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Trip Report - March, 2004 - Hermit and Tonto to Monument Creek, NPS Tamarisk Control Work Project.

The primary purpose of this trip was to assist as a volunteer in a National Park Service Tamarisk Control Work Project. Four of us spent two days removing tamarisk seedlings, saplings and trees in Monument Creek in and around the Monument Creek designated camping area and down to within about a quarter mile of the Colorado River. In those two days we removed over 3,000 plants. A good portion of these were just seedlings which could usually just be ripped out of the ground roots and all but most of the saplings and actual trees required a lot more work. I would usually attempt to pull a sapling from the ground as I had a seedling and sometimes this worked, but more often than not it had to be cut out. The trees usually had to be pruned back first just so we could get to the main trunk and then cut it down. Herbicide was applied to what remained of any plant that was cut out to prevent it from growing back.

The secondary purpose of this trip was, of couse, just to BE in the Canyon. We did have some time for little day hikes after work ended for the day and before dinner. On the first day, since most of the work was close to camp, we ended up hiking down Monument Creek to check out the tamarisk growing closer to the river and to plan our attack for the second day. We went all the way down to Granite Rapid and hung out down there for a while before coming back to camp. On the second day we ended the day close to Granite Rapid so we ended up having a late lunch at the river, hung out there for a while, and than came back to camp. Kim, the woman who was leading the project for he Park Service, and I also did a short day hike into upper Monument Canyon, partially to look and see if there were any more tamarisk growing up that way, and also just to check it out and see how far we could go. I was very pleased to discover a small group of male Grand Canyon Bighorn sheep up there.


camera Photo map

Day 1 - Hermit and Tonto Trails to Monument Creek
Day 2 - Monument Creek tamarisk control work project, day hike to Granite Rapid
Day 3 - Monument Creek tamarisk control work project, day hike to upper Monument Canyon
Day 4 - Monument Creek back to rim

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