What is desert stewardship?

The California desert environment is “extremely fragile, easily scarred, and slowly healed.” This apt description, from the 1976 designation of the California Desert Conservation Area, drives home the need for specialized stewardship of this beautiful landscape.

This photo essay by Land Steward Stream Tuss explains what she does while out on Mojave Desert Land Trust lands, from checking for traces of tortoise activity to installing vital signage.

Image for post
Image for post
The first live tortoise we spot during tortoise survey training in Hidden Valley near Newberry Springs.
Image for post
Image for post
Ready for an overnight site inspection at Kelso Dunes. I’m carrying backpacking gear and survey collection supplies.
Image for post
Image for post
Studying a Devil’s Claw (scientific name Proboscidea louisianica ssp. Louisianica) found during a site inspection in the Chuckwalla Bench.
Image for post
Image for post
AmeriCorps NCCC Green 8 members serving with MDLT drill holes in the ground to install informational kiosks in Wiley Wells, Chuckwalla. As well as kiosks, we put up new visitor signage to improve OHV and visitor use in the area.
Image for post
Image for post
The first live tortoise we spot during tortoise survey training in Hidden Valley near Newberry Springs.
Image for post
Image for post
Out with the land stewardship team mapping 155 acres of a burned area on our Section 33 property in Joshua Tree. We also took note of the fire’s severity. This will help us in planning the restoration.
Image for post
Image for post
While patrolling local lands like MDLT’s Windy Gap property, we take note of maintenance jobs like this damaged sign and ways of restoring the land.
Image for post
Image for post
A juvenile tortoise found snacking on a flower during a local patrol at MDLT’s Quail Wash property in Joshua tree.

Find out more about the Mojave Desert Land Trust’s Lands program here.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store