Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Announcing the Winners of the 2018 WV Photo Contest

Wilderness Volunteers is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 WV Photo Contest sponsored by: 

                                   


We received nearly 200 entries and there were so many great photos, picking a winner was not an easy job.

The grand prize winner for best photo is Rick Brickley. He has won a gift certificate for a free Wilderness Volunteers project good for the 2019 project season.


Rick took this breathtaking photo of hikers on the Glacier National Park service project.  

The Landscape photo winner is Kelly Randall. He has won a Patagonia Provisions Sampler donated by Patagonia, a coupon for 23% off one REI Co-op Brand Item or REI Outdoor School Class donated by REI, a REI Gift Certificate for $10 donated by Liz Lemon, and a Miir 16 oz vacuum insulated stainless steel food canister donated by Patagonia Provisions.    


Kelly took this photo of sunrise over the South Sister on the Three Sisters Wilderness service project in the Willamette National Forest.

The Wildlife photo winner is Eric Mak. He has won a Backpacker's Pantry Sampler donated by Backpacker's Pantry,  a coupon for 23% off one REI Co-op Brand Item or REI Outdoor School Class donated by REI, an REI Gift Certificate for $10 donated by Liz Lemon, and an Open Country 12-cup aluminum Camp Perk.



Eric took this photo of two mountain goats on the Wild and Scenic Salmon River service project in the Salmon-Challis National Forests. 

The Hard at Work photo winner is Randy Meier. He has won a Backpacker's Pantry Sampler donated by Backpacker's Pantry, a Coupon for 23% off one REI Co-op Brand Item or REI Outdoor School Class donated by REI, an REI Gift Certificate for $10 donated by Liz Lemon, and an Open Country 12-cup aluminum Camp Perk.



Randy took this photo of volunteers doing trail work on the Three Sisters Wilderness service project in the Willamette National Forest.

The On The Trail photo winner is Robert Hashioka. He has won an Patagonia Provisions Sampler donated by Patagonia, a Coupon for 23% off one REI Co-op Brand Item or REI Outdoor School Class donated by REI, a REI Gift Certificate for $10 donated by Liz Lemon and a 24oz stainless steel TriMax Triple Insulated EcoVessel donated by Patagonia Provisions.    


Bob took this photo of the hike in on the spring Dark Canyon service project in the Manti-La Sal National Forest.


You can see the rest of our great 2018 photo contest entries as well as photos from just about every 2018 service project online in the Wilderness Volunteers photo gallery.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNERS AND THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS AND EVERYONE WHO ENTERED!

Don't forget to bring your camera with you on your next service project so you're ready for the 2019 Wilderness Volunteers photo contest.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

DIY Series: Wine Box Handwashing Bag

In a group camping/backpacking situation handwashing is one of the most important ways we can keep from getting sick (or from spreading germs to others). It can be difficult though when you have to get some extra water and take the water/soap 200ft away from water sources. Making it easy and accessible makes people much more likely to wash their hands more often and help keep your group healthy and happy.

Wilderness Volunteers Leader Karen Peters recently brought a handwashing bag she made herself on a service project in the Superstition Mountains. We were so impressed with her bag that we asked her to share her technique with everyone!

"I love having hand washing bags set up near the kitchen and near the latrine and have had success with this DIY bag.

STEP 1: Drink a large box of wine. (Or have friends help you drink a large box of wine.)
Remove the bag. Snip off the corner opposite the spigot.


STEP 2. Use duct tape to secure the inner liner to the outer plastic bag.


STEP 3. Purchase 16 inches of nylon or other sturdy, quick dry fabric. The fabric I bought was wide enough for two bags. First use a zig zag stitch to reinforce the opening that you will use for the spigot. Next sew the edges to make an envelope to hold the bag.


STEP 4. Sew a casing for the string that you will use to hang it up on the corner opposite the spigot hole. I used a light line that I also use for hanging laundry.


STEP 5. Your completed bag should look like this


STEP 6. Stuff the plastic wine bladder into the bag. Secure the plastic with a binder clip.


