U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Eagle Scout Project takes hold of the Dos Palmas Preserve
The Dos Palmas Preserve is a 14,000-acre Area of Critical Environmental Concern managed by the BLM's Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office. This area protects many important biological resources, including several listed species.
The BLM is working with several agencies to complete restoration projects for the area and encourages the public to get involved with the project by hosting volunteer events.
On Saturday, January 7, Devin Hampton hosted his Eagle Scout Project at the Dos Palmas Preserve. He convinced local nurseries to donate 105 plants to the project: 10 honey mesquites, 40 palo verdes, and 55 desert fan palms.
Re-establishing these plant species to the area rehabilitates wildlife habitat for several endangered species -- such as desert tortoise, Yuma clapper rail, California black rail, desert pupfish and the flat-tailed horned lizard --- and restores vegetation displaced by the invasive plant species salt cedar (Tamarix ramosissima).
Sahara mustard is a fast-growing weed that consumes ground cover, out-competing soil moisture and light against the native annuals. It is also a vector for fires and can devastate an area with fire during the hot summers. The BLM monitors populations of this invasive plant to prevent it from spreading into the preserve.
With volunteers planting and pulling weeds for five hours, the project was a huge success. The volunteers planted 105 trees, rehabilitating about 20 acres of the Preserve. The volunteers also collected twelve 40-gallon trash bags worth of Sahara mustard, clearing about 80,000 square feet of the border of the Preserve. A total of 150 volunteers hours were completed.
A huge thank you goes out to Devin Hampton, Boy Scout Troop 105, and members of Hampton's church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- Jennifer Taylor, wilderness/volunteer coordinator, BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office(Jan. 6, 2012)