Workshop 1: Land Restoration

This past Sunday Mojave Desert Land Trust‘s Frazier Haney led a workshop for gathered Stewards on basic desert land restoration techniques.

At left is what we started with: A Land Trust conservation property just off Cady Road between Winter and Coyote Valley. The goal was to “erase” the illegal road and restore the area to its natural state, before it had been used by vehicles.

beforeworkshop     afterworkshop

On the right is the result. Using shovels, picks and a couple other tools, we disappeared the road in less than 45 minutes. Strategic vertical mulching (using dead creosote branches) and simple pitting created a landscape in which re-vegetation of indigenous plants can occur, protected by a visual barrier discouraging any further disruption from motorized vehicles.


Many hands and correct technique make for very light work.

Let’s back up and see some step-by-step. Here’s Frazier and the Land Trust’s Monica Mahoney unloading dead creosote branches from the Land Trust truck at the location…


After digging a hole, we fit the creosote branches in, standing up.


We fill up the hole with loose sand, and top off with topsoil we borrow from a nearby living plant.

Our other task was to make small pits across the disrupted land. Here’s Frazier showing us how:


So, why did we do this stuff? How do these techniques work to restore the desert? Read the three-page informational packet that Frazier distributed at the workshop: Desert Rehabiltation Techniques PDF

Our thanks to the MDLT’s Frazier and Monica for coming out on a December Sunday morning to show us how easy these simple rehabilitation techniques are. Now we can do it on our own…