Local

September 6, 2013

Hope springs eternal

The corral panels at No Name spring protect the last precious puddle of water.

On a sweltering July morning in the middle of the National Training Center, the distinctive beat of a fast-approaching helicopter cuts the heat. Suddenly, overhead, an LUH-72 Lakota helicopter approaches laden with 300 pounds of steel corral panels dangling beneath the maneuvering aircraft. With impressive speed and precision, the pilot hovers and descends into a narrow canyon until the slingload of panels lightly touches down. The load is disengaged and the helicopter, like a bird cut loose, peels off and rapidly ascends in a wind-tunnel of sand, debris and cottonwood leaves.

This was the dramatic scene a few weeks ago at Fort Irwin’s Panther Spring. What began as a vision to conquer a challenging task for Directorate of Public Works Environmental personnel, became a successful integration of multiple agencies and departments coming together in the name of conservation. The Bureau Land Management Horse and Burro program at Ridgecrest, Calif., assists DPW with management of its burgeoning feral burro herd. These large, non-native herbivores negatively impact small desert springs as they drinking the water, eat the vegetation and fouling the spring with manure. Tasked with managing and protecting these rare habitats, DPW Environmental had to find a solution.

Fencing desert springs with typical post and wire material is the most common method used to persuade persistent burros to look elsewhere for a resting spot. However, this type of fencing needs continuous maintenance and burros are experts at systematically pushing and shoving until fences stretch and topple. Unfortunately, rocky soils prevent effective t-post installation so, a solar electric fence system seemed the perfect solution! After three trips in as many months to re-install destroyed fence lines, the burros made their final point by ripping down and shattering the charger’s solar panel. It was time to start thinking outside the box – or at least making a better effort to out-think a burro.

<div clas

The first load of fence panels is lowered to the ground at Panther Springs.

s=”wp-caption-text”>

The first load of fence panels is lowered to the ground at Panther Springs.

Under the guidance of Clarence Everly, Natural and Cultural Resources Program manager, a cooperative effort was born between A Company, 2916th Aviation Battalion, the BLM Horse and Burro Program and DPW Environmental to begin the restoration of two of Fort Irwin’s most valuable desert springs. In a perfectly-executed operation, more than one ton of steel-corral panels was flown and hand-carried to protect the most critical natural and cultural resources at the springs. With the gradual recovery of the habitat, DPW biologists expect to see the return of native wildlife that relies on these oases in the desert.

With a little planning, a lot of cooperation and a good bit of luck, a formidable task was turned into a well-oiled environmental machine that was a big inspiration to all involved.

Every drop of water at Fort Irwin is a precious commodity that we are all responsible for conserving – for ourselves, for our environment and for future generations.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
   
 

 
front_page

Fort Irwin Soldiers honored at Armed Forces Day event

Children surround Spc. Matthew Bragg – of B Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment – for a photo opportunity at the 2015 Torrance Armed Forces Day Parade, May 16.   Leadership, Soldiers and civilian employe...
 
 

News Briefs June 2015

Now through Aug. 5 SAC Summer Camp. 6 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday – Friday. 1322 Pork Chop Hill. The Fort Irwin School Age Center Summer Camp Program accommodates children from kindergarten to fifth grade. SAC encourages physical, emotional, and social development through the following service areas: sports, fitness, and health options; life skills, citizenship...
 
 
IMG_5348

11th ACR Horse Detachment demonstrates tradition

Sgt. 1st Class Roman Hacker leads fellow Horse Handlers of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Horse Detachment on a beach ride at Salinas River State Beach in Marina, Calif., May 8.   Friends of the Fort Ord Warhorse welcom...
 

 
cheers

Stepmother not liable in Cinderella civil suit

Stepmother, played by Deputy Staff Judge Advocate Maj. Carol Brewer, cheers a favorable verdict. At Fort Irwin’s Law Day on May 1, Fort Irwin Middle School 5th graders gathered in their school gym to participate and watch a m...
 
 
Burnett_atlatl

Homeschoolers learn about Fort Irwin’s natural, prehistoric worlds

Redhorse Corporation archaeologist Dr. Katherine Burnett explains to homeschool students how early Native American hunters used the atlatl. In late March, about 50 Fort Irwin homeschool students got an up-close and (a little) d...
 
 
CPTLenart_COLBraga

Garrison company welcomes new commander

At his change of command ceremony, Capt. J. Kenneth Sandifer thanked his wife and children for being his motivation to serve and his parents and brother for instilling in him the Army values before they were known as the Army V...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>