Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Volunteer Appreciation Day -- Earth Day 4-20-2013

Partners In Conservation (PIC) is hosting our 2nd annual Earth Day this Saturday, April 20th, 2013 from 8 am until noon; this is in conjunction with our Volunteer Appreciation Day, as PIC has literally hundreds of volunteers to thank for the incredible work they have done removing tamarisks and restoring native plants along the Virgin River.

The day will start with donuts and some light work; we will work from east to west and collect all the dead tamarisks into several strategic piles.  There are multiple large logs that volunteers have also dug up over the past year (these logs have literally 20-50 or more small tamarisks growing out of each log!)--we will separate the smaller tamarisks from the large logs as this saves time when we take everything to the dumpsters (in May). 

Some folks might enjoy participating in a virtual scavenger hunt and we'll have several other activities for those who want to learn more about restoration, mitigation, and riparian habitats. 

We'll clean up any trash at the mitigation site and find a few more tamarisks to top off the piles, then it's on to a fun picnic along the Virgin River!  We'll have plenty of food and cold drinks and once everyone has been served, PIC will have a brief awards ceremony and recognize those that have volunteered repeatedly throughout the last year.  We'll honor an Individual Volunteer of the Year, a Volunteer Business of the Year, and a Volunteer Group of the Year as well as acknowledge several people who were more than helpful in making this project a success! 

Then we'll raffle off some fun prizes and have some dessert--not a bad way to spend Earth Day! 

As the flyer notes, follow the City's paved hiking trail either from Grapevine east past the Middle School tennis courts or from Hafen Park west to the Middle School; once along the trail south of the middle school's playing field, you will see PIC banners and the shade structures down by the river.  Come on down!  Everyone is welcome! 

Friday, March 8, 2013


I just read a quote that went something like this, 'Yes time flies, but you are the pilot'.  I really wish I hadn't read that JUST before doing this blog, because originally, I was going to sum up not posting February's calendar pages as 'short month, time flies'.  But if I'm the pilot--there's really no excuse.  Might I suggest not riding in my airplane sometimes--as I am not the most efficient pilot--obviously!

But I am insanely optimistic, so here's to doing a better job in the future.  To that end, PIC presents our March calendar pages:

One of the exciting night events happening in March is the arrival of a boringly-named comet 'C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS).  The name may be boring, but the comet itself should be rather awesome.  Look slightly south of due west about an hour after sunset starting around March 9th; unfortunately the gambling glow of Las Vegas may be too bright--only time will tell.  If it is, a lovely drive west until Vegas is in your rear view mirror will dramatically improve comet viewing.  Maybe a twilight drive to Alamo would be the ticket--grab a yummy snack and hot chocolate at either Sinclair's or R Place, remember to bring binoculars to pass around; park in one of the small rest areas along the Pahranagat Refuge--and kick back for a relaxing and out-of-the-ordinary evening!

PIC's March 'Visit your public lands' suggestion is the Old Spanish Trail, easily found on Mormon Mesa.  This trail climbed away from the Virgin River around Halfway Wash and then headed west across the daunting mesa.  Local historian Garren Fulmer explains that the term 'trail' is a bit misleading, especially regarding the mesa as at times the trail became more of a corridor.  Still, most use did define a trail and over time, that trail has been traveled by others.  The Old Spanish Trail Association has placed markers in key areas and they are looking for local scouts, wanting to do an Eagle Scout project, to either paint old markers or erect new ones.  Contact PIC if you are interested, and we'll get you in touch with the OSTA--what a fun project and a great way to preserve and acknowledge this great historical trail. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Items of note on PIC's January calendar page

We're not sure if January went by fast for you, but it sure did for PIC!  Before it's time to post our February calendar pages, we wanted to point out more content on our January pages. 

You may have noticed, PIC introduced a new feature this year--we added Outdoor Tips to each month; those tips range from safety suggestions to ways to have more fun, from common-sense ideas to out of the ordinary concepts.  In January its the 'duh' common-sense type--the kind that everyone who spends time outdoors already knows--but BECAUSE we spend so much time outdoors, we sometimes forget or dismiss our needs for the simple things--plenty of warm clothes, layers to adjust to changing temperatures or taking a flashlight, making sure the batteries are fresh and remembering extra batteries, just in case.  Stranded because of a breakdown and forced to spend a long winter's night out in the boonies turns a flashlight into a good friend and an extra set of batteries becomes pure luxury.  The winter days are still short and the nights long, so warm clothes, flashlights, batteries make even more sense.  It all comes down to those last 10 minutes before you leave, when you think 'what else do I need?'  It's so easy to say 'nothing', but we all need to ask ourselves, 'what else JUST in case?' and grab those items before leaving for a day of fun. 

And before we put January to bed, PIC wants to thank the Virgin Valley High School students, especially the ones from Mr. Jensen's science classes; they routinely show up at volunteer events and have done so much work removing tamarisks; we wanted to highlight their contributions by featuring them on the January page.  Thanks! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Article about PIC in MV Progress

What a surprise to read the editorial in this weeks' Moapa Valley Progress; it was about us!  And the focus of the article was exactly what PIC always likes to focus on--people.  PIC believes that people are an essential element in all aspects of the natural world and Editor Vernon Robison summed up our philosophy so eloquently, "... preservation efforts are most effective when they are ‘by, for and of the people’."

