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Biocrust Hike
What is that black crunchy stuff all over the ground in Gold Butte? It feels good to step on. Nooooo, please don’t step there! As you know in Gold Butte, vegetation cover is often sparse or absent. Nevertheless, in open spaces between the higher plants, the soil surface is generally not bare of life, but covered by a community of highly specialized organisms. These communities are referred to as biological soil crusts and they weave through the top few millimeters of soil, gluing loose particles together and forming a matrix that stabilizes and protects soil surfaces from erosive forces. Sound interesting? It is, so come with us, enjoy some talk, sun, friendship, a short hike and watch these little neighbors of ours up close and personal. What we'll do We’ll meet in the parking lot at the start of Gold Butte Road at 9 AM (Pacific Time) and spend about thirty minutes learning about the biocrusts and lichens found in Gold Butte. After which, caravan south into the monument to the Devils Throat area and take a short hike for hands-on experience with our ancient friends growing about. We will have lunch at Devils Throat and as we head back use our new-found knowledge to check in on the Northern Arizona University biocrust test plots located along the byway. We will provide a magnifying lens and spray water bottle for you to use exploring and bringing to life these tiny inhabitants. You will need to bring sunscreen, plenty of water and a lunch. For more information on Biocrusts, see: https://www.usgs.gov/centers/sbsc/science/a-field-guide-biological-soil-crusts-western-us-drylands?qt- science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects For more information on Gold Butte National Monument and Friends of Gold Butte, see: https://www.friendsofgoldbutte.org/ Frank Golden, Tina Wiley and Steve Dudrow will be your hosts. They are BLM Certified Biological Soil Crusts: Ecology and Management volunteers. All Friends of Gold Butte hikes are free and open to the public. We will work to carpool so please let us know (email [masked].) who can drive and who will need to hitch a ride.

Gold Butte Road Information Sign

Highway 170 at Gold Butte Road · Riverside, NV

Respond by: 12/12/2018

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For the common interest in preserving the historical, biological, and cultural treasures of Gold Butte in southern Nevada.

We often schedule hikes, tours, and desert projects. Join the group and then join us in Gold Butte!

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