What is desert stewardship?

This post was originally published on this site

The California desert environment is “extremely fragile, easily scarred, and slowly healed.” This apt description, from the 1976 designation of the California Desert Conservation Area, drives home the need for specialized stewardship of this beautiful landscape. This photo essay by Land Steward Stream Tuss explains what she does while out on Mojave Desert Land Trust lands, from checking for traces of tortoise activity to installing vital signage.

The first live tortoise we spot during tortoise survey training in Hidden Valley near Newberry Springs.
Ready for an overnight site inspection at Kelso Dunes. I’m carrying backpacking gear and survey collection supplies.
Studying a Devil’s Claw (scientific name Proboscidea louisianica ssp. Louisianica) found during a site inspection in the Chuckwalla Bench.
AmeriCorps NCCC Green 8 members serving with MDLT drill holes in the ground to install informational kiosks in Wiley Wells, Chuckwalla. As well as kiosks, we put up new visitor signage to improve OHV and visitor use in the area.
The first live tortoise we spot during tortoise survey training in Hidden Valley near Newberry Springs.
Out with the land stewardship team mapping 155 acres of a burned area on our Section 33 property in Joshua Tree. We also took note of the fire’s severity. This will help us in planning the restoration.
While patrolling local lands like MDLT’s Windy Gap property, we take note of maintenance jobs like this damaged sign and ways of restoring the land.
A juvenile tortoise found snacking on a flower during a local patrol at MDLT’s Quail Wash property in Joshua tree.

Find out more about the Mojave Desert Land Trust’s Lands program here.