Volunteers Help Restore Fire Ravaged Red Cliffs NCA
3,500 Plants Watered in Three Hours!
In 2020, four human-caused wildfires ravaged the Red Cliffs NCA, burning nearly 25% of the protected Mojave desert tortoise critical habitat. In October, the BLM, American Conservation Experience crews, and CSU volunteers responded to this devastation in a big way. We created an intensive habitat restoration plot, planting and caging 3,500 creosote, white bursage and ephedra plants.
On July 1, 30 hardy volunteers hand-watered each of the 3,500 plants in the Cottonwood Trail Fire Burn Area Restoration Plot in only 3 hours! This is an amazing accomplishment!
The good news is that despite very little moisture, survival of the October plantings appears very high, maybe as much as 90%. Supplemental watering will ensure that these plants can survive into the future. Meaning that there will be a big need for more watering as the native plants become established.
The goal is for plants in this restoration plot to survive and act as a fertile island that spreads seed to other burned areas in the Red Cliffs NCA. The bigger goal is to have a series of interconnected fertile islands (where the land has been brought back to life) that act as corridors for wildlife to travel across the RCNCA finding the food and shelter they need amid the burned areas.
For the many that missed this opportunity to help restore the Red Cliffs NCA, worry not. There will be opportunities in the future. Think what we could accomplish with 300 volunteers!
Below we have assembled a pictorial showing the amazing work that 30 volunteers accomplished in 3 short hours.
A big thank you to all that made this happen!