2013 Water Hauling
We wrapped up a huge year of water hauling. According to the report that Terry Anderson compiled and presented at
the Annual Meeting, SCBS hauling over 53,000 gallons of water last year. That's a fantastic amount of water to support the desert bighorn sheep and other wildlife. It couldn't have been done without SCBS's own truck, Big Red. We started out with water haul trips to the brand new systems that were installed at Sawtooth campground, Argos Mtn, Sunshine Peak and Hansen Quarry. Big Red came in handy. Then we made several trips to the typical systems at Newberry, Cady, Kelso, Kerr and OMYA and a small trip to our emergency system at Bearclaws which is now showing signs of use by the bighorn. Cady recieved a total of 7000 gallons and Newberry 7600 gallons! Big Red can only haul 500 gallons at a time, most pickups only 250 gallons. That means we hauled at least 15 truckloads or more to those 2 systems alone. The Barstow boys were busy last summer! A Desert Bighorn Sheep at Kelso stood by idly while Terry Anderson worked hard in the heat to put away the fire hoses. If you come out and help us haul water in the summer, chances are high that you might observe some sheep.
Terry arranged a water haul to South I40 (courtesy of CalTrans) after it was discovered that maintenance on the sediment catch basin had not been performed since the interstate was completed in the 1970's! Caltrans shutdwon one lane of the freeway while a truck from Needles dumped water. SCBS paid for the water. The truck made a short detour to Chambless for a second load courtesy of Walt for a total haul of 8,000 gallons.
Perhaps our largest achievement of the year came at the Vermin system. We had never hauled water there before. Terry was certain we could do it. We purchased a new water pump to replace the old DFW pump that had given up a couple years ago. It is a very high pressure design by WaterAx built for forest fire fighting. The hardest part was convincing the hose laying crew that the pump would do the job and that their efforts would not be in vain. Terry enlisted the help of John Maney to perform some hydraulic engineering calculations to prove that a new pump could do it. We layed nearly 3000 feet of fire hose from the temporary bladder to the Vermin guzzler. because of the size and weight of the hose most lengths were 50 to 100 feet. We could each carry only about 150 or 200 feet per trip so those that were laying hose (and picking it up) made numerous trips. We call the temporary tank the 'pumpkin' and it is used to keep the pump supplied with water while the trucks are jockeying around and making second trips. The hose laying took much of the first day of the project. Wisely we used the newest hoses closest to the pump to keep from blow them out; maximum pressure of this pump is nearly 400 psi! About 600 feet had to be taken up and replaced after we discovered numerous leaks. Le Hayes 2000 gallon water truck blew a tire and that put him out of commission for the rest of the day. We ended up running out of time and energy to haul more water as several of the trucks had to head home before we had the system completely full. Nevertheless, the hauling effort is still considered a success as 4000 gallons were hauled to a system that had never been filled before and we avoided the use of expensive (and forbidden) helicopter time.
Many thanks to all those that donated their time to these efforts and to those donors that helped us pay for the pumps, hoses, Big Red, fuel and other supplies - I am sure that the desert bighorns thank you as well. (In some cases they even waited around until we were finished!)