We will be working in the Owens Peak Wilderness Area and potentially doing some collaborative projects with another crew in the Grass Valley Wilderness. OPW is an incredible landscape. It is the site of convergence of three major eco-systems including the Mojave Desert, the scrub bush of the Great Basin, and the Pinyon-Juniper forests of the high Sierras. It is home to highest point in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains, Owens Peak, which stands at 8,400'. We will work and camp under the shadow of striking mountain peaks and encounter a diversity of plant life and animals ranging from Joshua Trees to Golden Eagles. The Owens Peak Wilderness is also tightly wound with the Los Angeles Aqueduct. As we drive around we will encounter large black and white piping that pumps water over 150 miles south west to LA. Some of the piping dates back to the turn of the 20th century. The creation of the LA aqueduct virtually destroyed the water table in Owens Valley. To find out more, read: http://www.dbc.uci.edu/sustain/global/sensem/beked297.htm 
OPW is increasingly becoming a playground for Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) users. These riders run down vegetation and wildlife, turning the diverse and fragile desert ecology into a wasteland. Our objective as a corps is to prevent OHV-ers from "permeating the wilderness boundary." We will do this through a variety of means including restoration work and constructing hard barriers. Restoration work involves planting 'dead stuff' in the ground to disguise the trails these OHV users incidentally create from repeated wilderness forays on their "macho mobiles." It is a subtle way of discouraging OHV-ers from joy riding on public lands. Installing hard barriers like t-post fences and bollards is another way we will take on the challenge of OHVers. This season will be the second year that the DRC will host a crew in this wilderness area.