Thanks Moapa Valley Progress; you made our day!  http://mvprogress.com/2013/01/23/from-the-editors-desk-conservation-as-it-was-always-meant-to-be/

Thursday, January 3, 2013

PIC's Responsible Use Video--this one won a regional Emmy!

Thank you Christine Ward of Awesome Adventures (and she takes care of the Moapa Valley Chamber of Commerce website too!) for your kindness once again.  Christine walked me through setting up a youtube account and then she uploaded PIC's Responsible Use videos to youtube (and now i can share them here!). 

Our first video, "Respect the Ride" features the Kelley family of Logandale.  Lisa is an educator in Moapa Valley, Darren races ATVs and taught his son David to do the same.  This video has the Kelley family discussing several responsible use messages from their perspective and they highlight the differences between riding on our trails and racing ATVs on a course or track. 

The Desert Conservation Program funded these vidoes; PIC proposed educational videos made by regular but recognizable people in their communities, with no memorized script--just people that spend a great deal of time riding and riding responsibly--and sharing those thoughts and memories on video.  While PIC developed the concept, Joshua Tree Productions produced the video, thus it is professionally done with graphics and 'all the works'.  Joshua Tree Productions has won multiple Emmys for their educational films and documentaries. 

PIC is especially proud that this video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRWI7DpBKyE&feature=youtu.be won a Regional Emmy in the Pacific Southwest Region in 2009.  It has taken a few years to get this video to youtube, but that hurdle was just cleared. 

Responsible Use in regards to motorized recreation on public lands is one of PIC's main priorities and responsible use is SO easy to do.  Just stay on roads and trails, respect the right of others to recreate how they see fit, be safe, don't trash the desert, ride at your skill level, and obey the speed limits--Nevada state law is 25 mph when speed limits are not posted, this includes most dirt roads and trails.  And enjoy.  Our public lands are meant to be responsibly enjoyed. Check out the video and let us know what you think.  Thanks again to Lisa, David, and Darren for your time making this video--thanks Awesome Adventures for getting our videos to youtube format. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January 2013 Calendar Pages

Here are the January, 2013 pages of our calendar and several items worthy of highlighting. 

PIC’s monthly ‘Visit your public lands’ suggestion is the Pahranagat Refuge.  We drive by it often and the refuge always provides miles of enjoyable scenery, but taking time to spend an afternoon—now that is really a treat!  Although popular in the spring and fall, a sunny January day will find you sharing the refuge with an abundance of waterfowl and wildlife, but few people.  The picnic sites along the east shore are perfectly set up for a visual feast.  Gazing over the water, watching the waterfowl while the winter trees provide stark contrast to the shoreline’s cattails and reeds is a relaxing way to spend some time; take the camera for some great photos.  As the day ends, your picnic site offers stunning views of the western sky and our lingering desert sunsets will not disappoint!  Hiking is easy; something the entire family from toddlers to grandparents can participate in and bring binoculars as everyone will want to see close-ups of the birds and other wildlife.  Most sites have BBQ's so hot food like burgers or chili are easy to prepare.  Access is via a paved road so any type of vehicle will get you there.  Enjoy!  Take some photos and post back about your day! 

The Quadrantids, peaking on January 3rd, is not one of the better known meteor showers, but in 2013 only the Perseids in August have dark nights for excellent viewing.  So, for 2013, the first meteor shower of the year ends up being one of the best to view.  Astronomy Magazine suggests finding a dark spot away from street lights and positioning yourself so that a tree or building blocks the moon’s glare; next look to  the northeast as this meteor shower radiates from that direction.  Even with the moon, Astronomy estimates a dark spot will produce 30-100 meteors an hour for your viewing pleasure.  Comment or post and let us know how many you saw! 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2013 PIC Calendars

We are almost finished with our 2013 calendars; post/email if you'd like one, plus we willl be handing them out during January at various meetings, events, etc. and dropping them off at all the businesses and organizations that PIC works with; but we want to make them available to anyone that wants one, so let us know--we'll make sure you get a PIC calendar.

Our calendars focus on our projects and the volunteers that do such amazing work, plus we have plenty of landscape and scenery photos highlighting the unique, spectacular, and stunning public land that surrounds all of us living in Southern Nevada. 

This year we are including a monthly suggestion for a public land outing, some to very familiar places, some to out-of-the-way spots, and some are simply drives.  We also added an outdoor or safety tip to each month and we'd love to feature your ideas, favorite places, tips, so please feel free to share.  If you OK it, we'd love to post your comments and suggestions to our blog or facebook or add to our calendar--for that matter, if you have any photos you want to share, please pass them on; we'll give you credit for any photo we use and PIC would love the opportunity to share what is important to you. 

We will post each upcoming month/calendar with additional information about the outing or details about relevant items like wildflower sightings or (sadly) wildfire reports and may highlight an event or provide a brief description of the photos used.  Please feel free to forward any information you'd like included in the monthly posts; if it is relevant to public land, natural resource, conservation, volunteering, or responsible recreation issues/events, PIC would love to include it.  We want an exchange of ideas and information and welcome your comments and thoughts. 

January 2013 calendar pages will be posted soon; PIC hopes the photos will be enjoyable and the information useful. 

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