Friday, July 27, 2007

High Schells Wilderness Restoration Project

On July 14th, Friends of Nevada Wilderness organized a volunteer restoration project in the newly designated High Schells Wilderness. The project involved restoring an old two-track down to a single tread path along the South fork of Berry Creek. There were eight Friends of Nevada Wilderness volunteers and staff along with two Forest Service employees helping out on the project.

The crew arrived to the site and after a safety talk and sign-in, hiked up to the wilderness boundary and began the work. The volunteers collected logs and branches to use for slash, and scattered them across the route to help disguise the scar and define the trail. Using rock bars and manpower, the volunteers moved large rocks and boulders that had been placed in piles by the Forest Service for use on the project to block access by off-road vehicles while still allowing room for hikers and stock. A couple of water bars were also built in order to guide runoff away from the trail and prevent erosion. After the finishing touches were made, wilderness boundary signs and foot-travel only signs were pounded into the ground on Forest Service carsonites.

After a long day’s work, the Friends’ volunteers and Forest Service enjoyed dinner provided by Friends of Nevada Wilderness back at the campsite and relaxed while taking in the scenic views of the High Schells Wilderness. The volunteers enjoyed the chance to get out and experience this new Wilderness on a beautiful day in eastern Nevada while also working to restore the natural character of the land.

*There were a total of 147 volunteer hours recorded for this project.
*There was a total of $2,205.00 saved through the use of volunteers that the U.S. Forest Service would otherwise have had to spend on in-kind labor. (Based on government protocol $15.00/hr)

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