Agencies focus on Mojave Narrows protection

For the past two years, volunteers and local agencies have worked together to reduce the threat of wildfire along the Mojave Narrows. Non-native grasses and other plants have grown unchecked along the river bottom. Volunteers and crews from Pilot Rock Conservation Camp have made great inroads in removing invasive plants that can rapidly carry wildfire. Grazing cattle have also reduced invasive weeds and plants where appropriate. Supervisor Lovingood praised the work of the group. “This project is an excellent example of ranchers, environmentalists and government agencies all working together to better the environment in a spirit of cooperation.”

Mojave Narrows encompasses one of the most important riparian forest in Southern California. The Narrows is home for many bird and animal species and is a major stopping point for migrating birds. In recent years, wildfires have twice raced through portions of Mojave Narrows. On Feb. 5, stakeholders met to review progress and tour the site. The California Department of Fish & Wildlife approved a $70,000 grant to assist with the project. Participants included representatives of Assemblyman Jay Obernolte and Supervisor Lovingood, San Bernardino County Regional Parks Director, San Bernardino County Department of Public Works, the fire chiefs from Victorville and Apple Valley, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Lewis Center, Victor Valley College, Apple Valley Town Manager, the Mojave Desert Resource Conservation District, the Campbell Ranch, Friends of the Mojave Narrows Regional Park, environmentalists, ornithologists, ranchers and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. “We are making great progress,” said Rick Piercy, founder of the Lewis Center and one of the project leads. “There is still a lot to do, but there are so many wonderful people who care very much for our beautiful valley that I feel very hopeful for the future.”

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