Trends Summer 2012 | Page 3

Long before they took to the hills, the surveyors analyzed previous survey information, including original documents from the Bureau of Land Management. Some of the survey notes dated to 1879 and 1883; many were hand-written. “Our charge was to find the original corners,” said Harry Warden, one of the surveyors on the four-person team. “Even if any surveyor had come through the area after that first survey, we had to have the original markers, because that’s what the people who came on the land used to establish ownership.” Crew members quickly learned to respect the harsh working conditions. “One day the open-range cattle nearly destroyed our $20,000 GPS base station,” recalled survey crew member Ken Clark. “Another day we discovered a black widow spider under a rock we moved.” The nature of the property carried its own challenges, including working in areas where military personnel are trained to detect and avoid explosive devices. “Every morning we reported to the Fire Desk to lay out where we were headed for the day, pick up radios so we could be reached if necessary, and check in,” Clark said. “They would tell us at what times we could travel through certain areas. They were our lifeline as to all of the ranges and the impact area on the base.” Some days crew members had to revise their plans so they would not interfere with training operations. Other days the troops were able to accommodate them. “The people at the Camp were very professional and worked with us to keep us out of danger,” said survey crew member Dan Hawkins. “Harry and I were delayed one morning on the gravel road into the Camp by a line of howitzers (a large military gun) set up next to the road. They were firing over the road, up and over a large hill, into the designated impact area. After they called a cease-fire and allowed us through, we traveled up the road around the hill to our destination. There we realized those same howitzers were firing rounds way over our heads and landing probably three-quarters of a mile past us. I could hear them fire, the rounds whistle through the air and explode far away on the other side of the hill.” TRENDS │3