Deep within the Great Basin, amongst the sagebrush ocean, lie the Desatoya Mountains. One of my fellow crew members and I ventured out to set down some of the natural splendor. We meandered up and down windy roads to reach the more diverse canyons to scout for potential SOS collections. Along the way, we discovered our rental truck had Sirius XM radio, so of course we had to keep it tuned to the Grateful Dead, bluegrass, and 40’s channels.
Much of the Great Basin is what it appears to be: plains of sagebrush and cheatgrass surrounded by mountain ranges. With a little exploration, however, many gems can be uncovered. Lush meadows, rushing waterfalls, and areas rich with biodiversity are mere steps away, if you know where to look.
Our trip to the Desatoyas was successful. We found several species viable for collection. Holodiscus discolor, Rosa woodsii, and Ribes sp. were, dare I say, ripe for the picking. As I write this post, the other three members of our team are on their way to harvest them. We were also fortunate enough to see pronghorn, several owls (either Short-eared or Great Horned), and a couple of hummingbirds.
In an adjacent mountain range, the Clan Alpines, a fire threatened to end our scouting trip early. Fortunately there are awesome fire crews all over the state that do an excellent job of maintaining these rangeland infernos.
That’s all for now and remember, Winter is Coming.
Until next time,
Jason, Carson City District Office-BLM