Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Quinn Canyon Wilderness- August 4, 2007

Over the weekend of August 4th-5th, Friends of Nevada Wilderness performed a volunteer monitoring and restoration project in the Quinn Canyon Wilderness. The project involved assisting in monitoring efforts for invasive weeds and campsites in the wilderness along with trail maintenance along the Cherry Creek trail, which had not been maintained in years and had become inaccessible to visitors. There were six Friends of Nevada Wilderness volunteers and staff along with three Forest Service seasonal employees helping out on the project.
The volunteers arrived to the Cherry Creek campground Friday night and met up with the Forest Service Saturday morning. The volunteers split into three groups and accompanied the three Forest Service employees on different projects. One group went with April Johnson, the Forest Service Wilderness Ranger, to complete some monitoring work along the Hooper Canyon trail and along the boundary. The group documented and dismantled four different campsites, documented an invasive weed, and placed a couple wilderness boundary signs in needed locations. Another group went to find out if the Pine Creek trail existed and flagged and GPS’d the trail, which was in rough shape. The remaining volunteers joined Jim Proctor, Forest Service Trails Technician, to help clear the Cherry Creek trail of brush, excessive vegetation and downed logs. The trail work entailed pruning and lopping where the vegetation had crowded in the trail and also filling in some severely eroded and washed out sections of the trail where the creek had taken over. The Friends volunteers cleared the trail about 1/2 mile in to the wilderness, making it accessible for hikers and stock so that the wilderness resources can be protected from the creation of social paths and other negative impacts.

Volunteers worked to stop erosion of the trail along Cherry Creek.

The Friends of Nevada Wilderness volunteers and Forest Service employees enjoyed dinner and campfire that night, and the following morning a couple Friends volunteers continued with the trail work along Cherry Creek while the others were able to go for a hike through the Quinn Canyon Wilderness and enjoy the scenic views. There is still a large section of the Cherry Creek trail further into the wilderness that will need more maintenance work, but the Friends volunteers got a good start on the first section of the trail and will be back again to finish it off.

*There were a total of 156 volunteer hours recorded for this project.
*There was a total of $2,340.00 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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