2019 Water Haul - Old Dad

Many thanks to all of you that participated.  After many years of hauling water only by trucks, the DFW arranged for a helicopter to transport water to Old Peak BGG.  It did not receive any rain this year and was dry.  At the same project, trucks were scheduled to move water to Kerr BGG through the typical process.  Scott Gibson did some investigational shopping and found a surplus water bladder (called a ‘pumpkin’) so that we could have 2 at the project site for better efficiency.  The NPS came participated with personnel, water from their maintenance yard in Baker, and transportation of water with their 4,000 gallon truck to helicopter camp.  The water was put into the pumpkins from the big truck.  Shasta Air, still under contract with DFW did the sling work, dipping from the pumpkin, then flying to Old Dad and dropping the water into the collection dam.  Our own John Voght and John Roy kept the helicopter pumpkin filled with the backup pumpkin.  The truck crews filled from the backup pumpkin, thus staying out of the way of the helicopter.  DFW crew hiked up to Old Dad to manage the valves and observe the water drop.  I wasn’t able to attend, so I apologize in advance if I mixed up any details.

The good news is that about 4,000 gallons made it into Old Dad and Kerr was filled from 2 feet to the top.  The bad news is that Old Dad is still leaking from the crack in Tank 3 AND we have discovered that the valve doesn’t completely shut off so we are losing something around 25 gallons a day.  Efforts are under way as I write this to stop the leak and conserve the expensive water.OldDadWaterHaulGroup DHawxhurst

2013 Water Hauling

We wrapped up a huge year of water hauling.  According to Hansen Quarrythe report that Terry Anderson compiled and presented at
the Annual Meeting, SCBS hauling over 53,000 gallons of water last year.  That's a fantastic amount of water to support the desert bighorn sheep and other wildlife.  It couldn't have been done without SCBS's own truck, Big Red.  We started out with water haul trips to the brand new systems that were installed at Sawtooth campground, Argos Mtn, Sunshine Peak and Hansen Quarry.  Big Red came in handy.  Then we made several trips to the typical systems at Newberry, Cady, Kelso, Kerr and OMYA and a small trip to our emergency system at Bearclaws which is now showing signs of use by the bighorn.  Cady recieved a total of 7000 gallons and Newberry 7600 gallons!  Big Red can only haul 500 gallons at a time, most Kelsopickups only 250 gallons.  That means we hauled at least 15 truckloads or more to those 2 systems alone.  The Barstow boys were busy last summer!  A Desert Bighorn Sheep at Kelso stood by idly while Terry Anderson worked hard in the heat to put away the fire hoses.  If you come out and help us haul water in the summer, chances are high that you might observe some sheep.

Terry arranged a water haul to South I40 (courtesy of CalTrans) after it was discovered that maintenance on the sediment catch basin had not been performed since the interstate was completed in the 1970's!  Caltrans shutdwon one lane of the freeway while a truck from Needles dumped Caltrans South I40 water haulwater.  SCBS paid for the water.  The truck made a short detour to Chambless for a second load courtesy of Walt for a total haul of 8,000 gallons.

Perhaps our largest achievement of the year came at the Vermin system.  We had never hauled water there before.  Terry was certain we could do it.  We purchased a new water pump to replace the old DFG pump that had given up a couple years ago.  It is a very high pressure design by WaterAx built for forest fire fighting.  The hardest part was convincing the hose laying crew that the pump would do the job and that their efforts would not be inWaterAx Mark 3 Pump vain.  Terry enlisted the help of John Maney to perform some hydraulic engineering calculations to prove that a new pump could do it.  We layed nearly 3000 feet of fire hose from the temporary bladder to the Vermin guzzler.  because of the size and weight of the hose most lengths were 50 to 100 feet.  We could each carry only about 150 or 200 feet per trip so those that were laying hose (and picking it up) made numerous trips.  We call the temporary tank the 'pumpkin' and it is used to keep the pump supplied with water while the trucks are jockeying around and making second trips.  The hose laying took much of the first day of the project.  Wisely we used the newest hoses closest to the pump to keep from blow them out; maximum pressure of this pump is nearly 400 psi!  About 600 feet had to be taken up Pumpkin at Verminand replaced after we discovered numerous leaks.  Le Hayes 2000 gallon water truck blew a tire and that put him out of commission for the rest of the day.  We ended up running out of time and energy to haul more water as several of the trucks had to head home before we had the system completely full.  Nevertheless, the hauling effort is still considered a success as 4000 gallons were hauled to a system that had never been filled before and we avoided the use of expensive (and forbidden) helicopter time.

Many thanks to all those that donated their time to these efforts and to those donors that helped us pay for the pumps, hoses, Big Red, fuel and other supplies - I am sure that the desert bighorns thank you as well.  (In some cases they even waited around until we were finished!)

Vermin 3000 ft hose

Big Gees Water haul project

Water Hauling for bighorn sheepDebbie Miller Marschke created a great video of our water hauling effort to the Big Gees guzzler.  This is a critical site for desert bighorn sheep as the population has grown recently and the local habitat is threatened with encroachment by solar energy development.  Water devlopments are a critical tool in the effective conservation of desert bighorn sheep.  The video is available through youtube at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q69MMSn3XYw

Please pass the word and tell your friends that you heard about it through our website.

If you are interested in purchasing a higher resolution copy, please contact Steve Marschke for details.

 

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