On Saturday April 8, 2017 five Friends of Juniper Flats volunteers joined Alyssa Canoff from BLM Barstow Office to restore yet another closed vehicle route in Arrastre Canyon. Volunteer Activities. BLM Recreation Chief Zack Pratt also stopped by, but he left to take care of some new graffiti on the kiosk at Arrastre Waterfall.
Challenges for this project
The weather was extremely windy making it difficult to keep the dead branches in the ground! Despite the rains earlier this year, this user created route had been compacted so much that it was rock hard to at least 8 inches.
Volunteers achieved the goal!
Volunteers restored about 215 feet of trail (4 feet wide) making it look a lot less like a vehicle route. A combination of horizontal and vertical mulching techniques were used in an attempt to make the route look more like the surrounding area. To do this dead branches were collected from junipers that had burned in the Willow Fire (1999); some cuttings from live bushes (never more than 10% of the bush) were planted to look like a bush; a rock or two were found to help anchor the new “bushes”; some divided bunch grass clumps (best to leave half of the clump happy where it is) were replanted; and the route was “pitted” to encourage the natural collection of seeds in the small pits (indentations 2-3 inches deep). Restoration
Fun as well as work
The volunteers had a fun day while getting their hands dirty in a meaningful work project. There were lovely views and wildflowers and the crew met new people who were visiting the area. One group was hiking to Arrastre Waterfall and another group stopped to find out what was going on as they rode by on motorcycles.