ACE crews in Utah have been hard at work since March on a project in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management restoring the Bearclaw Poppy Trail, a heavily used loop located just southwest of St. George, UT. The trail is primarily intended for mountain bikers.
Although the trail is considered to be the most popular in St. George, the region is extremely ecologically sensitive and features a rare flower that the trail is named for–the Bearclaw Poppy. This flower is only found in the immediate surrounding of St. George because of the high amount of the gypsum in the cryptobiotic soil.
Over time, bikers have created social trails–routes the divert from the original path–and this can damage the soil for decades, rendering it unsuitable for flower growth. In order to conserve the endangered flower, ACE crews have been installing fences and concealing the social trails to restore the area to as close to its natural state as possible.