Another Successful Volunteer Work Day at San Jacinto Wildlife Area

Saturday, August 4th was another successful volunteer work-day at San Jacinto Wildlife Area. 25 volunteers and staff spread out throughout the wildlife area, primarily to clean out and make ready the water control structures on the refuge.

SoCalHunt was once again in attendance. Gloves donned and shovel in hand, we worked on cutting brush away from the checks and clearing dried mud out of the bottom of the structures to make them ready for the San Jacinto staff to start watering the ponds.

Before:

After:

The weather wasn’t too hot and it was comfortable working in the morning. After we finished the water control structures we still had some time so we cleaned out brush that had grown in the blinds over the off season, to get a jump start on the next volunteer work day.

Before:

After:

After the work-day the volunteers gathered at a local Mexican restaurant for a well deserved lunch.

The San Jacinto staff hasn’t been idle in the off-season as many improvements have been made in the past few months. All the roads in the refuge have been raised and graveled which will make for better access and parking in the event of rain. These roads within the refuge are great and are about as close to paved roads as your going to get on a wildlife refuge. At the “turn around” at Pond 1 / Marsh A, the middle of the turn around has been filled in and the whole area graveled and turned into a large parking area. Tom told me that even if we have major rains, like two seasons ago when we had to walk in from the check station much of the season, we will at least be able to drive into this lot which will save nearly a mile of walking.

Marsh A / Pond 1 lot:

Next to the new parking area the staff has cut a road through the riparian area over to the F blinds so anyone using the lower “F” blinds won’t have to wade through the streambed to get there.

Road to “F” blinds:

Also the staff has raised and graveled the road and parking lot at the “E” blinds and the road and parking lot at the “A” blinds, which should make them usable even during periods of normal rain.

“E” blinds lot:

In addition the local Boy Scouts have done some volunteer work and have rebuilt the upland check in booth. The booth is much larger and now has solar powered motion detection lights so early arrivers can see their cards to sign in.

Other improvements that have been made recently are the blinds at E2 and E4 have been redone and the islands they sit on raised slightly. There are plans to move Walker 1 more to the east to get it away from the parking lot. They are also planning on moving F7 up about 40 yards from where it is now.

Now that the water control structures are cleaned out Tom has already started flooding. This is about two weeks earlier then usual due to water issues, but shouldn’t affect anything adversely. It will take about a month or so to fill the ponds.

San Jacinto’s next volunteer work day is tentatively set for Saturday, September 22nd. This will be a blind brush up day to get the blinds ready for hunting season. When the date is set you’ll read it here on SoCalHunt.


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