STEP 7. Poke the wine spigot through the hole you created in the nylon bag. I like the twist knobs, rather than the plunger, as I think they are easier to use with wet hands.


STEP 8. Hang your completed bag on a tree, fence post.


I also like to teach people to wash their hands to a song, happy birthday or jeopardy. One recent participant told me that the jeopardy song is really long when the air is only 30 degrees!"

Karen Peters
Wilderness Volunteers Leader

Friday, November 02, 2018

Announcing the 2018 Photo Contest

The 2018 season is nearly over and it's time again to celebrate all of the great work our trip participants helped WV accomplish this year by awarding some great prizes for a few fantastic photos!

A few of our great entries from last year:













Enter your favorite WV project photos by clicking on the following links and uploading your selections to the WV SmugMug gallery in these categories:
Please be sure to add your name and the project name to the file name of each photo before uploading them. (eg. NorthcuttLyeBrook.jpg)

To view entries so far go to: https://wildernessvolunteers.smugmug.com/Annual-Photo-Contest/2018-Photo-Contest and click on the desired category.

One winner will be selected for each category as well as a grand prize winner for best photo.

Grand Prize:
  • A gift certificate for a free Wilderness Volunteers project good for the 2019 project season
Best Landscape:
  • Patagonia Provisions Sampler donated by Patagonia
  • Coupon for 23% off one REI Co-op Brand Item or REI Putdoor School Class donated by REI  
  • REI Gift Certificate for $10 donated by Liz Lemon
  • Miir 16 oz vacuum insulated stainless steel food canister donated by Patagonia Provisions   
Best Wildlife:
  • Backpacker's Pantry Sampler donated by Backpacker's Pantry 
  • Coupon for 23% off one REI Co-op Brand Item or REI Putdoor School Class donated by REI
  • REI Gift Certificate for $10 donated by Liz Lemon
  • Open Country 12-cup aluminum Camp Perk

Best On the Trail:
  • Patagonia Provisions Sampler donated by Patagonia
  • Coupon for 23% off one REI Co-op Brand Item or REI Putdoor School Class donated by REI
  • REI Gift Certificate for $10 donated by Liz Lemon
  • Wilderness Volunteers Klean Kanteen    

Best Hard At Work:
  • Backpacker's Pantry Sampler donated by Backpacker's Pantry 
  • Coupon for 23% off one REI Co-op Brand Item or REI Putdoor School Class donated by REI  
  • REI Gift Certificate for $10 donated by Liz Lemon
  • Open Country 12-cup aluminum Camp Perk

You can enter as many photos as you like, just be sure to do so before the deadline on December 15th! 

A huge thank you to this year's photo contest sponsors:



 



Official Contest Rules:
  • All photos must be taken on a 2018 Wilderness Volunteers Project and subject matter must comply with Leave No Trace ethics & principles.
  • Each entry must include the photographer's name and the project it was taken on.
  • The same photo cannot be entered in more than one category. Judges reserve the right to switch images to other categories.
  • The contest is open to all 2018 WV project participants and leaders, except for Wilderness Volunteers staff, contest judges and their families. WV reserves the right to verify, in its sole judgment, entrant eligibility. 
  • Photographs will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact and artistic merit. Awards will be selected by a panel of judges, and all decisions are final.  
  • Entries must be submitted to the Wilderness Volunteers photo gallery no later than 11:59pm UTC on by Saturday, December 15th, 2018 to be eligible.
  • Judges may exclude entries that do not meet the above criteria.
  • Winners will be notified by email. Wilderness Volunteers is not responsible for lost or damaged prizes.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

