Leave No Trace Training - Trails Skills Training - Habitat Monitoring

Leave No Trace Training – Trails Skills Training – Habitat Monitoring

Horton’s Creek, Tonto National Forest (Payson, AZ); Copper Mountain Loop, Black Canyon National Recreational trail, BLM Hassayampa F.O. (Mayer, AZ); Y-Cross, Important Bird Area, Agua Fria National Monument.

Project Partner: BLM, Hassayampa Field Office and  Audubon Arizona

Hitch Accomplishments: Leave No Trace Training/Certification; Introduction to Camping Skills (Backcountry and Frontcountry); Basic trails skills; Habitat Assessment, Vegetation Monitoring; AZ Bird Identification.

Total Miles Hiked:  11

Trails Constructed: 416 feet new tread cut

Acres Restored/Monitored: 1.5 miles surveyed

Day One:  Phoenix College Classes:

Wildlife Management (BIO274), Career and Work Experience (CWE198AB),  and Recreation and Resource Management Internship (REC27).


Day Two: Outdoor Adventure Skills (REC150AB) Field Trip and Leave No Trace Training and Certification. 

The Crew met at ACYR and traveled to BLM to meet with Lawrence and perform a vehicle check before going out on their first week in the field! The crew arrived at the Horton’s Creek Trailhead in the Tonto screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-10-01-49-pm    National Forest (16 miles east of Payson).  about noon and were met by ACE Hannah Wendel. After doing a food and tool inventory and packed  the van, the crew prepared for the backcountry hike going over safety concscreen-shot-2016-09-21-at-10-02-07-pmerns and stretches before hitting the trail (Safety Circle). The crew were met with Outdoor Adventure Skills Instructor, Dave Brown and began hiking on USFS trail 285. Throughout the hike, the crew would stop and each student would present their designated Leave No Trace (LNT) Ethic, including an introduction to the principle and an activity or demonstration to educate the rest of the crew of the ethic.  Under the guidance of Crew Leader Heather and Dave Brown, the crew learned how to properly set up a campsite, filter water, and cook in the backcountry. Day temperature was moderate with no rain/cloud cover. Night temperatures were cool with no rain.


Day Three: LNT and Outdoor Skills Continuation and Travel to Project Worksite:

After breaking down camp and successfully hiking back to the trailhead and van and a quick stop to the US Fish Hatchery, screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-10-07-52-pm screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-10-08-05-pmthe crew traveled to the Copper Mountain Loop worksite. The crew had their first introduction to navigating  BLM roads and 4×4 driving while traveling to their campsite, as well as experiencing how fast landscapes can change in Arizona, coming from the mountains to back to the desert!  The crew worked together to navigate to the campsite located on the northwest corner of the Copper Mountain Loop, including discovering Prickly Pear Fruit, a crusade led by Kam. Crew set up camp and helped each other out with finding “hard and durable” surfaces and pitching tents and then cooking dinner together (Burritos!)


Day Four: Copper Mountain Loop Trail Construction and Trail Skills Training:

Met with Lawrencescreen-shot-2016-09-21-at-10-02-56-pm and traveled to the worksite. Crew worked on cutting 416 feet of new tread on the trail while learning about the different trail tools and having their first day on the trail! It was a very hot day but spirits were high. The terrain of Copper Mountain Loop is tough and a great learning experience for new trail builders!screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-10-02-39-pm




Day Five: Yellow-billed Cuckoo Habitat Assessment/Monitoring:

After breaking down camp, the crew traveled to Black Canyon City to meet with Auduboscreen-shot-2016-09-21-at-10-02-26-pmn Arizona Biologists, Cathy Wise and Steven Prager to conduct post-season vegetation/habitat monitoring at Western Yellow-billed cuckoo survey sites in Agua Fria National Monument at Y-Cross Ranch. The crew divided into two groups and surveyed transects along the Agua Fria River spanning about 1.5 miles.  

It was a great and inspiring first week with crew members learning new skills and coming together as a team while beginning to build their understanding of land management and trail work.

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