Desert Springs Action Committee--Ash Meadows Work Party - OCT. 6-7, 2000
The Desert Springs Action Committee, in conjunction with the Bay Area
Killifish Association, North American Native Fishes Association, and others
is happy to presents their latest conservation field trip to the Nevada
During October 6-7 we will be undertaking conservation work at the Ash
Meadows Wildlife Refuge, Nevada, under supervision of US Fish and Wildlife
Service staff with the following days (8-9) being spent viewing habitats and
travelling to Preston, Nevada to continue our guppy / springfish research.
Ash Meadows, Nevada is a very special place. It has a higher number of
endemic species for its given area than any other place in the United
States. This is primarily due to the presence of permanent freshwater
springs that allow life to flourish in the desert. Ash Meadows was also the
site of one of the longest environmental battles in North America,
(1967-1984). For a considerable time the area was threatened by ranchers
who diverted spring outflows and pumped excessive quantities of ground water
for irrigation, threatening the continued existence of the springs. The
next principal impact was a proposed desert city that would have also
required large quantities of ground water. As a combined result of these
impacts one fish species is extinct, and the remainder are currently listed
as Endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Today the area
is a National Wildlife Refuge and despite it's current protective status,
problems still regularly occur, i.e. exotic fish species are still
introduced into springs threatening native aquatic fauna.
Our primary objective is the removal of non-native organisms including
damnbusia, mollies, largemouth bass, crayfish and bullfrogs. We will likely
also conduct some cattail removal from some springs so bring gloves. There
will be ample opportunity to see the native pupfishes and dace close up.
Please note however, no native fishes may be removed from the refuge as all
are fully protected by the Endangered Species Act.
We will be camping at the same locality as last year. Bathroom and shower
facilities will be available. Directions to our camp site are as follows.
If coming from the southern entrance, continue north up the dirt road for
about 2 miles where there will bea rusty metal gate on the right side of the
road. Turn right (east) through the gate with a sign saying "Service Road
Unauthorized Entry Prohibited." Continue on this road for about 3/4 mile to
the trailer. Note, from the point where you enter the refuge from the south
there will be four other road junctions to the right prior to the gated road
to the refuge trailer, two of which also have the same "Service Road" sign.
The turn off to the trailer however, is the only one which is gated.
If coming from the north, or entering through the west, or east (Devils
Hole) entrances: continue to the main "T" junction (where all the mail boxes
are) and turn south. Continue south for 1.0 mile to the "Y" Junction. One
branch of the Y continues due south, while the other angles to the east.
Stay straight, continuing south for another 1/2 mile. Turn left (east) at
the gate as described above.
Alternative accommodation is also available at the nearby Longstreet Casino
800 508 9493, you should book early though. Ash Meadows is located a few
miles north of the CA-NV border on Hwy. 373 and is clearly marked with
signpost. A map is available at http://www.tkphotos.com/ashmed/amapa.htm.
will gather at the camp site at 8 am on the 6th to organize activities.
DSAC will be coordinating the meal preparation with help from various old
hands. Cooking facilities will be provided, however you should bring your
own eating utensils and food. The Desert Springs Action Committee, however,
will provide the food for a Friday evening BBQ. A $12 stipend towards this
BBQ is requested in advance. Please send checks to Jim Lawson at his
address below prior to September 15.
Please inform us early if you wish to form, or need car pool information. A
very comprehensive web page of the work we do and past trips is located at
Contact Peter Unmack <peter.unmack_at_asu.edu>, 480 965 1578 or Jim Lawson, 802
Arlington Way, Martinez CA 94553, <jelawson_at_ix.netcom.com>, 925 335 9346 for
further information, maps, and required registrations forms (cancelled
check). The non-refundable stipend is due September 15, 1999. Please make
checks payable to Jim Lawson at the above address.
Thank you and we'll look forward to another great Ash Meadows weekend.
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