Four volunteers joined Alyssa from the BLM Barstow Office for a Volunteer Work Day. Friends of Juniper Flats volunteers helped install a fence along a short stretch of Powerline Road (JF3330) just south of Apple Valley near Arrastre Waterfall which is in the Juniper Flats Area. The Powerline Road is becoming difficult and dangerous to navigate because of numerous short cuts on the corners where there are small hills and dips. Once started the activity creating short cuts becomes commonplace and encourages trespass on adjoining private property. It also decreases the habitat for wildlife such as squirrels and rabbits which are hunted by raptors that frequent the area (including Golden Eagles). To help lessen the short cuts and improve habitat, BLM and volunteers are installing red closed route markers, short fences and doing light “mulching” to help disguise the short cuts and illegal trails. Light mulching includes placing logs across the trail or “planting” dead sticks so that the trail entry looks more like the surrounding landscape.
Volunteering in the Juniper Flats Area helps the BLM increase the effectiveness of the agency efforts. The BLM Barstow Office has 3+ million acres of desert lands to manage, and their office is short staffed due to budget cuts. Alyssa was hired using funds from the Juniper Flats Restoration Grant to work in the Arrastre Canyon area. She organizes about 2 volunteer workdays per month.
Volunteering in the Arrastre Canyon Area of Juniper Flats provides participants with an opportunity to develop skills, good exercise, while improving the quality of experience for visitors to the area.
Installing a short fence
Disguising a dual track over the hill
Disguising trails opposite the short cut