ST. GEORGE – The fourth annual Moe’s Valley Maintenance took place today in the box canyon south of Tonaquint Intermediate School, popular for bouldering, mountain bike riding and hiking. The event continued the tradition of responsible use of the local land championed by local businesses like The Desert Rat and The Spot Bouldering Gym, the Southern Utah Climbing Alliance as well as Access Fund Adopt a Crag, a national organization.
Tyler Webb, who heads up this and other cleanups, the 10k run, and the bouldering competition, also helped to develop the area and the Moe’s Valley Bouldering Guide, with Seth Giles, that outlines much of the established bouldering problems at Moe’s.
“This year we added new trails building on the ones we built in years past,” Webb said.
One key area of concern for the trail builders and clean up crews was the preservation of cryptobiotic layers of soil prevalent in desert regions. Cryptobiotic soil contains microorganisms that form a crust layer on the surface of the dirt. It takes centuries to establish and is an integral part of the fragile ecosystem in the region.
“The desert is a harsh place and words like fragile and delicate are not often associated with it,” Vaughn Harward said, “but it really is an area that is highly sensitive to human impact.”
The group worked as a whole, built trails and lined them with rocks to indicate directional travel to climbing spots in the area, in the hopes that other people who use the area would take the notion of stewardship over the land seriously.
It is plainly apparent that the area is often frequented by off road vehicles that have a harsh impact on the area.
Climbers from as far away as Las Vegas and Salt Lake City attended the event and pitched in to make the cleanup a success.
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For more information on how to get involved with cleanups and responsible land use practices in the area, check out the Southern Utah Climbing Alliance.
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