Citizens of Moab: after the recent fire, we need your help to restore the Scott M. Matheson Wetlands Preserve!On Saturday, Nov 22, grab your gloves, roll up your sleeves and help preserve managers plant 1,000 cottonwood tree saplings and clean up debris in the fire-damaged wetlands.
The volunteer day is scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22.People interested in volunteering on Saturday should contact Linda at 259-4629 as soon as possible. Volunteers will meet at The Nature Conservancy’s Matheson Preserve trailhead off of Kane Creek Blvd. in Moab.
“The Conservancy’s Matheson Preserve is a community resource, and we need support from the public to recover native resources that were lost, and work toward re-opening the area to visitors again as soon as possible,” said Linda Whitham, the Conservancy’s Central Canyonlands Regional Director.
A total of 435 acres of the wetlands burned in an October fire, the cause of which is still unknown.Most of the acreage lost included tamarisk and bulrush, but also several acres of native vegetation critical to wildlife. Much of the preserve’s trail system was damaged and parts of the boardwalk and wildlife viewing blind were destroyed.
“The Division of Wildlife Resources and The Nature Conservancy jointly own and manage the wetland, and we will both be on hand to coordinate the volunteer restoration event,” says Chris Wood, regional habitat manager for the DWR.
“This is a great opportunity for folks to help rehabilitate the wetland,” Wood says.“We have 1,000 cottonwood saplings and all the equipment needed to plant them. “All you need to bring are gloves, and water and a willingness to help.Lunch and drinks will be provided.
” While the Conservancy and DWR have been working for several years on restoration efforts at the Preserve, the October fire underscores the importance of removing invasive species and ensuring the native vegetation is flourishing.
In addition to the volunteer planting event, Preserve managers will be continuing to implement a comprehensive restoration plan, including removing invasive species such as tamarisk and Russian olive, restoring native cottonwoods and willows, and implementing prescribed burns to remove dead and flammable understory and improve the health of the native ecosystem.
As part of this larger restoration plan, in December key areas of the burn will be aerially seeded with native seed mix, and restoration biologists will then use mechanical equipment to rehabilitate the area.
For more information about the October volunteer event, please call the Conservancy’s Moab Project Office (435) 259-4629.
The Conservancy is also fundraising to replace the visitor structures at the Preserve that were lost to the flames. To make a donation, contact the Conservancy at (801) 531-0999 or email@example.com.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.