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mini location map2010-10-23
47 by photographer avatartibber
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Hart PrairieFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 23 2010
tibber
Hiking 1,102 AEG
Hiking
1,102 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
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AZH - Group
This was the 3rd annual work weekend for arizonahikers.com. Last year we did it in August, this year in the Fall when there was definitely a bit of a chill in the air. Late Friday, our drive on Hart Prairie Rd was somewhat adventurous since it was drizzly with low lying clouds and fog that made it difficult to see the road at times. Tonto was dirty even inside the doors from that trip.

When we woke up Sat AM, we could barely see the Prairie in front of us so we weren't sure if we would be working. The fog came and went but it cleared by around 8-8:30 so we were able to work all day; altho when the wind would blow, the temps got a bit chilly. The clouds never did lift enuf to see Humphreys on Saturday but Sunday, we got a nice clear day until we left around 1:30.

For the weekend we did several tasks with the main focus on the Bebb Willows. Tasks this year:

1) Plant four new Bebb Willows near the protected stock tank and tighten the double fence around it. (Sunday AM, small cages were built around the newly planted Bebbs) The Conservancy is trying to protect this natural tank from the bigger wildlife. There is another stock tank just to the NE of this one that the wildlife can use. They actually would prefer the elk not want to stick around here. Elk are not natural to this area.

From the Coconino National Forest site:
Rocky Mountain elk are actually a non-native species that was introduced to the area in the early 1900s. Although some theorize that northern Arizona contained a very small population of native elk, early explorers and trained naturalists who visited the area around the San Francisco Peaks and described the area in detail did not detect their presence. If a population of native elk existed, it is theorized that it was a very small population. Between 1913 and 1928, elk from Wyoming were released in this area.
Since 1950, elk numbers and distribution have increased tremendously in Arizona and have had damaging effects on the ecosystem. One of the reasons for the drastic population increase is due to an increased availability of water. Prior to settlement, this area contained few live streams and wet meadows. During the twentieth century, this situation was greatly altered when thousands of stock tanks were constructed in northern Arizona to facilitate livestock grazing. These additional water sources also provided the non-native, trans-located elk with new country to exploit.


2) Haul wood from the wood pile to the house.

3) Main focus, "willowing": Clear the cut debris from under the Bebb Willow. The hope is to provide fire protection as well as help with continued healthy growth. Hart Prairie holds a globally rare community of Bebb willow trees, the largest known in the world.

Two people were chainsawing the undergrowth and the rest of us were clearing it by either taking the slash to the road to be hauled to slash piles up by main cabin or onto slash piles located nearby. The slash piles are usually burned in the winter so they must be somewhat tall to be seen due to high snow. Working with the Bebb Willow slash is not easy as it is very tangly and has branches that stick out so it makes it hard to pile it or condense it down both when you're loading it on the truck and onto the ground. ...BUT, no stickers or thorns! :D

4) Hauled the outdoor furniture to storage, sweep out your cabin, dump the trash and take other trash back to Phx for disposal.


Here are a couple videos (Thx Bruce for letting me know about the music):

Part I: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3Ku_SEMvLk
and Mr. Bar tels :) , this one I used a quick Disney tune but then some Santana finished off with Chicago so I hope that will make listening to it more bearable. :D

Part II: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry3c_7H6as8
and I hope you don't mind but I used Nat King Cole's french version of Autumn Leaves ;) but I did balance that with some Jethro Tull.
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Humphreys Peak
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For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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