Water in the desert

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Sal
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Water in the desert

Post by Sal » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:04 am

What is water in the desert? a source of life? a beautiful picnic spot? or an interesting obstacle to cross in your OHV?



are there any long term effects from the motorized crossing of the streams and puddles in the desert? Of so, what are they? should we be concerned?

Dan
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Re: Water in the desert

Post by Dan » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:53 am

Sal wrote:What is water in the desert? a source of life? a beautiful picnic spot? or an interesting obstacle to cross in your OHV?
While it may disappoint you, water is all of these, and will continue to be regardless of the presence of OHVs.
are there any long term effects from the motorized crossing of the streams and puddles in the desert? Of so, what are they? should we be concerned?
I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it, Sal.

Sal
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Re: Water in the desert

Post by Sal » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:18 am

Common sense tells us that when water is used as an obstacle for OHVs to splash through, it ceases to be viable as a picnic spot, fishing area, habitat for biota, refuge from mechanized areas, source of clean water, etc.

This common sense is backed up by peer-reviewed science. Dan would be happy if we "didn't lose any sleep over it". Guess what? It's just one more negative impact of his favorite recreation. Can you do this in your own town Dan? Why not?

Dezertfox
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Re: Water in the desert

Post by Dezertfox » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:20 pm

Wow, That looks like fun, I so cant wait until I grow up and can get a jeep

Thanks for sharing that video :P

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yuccahead
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Re: Water in the desert

Post by yuccahead » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:27 pm

That's really not so bad for Jeep Safari. The worse thing about that video was the music...and it was pretty bad.
Any other time of year most of those streams and washes would be dry and sandy, but Jeep Safari is held in the spring and with snow runoff, etc. things are muddy and wet. At least these jeeps were on open 4x4 trails and, more importantly, they were staying on them.

Dan
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Re: Water in the desert

Post by Dan » Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:42 pm

What common sense tells us is that those people in that video were being responsible and having a good time. What common sense tells us is that the mud in the water settles within a few hundred yards and the cumulative effect is next to nothing beyond the first five minutes. What common sense tells us is that the activity depicted in the videos is pretty low impact, and extremists are the primary ones with a problem with this form of recreation.

I got your peer review, Sal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oe4A-TvtR4g

Sal
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Re: Water in the desert

Post by Sal » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:12 am

Suspended Sediment
Once fine silt or clay particles are deposited in fast-flowing water, they will travel great distances as
suspended sediment before settling. This suspended sediment is often measured as total suspended
solids (TSS) in milligrams per litre (mg/L), or the equivalent parts per million (ppm), and sometimes
referred to as turbidity.
Increased turbidity levels limit photosynthesis by algae and rooted aquatic plants by reducing
sunlight penetration into the water. This limits production of food for aquatic life (Lloyd et al.
1987). As well, turbidity can cause changes in fish feeding behaviour, since prey is less visible.
Suspended sediment can harm incubating fish eggs and fry (Cedarholm et al. 1982), and reduce the
abundance of insect larvae, a food source for fish, by filling up the larvae’s guts or nets with
indigestible material (Hynes 1973). High levels of suspended sediment, exceeding 200-300 mg/L
can cause fish mortality if lasting for many days (Phillips 1971).
http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/water_issues/pr ... bmp1_0.pdf

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Re: Water in the desert

Post by MMM » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:49 pm

sal ever see a flash flood? Amazing sight isn't it. A lot of dirt and rocks and just about anything else that was in the flood area is in that water. But, that is natural right? The video was taken in a legal place to ride. Enough said.

Mike

Sal
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Re: Water in the desert

Post by Sal » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:01 pm

Hi Mike, do flash floods occur everyday, all day long? Once the storm has passed, the water becomes clear and runs downstream irrigating everything and supporting aquatic life. Do we want to artificially imitate a flash flood for recreation? Do we want to impact the ecology of the desert we love for the sake of the recreation of a small percentage of the visitors to the area?

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Re: Water in the desert

Post by MMM » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:00 pm

sal you are right a storm passes quickly. A jeep passes quickly as well and as soon as the jeep is out of the water, it starts to clear. Amazing stuff nature.

Mike

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