Unique Places

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Jim_H
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Unique Places

Post by Jim_H » Mar 06 2014 11:55 am

One thing some HAZers may have noticed about me is my enjoyment of intact or nearly intact "unique places", or areas of the country that are relatively undisturbed by post settlement activities: agriculture, fire suppression, logging. over grazing, mining, and so on. In the past, you have read about them when I discuss or mention them in logs or forum posts. Some, such as McKenna Park in the Gila, Government Prairie, and the intact pine forests with a higher fire frequency on the Rincon Mountains, I have mentioned before and are probably known well enough to access.

Others, like the Janos Grassland of northern Mexico, are relatively unknown, hard to access, but still nice to know about. Today, I learned of the Otero Mesa, which surprised me by even being there. Essentially, it's a desert grassland, something that was once common in the Chihuahua Desert, but is now rare thanks to over grassing. It's SE of Alamogordo, south of the Sacramentos, and west of the Guadalupes. In the next month or so, I would like to get out and see it. At the least, the low hills between the Organ Mountains and Guadalupes, now have a name for me as the Cornudas Mountains.

Does anyone else know of unique biological places, preferably in the southwest or western US, that might not be talked about, are fairly easy to access, and represent something formerly abundant but now relatively rare? Keep in mind, I don't mean your special hiding space, I mean biological communities and areas.
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.

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PatrickL
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Re: Unique Places

Post by PatrickL » Mar 06 2014 12:42 pm

Big Bend National Park.

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Jim_H
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Re: Unique Places

Post by Jim_H » Mar 06 2014 1:08 pm

That is actually very well known. Those are good places, too, but I'm looking for places most may not know about.
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.

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friendofThundergod
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Re: Unique Places

Post by friendofThundergod » Mar 06 2014 1:23 pm

@Jim_H
I remember reading a pretty good description of a wilderness area in AZ that was described as the "Red Headed Step Child of Wilderness areas" because either nobody went, it was small or not known by many..I wish I could remember name..but I believe it got a good write-up, just cant remember name...I am sure this doesn't help..but maybe that is the place for you...

Also stretches of the Verde are designated as "national wild river" sections, and there are some criteria for that designation that may fit what you are looking for, its actually kind of interesting the criteria that go into such a selection..I attached a link, albeit a somewhat dry to read link, however, I think there is certain to be stretches along the Upper Verde that meet the criteria you seek...I visited one such section of river about a month ago and found it to be similar to what you may be looking for...although, I believe grazing may occur near or in some of these areas, so that may be a no-go for you...

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOC ... 342134.pdf

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Grasshopper
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Re: Unique Places

Post by Grasshopper » Mar 06 2014 2:05 pm

Prescott Natl Forest - Cedar Bench Wilderness.. "Red Headed Step Child of Wilderness areas" a unique place to be
http://hikearizona.com/photo=267732 ;)
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")

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friendofThundergod
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Re: Unique Places

Post by friendofThundergod » Mar 06 2014 2:43 pm

@Grasshopper
yup that is the one..

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RedRoxx44
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Re: Unique Places

Post by RedRoxx44 » Mar 06 2014 3:01 pm

No Man's Mesa, Utah-- grazed by a goat herd briefly in early 1900's ?; relic grasslands etc of the region, accessible by foot path now in a break in the cliffs, otherwise isolated from casual approach by stock or machinery.

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Nighthiker
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Re: Unique Places

Post by Nighthiker » Mar 06 2014 5:16 pm

Cedar Bench, the forest service folks in Camp Verde did not know about it when I asked about it.
jk

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Jim_H
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Re: Unique Places

Post by Jim_H » Mar 07 2014 7:43 pm

You would be surprised how agencies managing things have staff that are ignorant of those places. Well, probably not.

Once it warms, I want to head to Otero Mesa. Might be a while, winter makes a comeback this weekend.
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.

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big_load
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Re: Unique Places

Post by big_load » Mar 07 2014 7:56 pm

Jim_H wrote:You would be surprised how agencies managing things have staff that are ignorant of those places. Well, probably not.
You're right! My bitterness and cynicism probably don't even register on your scale, but no amount of ignorance could surprise me. Fortunately, to counterbalance that, there are scads of very knowledgeable people tucked away in unexpected places.

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Jim_H
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Re: Unique Places

Post by Jim_H » Mar 07 2014 8:06 pm

big_load wrote:
Jim_H wrote:You would be surprised how agencies managing things have staff that are ignorant of those places. Well, probably not.
You're right! My bitterness and cynicism probably don't even register on your scale, but no amount of ignorance could surprise me. Fortunately, to counterbalance that, there are scads of very knowledgeable people tucked away in unexpected places.
Uh, I think you misunderstood. While I was thinking mostly of counter staff who are often totally ignorant of things, many of the people who work in Federal Lands, not just the seasonal or front desk people, are not in a particular place for very long. I don't talk to them anymore, but one guy I went to school with in Florida moved at least 3 times in 5 years. He was in Florida, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Oregon, and who knows where now. It's pretty hard to really know you forest if you're riding the promotion train and moving all the time. I mean ignorant in the strictest sense, with people simply not knowing something is there. I could very easily conceive of someone from the Reserve RD of the Gila not knowing anything of the Wilderness RD features.
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.

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Jim_H
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Re: Unique Places

Post by Jim_H » Mar 07 2014 8:31 pm

big_load wrote: You're right! My bitterness and cynicism probably don't even register on your scale, but no amount of ignorance could surprise me.
It took me a few minutes, but I thought of a few good responses.

Angry: "You may have won this round, but you don't know me, and you don't always know what I'm thinking. I have lots of positive thoughts and idea, I....uh....eh, the hell with it. Who am I kidding.

Encouraging: "Don't sell yourself short, if you try just a little bit, you might find you can match my bitterness an cynicism."

Truly jaded: "my expectations fall everyday, so you're probably just like me".
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.

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big_load
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Re: Unique Places

Post by big_load » Mar 07 2014 8:34 pm

Jim_H wrote:Encouraging: "Don't sell yourself short, if you try just a little bit, you might find you can match my bitterness an cynicism."
I can't argue with that. I wouldn't really have to try very hard.

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big_load
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Re: Unique Places

Post by big_load » Mar 07 2014 9:23 pm

Jim_H wrote:Truly jaded: "my expectations fall everyday, so you're probably just like me".
That's probably also true.

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