Our Northern Nevada stewardship team, led by Nora and Chris, headed to the Gabbs Valley Wilderness Study Area (WSA) with a focus on knocking down mining claim markers and replacing worn out and broken boundary marking signs. The same diligent work local conservationist Jim Boone was seen completing in the Fred Bell produced documentary “Fowl Claims” which premiered earlier this month at our Wild & Scenic Film Festival Livestream.
The crew removed 69 claim markers and placed 6 WSA boundary signs over 3 days. The hollow, PVC mining claim markers are notorious for trapping birds, particularly cavity-nesting species, which get trapped in the dark tube and can't make their way out. Knocking the markers down ensures that these birds have a higher chance of survival. With thousands of these avian death traps peppering the Nevada backcountry, Jim, Friends, and volunteers will have their hands full for the next few seasons as the quest to remove the last mining claim marker continues.
On the southern Nevada side, Peter and Shi-Lynn recently had their first open-to-the-public volunteer event since the pandemic began. The Harris Kiosks have been in the works for many, many months and many people have collaborated to bring this idea to fruition. Shi-Lynn designed 3 kiosk inserts to educate and guide recreationists along Harris Springs Road, an unpaved road traversing Harris Canyon and the Red Rock Canyon NCA and Spring Mountains NRA boundaries. This project went from the office with InDesign to the backcountry and finally inTheGround, thanks Shi-Lynn! A special thanks also goes to our fantastic Trail Crew who came down to help with Griffith Peak Trail (below) and also spent a couple of days helping to get the kiosks in the ground! It was great to work with Tara and Meg again and to meet Alec for the first time. This was a fun project involving staff from north and south, volunteers, and AmeriCorps. members, as well as the USFS.
In all, we installed 3 kiosks - one at an overlook describing the area and the land management areas that manage it, one at a dispersed camping site with camping and LNT tips, and one at Griffith Peak Trailhead with a map and information on the trail. It was a great time, a learning experience, and we’re all very excited to be welcome volunteers back!