaged areas. The end result was amazing! The roads virtually disappeared.
This was one of the most satisfying projects that I have been involved with, the sense of accomplishment was incredible. This was a moving experience for me, and I feel as though we have made a lasting difference in the Alder Creek WSA. I have to tell you though, none of this would have been possible without the work of our dedicated volunteers. A special thanks to Jane, George, Wes, Max, the NOS crew, and Will and Gerald from the BLM. Angie and I cannot thank you enough!