Four volunteers enjoy hiking

Volunteer Monitoring Event held Thursday, February 16, 2017

Four Friends of Juniper Flats Volunteers had a blast on a short “monitoring” hike on Thursday (February 16, 2017) in the Juniper Flats Area. The views were fantastic!

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Why the Friends went on a Monitoring Hike

The friends went to look for and monitor 5 of the 40 sample sites that BLM has asked our volunteers to monitor. Meanwhile, the Friends enjoyed a beautiful hike! In 2016 BLM mapped and documented over 200 incursions in the Arrastre Canyon area of Juniper Flats. These 40 incursion sites represent a subsample which the BLM wants us to focus on as we monitor the area. Juniper Flats Restoration Grant.

What the Friends accomplished

The Friends found and documented the 5 incursions as instructed. In addition, the Friends spent considerable time pounding in open vehicle route signs that had fallen or were falling. There were well over 15 signs that needed attention! Due to the terrain it was too difficult to carry the heavy and cumbersome “pounder”, so the volunteers found a rock to pound the signs in as best they could. At other times a mallet may be used. This temporary fix is not the optimal way to keep the route signs in the ground, but it is better than leaving them strewn about!

The volunteers reported their findings to the BLM intern who collects the data and the BLM can then dispatch a crew to properly re-install the signs. While monitoring, the volunteers filled and removed a couple of small bags of trash that they found in the area.

Would you like to join our Volunteer Team?

The volunteer work that we do is very much like a treasure hunt or geocache search!   We have tasks for volunteers of all levels of skill and time commitment who like to hike, ride a horse or ride a dirt bike to help monitor the incursions, fences and kiosks in Arrastre Canyon. We are also looking for soil scientists, biologists and others to monitor the natural resources in area. We are working on a bird list and plant list. Please help!

We have assignments for the physically fit to easy riders. 

For the easy riders  there are areas of Juniper Flats that can be monitored from the comfort of a 4×4 vehicle. These monitoring routes include the 3 roads surrounding Arrastre Canyon – Coxey Truck Trail, Powerline Road and Grapevine Canyon Road. 

For leisurely hikers there are a few of the 40 sample sites are within a mile or two of a parking spot. 

For those seeking a great cardio workout there are many steep hills and the motorcycle trails are eroded and rutted. Hiking in Arrastre Canyon is strenuous.

At each location, we need team members to read maps, carry tools (to fix fences and pound in route signs) and record observations using strict protocols developed by the BLM.

If you can contribute a day a month or more, please contact Friends of Juniper Flats to join or monitoring efforts. You may  email FOJF2@yahoo.com or complete the form below.

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