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News.bytes Extra, issue 453

ARRA funds help preserve wilderness

A project funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will help preserve a Congressionally-designated wilderness area in Kern County.

“Fencing and signage were installed to secure and restore the northern and western boundaries of the Kiavah Wilderness along Kelso Valley Road and off of California State Highway 178,” said Peter De Witt, project manager for BLM’s Bakersfield Field Office.

A route inventory was completed in December 2008 that identified illegal off-highway vehicle (OHV) routes travelling into and within the wilderness boundary.  Often these routes were associated with illegal dumping and target shooting activities. The OHV routes were closed and fencing and signage installed along the boundary to minimize OHV trespass and allow routes to restore naturally. (text continues below)

Trash strewn across the desert floor

The $81,000 project was completed by BLM staff, volunteers and contracts with private businesses. In total, work on the ground took a little over two weeks to complete, utilizing the skills and labor of seven people.

“The resulting improvements to the wilderness boundary create an easily identifiable route into the wilderness along a cherry-stemmed road that leads to a parking area”, the project manager continued to explain. “The wilderness access point will allow compatible uses to continue and create a location wilderness information is available. The project will allow users to continue to experience the primitive recreation opporunities, solitude and isolation in a setting of outstanding natural beauty.”

tracks from illegal vehicle access into the wilderness
Tracks from illegal vehicle access into the wilderness.

fence along a dirt road
New post and cable fence along the wilderness boundary.

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 453

Last updated: 10-20-2010