Nevada Outdoor School inspires exploration of the natural world, responsible stewardship of our habitat and dedication to community. This is the spot for us to share stories, fun ideas or general musings. When you aren't in here, we hope to see you out there!
With heavy land use and light budgets, adopt-a-trail programs are essential to protecting our natural resources and keeping recreation areas open. Last weekend I joined the Joaquin Jeepers for their clean-up run of their adopted trail, Slick Rock, on the Stanislaus National Forest’s Highway 4 corridor.
When the snow melts in the spring, the club goes for an inaugural trail ride to repair any damage that happened over the winter – clearing trees and repairing bypasses. In early fall the club makes another trip along the length of the trail – picking up garbage, repairing bypasses, creating water bars to prevent erosion, and more. All of these stewardship projects help protect the resources, maintain the integrity of four-wheeling, and keep our public access open.
No matter what type of outdoor enthusiast you are, there are trails to be adopted. If you have an organization that is willing to take on the responsibility of adopting a trail, talk to your local land managers for more information. If you are just one person wanting to make a difference, sign up as a volunteer to pick up trash or look for stewardship events to get involved in. Every person can make a difference, even if it’s one piece of trash at a time.
With your eyes, not a carving knife! I encourage folks to get outdoors and enjoy the fall colors, but also take a moment to appreciate nature and all the hard work that was put in to growing those trees you're gaping at.
M. Lewis 2010 - I'm calling you out!
A tree's bark is its protective layer, but just beneath the surface there is a lot going on! Water, food, and nutrients are moving up and down the tree in the phloem and cambium layers just under the bark. When a thoughtless person carves in a tree it could damage these layers or open the tree up to harmful insects and disease.
Have you ever volunteered for a community event? If so, you’re aware that this means you might be fulfilling any number of roles including pouring punch, stacking chairs, serving food, welcoming participants, tutoring, and many other things. The list goes on and on.
Over the past eight months, I’ve been fortunate enough to jump into volunteering through stewardship on our public lands. These stewardship events have provided me a chance to demonstrate my passion and appreciation of the land many of us utilize and enjoy. Some of the projects I’ve been on include spring monitoring, barbed wire fence removal, fence building, micro-debris pick up, campsite cleanup, picnic table painting, clearing overgrown brush, trail maintenance, and planting native species in fire damaged areas.
There are many reasons why I appreciate being a part of these projects. Here a few:
1.) Stewardship projects have allowed me to meet great people from all across northern Nevada who care just as much for their public lands as I do. We all understand that the work we are invested in is mutually beneficial for the survival and improvement of habitat for wildlife and for public land users, just like you and me. This develops a sense of pride in the area of the project and a sense of camaraderie with fellow volunteers.
2.) Volunteers (including me) get to go out in new areas and explore gorgeous places they have never been to before!
3.) Working to improve and conserve natural areas allows the opportunity for exploration and enjoyment of that land for future generations.
Through my involvement with these projects over the past field season, I have developed a strong appreciation of these lands. I have learned and seen first-hand the positive difference just a few volunteers can make. Volunteering in any capacity always helps to strengthen a community, whatever your role may be. So whether it’s making meals at your local soup kitchen, or planting bitterbrush on burned land, keep up the great work!