|The view from high in the Goshute Mountains
Today’s WV service project spotlight falls in Elko County in the Northeast corner of Nevada. Altering the path of Interstate 80 is the Toano Range and Goshute Mountains, offering the distinctly rugged and remarkable beauty of the Great Basin. Steep canyons boast rich biologically diverse forests of juniper, fir and many varietals of pine. The region presents terrific recreation opportunities, including backpacking, hiking, and climbing.
|Photo by Jerzy Strzelecki
Our project is in the Goshute Peak Wilderness Study Area (WSA) in the southern half of the range, and along with neighboring Bluebell WSA to the north, present vital habitat and navigational pathways to migrating raptors. The Goshute Mountain Range is part of a critical international skyway for migrating birds traveling with the seasons. We’ve partnered on this project with Hawkwatch International, a nonprofit that runs the important Goshute Mountains Raptor Migration Project each fall, tracking up to 25,000 raptors from 18 species over the course of seven weeks.
|Photo courtesy of Hawkwatch
The Hawkwatch Field Station, which will serve as the WV basecamp, offers striking, broad views in the clear high desert sky. Our service project will provide needed trail maintenance on the Goshute Peak trail, the only path to the station, allowing safe access for our partner’s important scientific work. This service project will help keep researchers and volunteers safe on their hike to and from the field station. This is one of the largest concentrations of raptors on one of the most important migration corridors in the world and maintaining the trail is key to the efficiency and safety of those that study it. Learn more and sign up for the first Wilderness Volunteers Service trip to Goshute Peak WSA.
Given the cold winter weather occupying much of the country currently and thinking of migrating birds, we’ll end this post with these fitting, eloquent words from Rachel Carson:
|The moon at sunset in Goshute Peak WSA
Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. […] There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.”
Rachel Carson in The Sense of Wonder