20 Years in the Making: Restoring the Escalante River

Project photo

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Russian Olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) is a perennial tree or shrub with light green/silvery leaves that can grow to 30+ feet tall and bears yellowish, olive-shaped fruit. The young trunks and branches of Russian Olive have large 1 to 2 inch thorns. Native to southern Europe and to central and western Asia,  Russian Olive was introduced to the central and western United States in the early 1900's as a horticultural plant. It was cultivated as a hedge, to provide shade and windbreaks, and as a landscape plant for decades and can still be found at plant nurseries throughout the southwest.
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yellow 4-lobed flowers
Since its introduction Russian Olive (RO to weed warriors) has escaped into the rivers and canyons of the southwest where it has become a serious threat to the native plants and animals. Thick stands of Russian Olive crowd the river banks, narrowing the river channel, trapping sediment and changing the water temperature and chemistry, and shading/crowding out native river plants. Fragrant willows, magestic cottonwoods and other native woody shrubs and trees that provide critical shelter, food and habitat to migrant birds, nesting waterfowl, deer, and elk disappear from the river banks as the Russian Olive moves in.

BEFORE/AFTER THE INVASION OF RUSSIAN OLIVE

Escalante River just above the ‘Twin Canyons’ between Harris Wash and Choprock
(left\before)    April 30, 1991 — No Russian Olive present. Photo: Bill Wolverton 
(right\after)   April 28, 2010 — 19 years later overrun with Russian Olive. Photo: Bill Wolverton

dani-escalante-23Wilderness Volunteers has been actively working to restore southern Utah's magnificent Escalante River corridor since 1998 by fielding multiple Russian Olive removal projects each year. We've coordinated over 58 week-long volunteer service projects over the last 20 years in cooperation with the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (downstream), Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (upstream), the Grand Staircase Escalante Partners, and the Escalante River Watershed Partnership (ERWP).

The Escalante River runs approximately 90 miles from where the river forms at the merging of the Upper Valley and Birch Creeks to the southeast where it flows into Lake Powell. Volunteers have hiked countless miles into the far reaches of the Escalante to remove Russian Olive. They've used saws, loppers and other small hand tools to cut small RO trees and treated the stumps with herbicide to finish the job. Larger trees were trimmed back, girdled (the bark is removed from the entire circumference of the trunk), and herbicide applied to the cut. Larger RO are often girdled and left standing to minimize the amount of debris on the ground. These trees die and and eventually fall down and are washed out with natural flood activity. 

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Escalante Apr 2011 - 10PA020021

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Just across the river from Choprock Canyon
(left\before)    August 28, 2009 — Photo: Bill Wolverton
(right\after)   May 5, 2010 — Photo: Bill Wolverton
0.25 miles above Choprock Canyon
(left\before)    August 29, 2009 — Photo: Bill Wolverton
(right\after)   October 16, 2010 — Photo: Bill Wolverton
As of late 2017, over 84 miles of the 90 mile river corridor had been cleared from the reservoir up and the prediction is that all 90 miles will have been treated by the end of 2018. This isn't the end of our Russian Olive removal efforts in the Escalante (as some areas will need retreatment) but it is an incredible milestone for a massive restoration undertaking that many didn't think was feasible when removal effort first began.

Thank you to all of the dedicated volunteers, public land agency staff, and tireless weed warriors who have made this possible. 

"Off in the east an isolated storm is boiling over the desert, a mass of lavender clouds bombarding the earth with lightning and trailing curtains of rain. The distance is so great that I cannot hear the thunder. Between here and there and me and the mountains it’s the canyon wilderness, the hoodoo land of spire and pillar and pinnacle where no man lives, and where the river flows, unseen, through the blue-black trenches in the rock."
-Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

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SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Grand Staircase Escalante Partners
 Escalante River Watershed Partnership 
Tom Haberle
Jim Bowman
Amber Hughes
John Sherman
Deborah Northcutt
Bill Sheppard
Carleton Sheppard
Dave Pacheco
Misha Kokotovic
Bill Olmstead
Dan Stevens
Dudley McIlhenny
Curt Mobley
Steve Cole
Robin Rose
Brian Bondy
Jen Jackson-Quintano
Jane Butter
Stephanie Flores
Cass Hopkinson
Brian Miller
Henry Whiteside
Jeff Moorehead
John McLean
Caroline Williams
Tony Zimmer
Chris Riccardo
Don Meaders
Edward Hill
Kathryne Zaborowski
Aaron Crosby
Bill Goolsby