Cow Camp Clean Up

The last weekend in February was a beautiful time to be out in the Mojave desert. About 21 volunteers from Nevada Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, the Boy Scouts and other groups showed up at Cow Camp on the Desert National Wildlife Range to help with a clean up project. Cow Camp consisted of about 1/4 mile of pipeline from a spring to a corral. The project was constructed in the 1930s when the area was grazed by livestock. Since the Desert Range is no longer open to livestock grazing, the development had fallen into disrepair and the pipeline was no longer needed.

The project was challenging as the spring and pipe were located on a very steep slope above the corral. Employees of the Fish and Wildlife Service visited the site ahead of time and cut the pipe into manageable 6′ to 8′ lengths. Teams of volunteers threw lengths of pipe down the canyon one ledge at time. Once the pipe was down one level lower, the volunteers would hike down and start throwing pipe down over the next cliff. Another crew of volunteers repaired the corral, replaced the gate, constructed a hitching post and cleaned up nails, pipe and old lumber. The corral and hitching post are once again useable.

A wildlife drinker is in place near the spring, providing water for bighorn sheep and other wildlife. A willow tree next to the spring provides cover for birds and small animals. After finishing the clean up, we hiked up to the spring to eat lunch and watch the song birds drink from the spring.

The project was organized by Alan Tyler, an individual who enjoys hiking in the area. He contacted the Fish and Wildlife Service to determine the feasibility of doing the project. After obtaining permission from them, he contacted local environmental groups to round up volunteer labor. It just goes to show what one individual can accomplish if they take the time to get involved.

NvWF thanks each volunteer for their support!