Enjoy the Spring Without Leaving Trace

Tiempo de lectura | Reading time: 11 minutos

By Mirna Borrego and Roberto Chino

Around February and March it’s normal to see that on the outskirts of the cities the slopes are painted in colors with the flowering of a great variety of species. The awakening of the wildflowers of previous years left us with great memories of colorful landscapes, and aroused in many people amazement and curiosity about the wild flora of our region.

In the last years we have had little rains, which makes us foresee that this season the flowering will not be as abundant as in previous seasons, as it happened in the 2019 super bloom. The spring time is approaching and nature is sometimes very unpredictable, the approaching rains may give us a very nice surprise. Meanwhile, get ready to enjoy nature, spring break is almost here and it’s during this season that we can leave an impact on nature.

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Endangered Dudleyas

Tiempo de lectura | Reading time: 3 minutos

By Mirna Borrego and Antonieta Valenzuela

Did you know that some plants depend on the rich soil of the volcanic valley of San Quintin to survive? These are highly protected endemisms that you can only find in the nature reserves, and others belong exclusively to the San Quintin dunes. One of these plants is the Anthony’s liveforever (Dudleya anthonyi) that you can find on the slopes of the volcanoes.

A dudleya in the Punta Mazo Nature Reserve. Photo by Jonathan Villarreal.
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Plan Ahead and Prepare

Tiempo de lectura | Reading time: 3 minutos

Planning your trip and preparing is the first step to enjoying nature and outdoor activities responsibly. This is the first of the seven principles of Leave No Trace.

Planifique con anticipación y prepárese
Photo by Alex Espinosa.

And why is it important to plan and prepare? You enjoy the outing and the activity more, you avoid accidents, you guarantee your safety and that of your team. You also avoid damaging the natural area you visit or interfering with natural processes, for example, the mating season of an animal.

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Seven Principles of Leave No Trace

Tiempo de lectura | Reading time: 3 minutos

Have you heard of Leave No Trace? It’s the easiest way to do your part to protect nature when you spend time outside. These principles are a quick and easy guide, they’re based on an abiding respect for nature.

Whether you’re picnicking in a local park, on a backpacking adventure, out walking the dog or camping on the beach you can follow these principles to protect the places we love.

Seven principles:

  1. Plan ahead and prepare.
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  3. Dispose of waste properly.
  4. Leave what you find.
  5. Minimize campfire impacts.
  6. Respect wildlife.
  7. Be considerate of other visitors.
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10 Things To Do in San Quintin

Tiempo de lectura | Reading time: 6 minutos

Por Antonieta Valenzuela y Vitza Cabrera

Discover the natural attractions that San Quintin offers: beaches, dunes, wetlands, volcanoes and nature reserves where endangered wildlife is protected.

  1. Visiting the wetlands.
  2. Walking the Monte Ceniza trail.
  3. Visiting the oyster fields.
  4. Taking photos at the Mirador Valle Volcanico.
  5. Eating at La Chorera.
  6. Taking photos of the sunset on the beach.
  7. Climbing the Sudoeste volcano.
  8. Camping.
  9. Surfing.
  10. Learning about the protected natural areas.
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On the Fire Line

Tiempo de lectura | Reading time: 4 minutos

Text and photos by Chris Ives

Fire moves through diverse landscapes on all corners of the earth, from the Siberian tundra to the African savanna, the pinelands of North America, to the Australian bush. As humans, we are destined to live with fire whether we choose to or not, and as a result there will be people who devote their working lives to solving the unique problem of managing fire.

Brigadistas forestales
Photo by Chris Ives.

In the United States, we have a well-developed fire fighting force with over 100 years of experience and 100 years of mistakes from which we are constantly learning. In the late 1940’s, the first hotshot crews were formed in southern California as a result of a need for a more professional standing firefighting force. It is said that the term “Hotshot” was derived as a result of these well-trained crews being deployed to the hottest parts of the fires on which they were serving. In the following decades these programs developed and became more standardized. 

Brigadistas forestales
Photo by Chris Ives.

Today, there are over 100 Type 1 Interagency Hotshot Crews in the United States. These crews are made up of 18 to 22 individuals who are mostly temporary seasonal and permanent seasonal employees. During a typical six month long fire season, hotshot crews will respond to dozens of fires working 1,000 hours or more of overtime. The typical schedule while on fire assignment consists of 16 hour of work each day for 14 or even 21 successive days, after which they are given 2 or 3 days off to recover before returning to on-call status for fire assignments. 

These fire assignments require long days of digging a fireline, cutting trees and brush, and burning off vegetation to stop the spread of fire, and putting out or “mopping up” fire that has been contained, all of this often in a country that is too steep or remote to send other resources. Sometimes there are days of staging, waiting for the next assignment or for the fire behavior to change and allow crews to safely engage the fire. These days when you are left with your thoughts can be just as taxing or exhausting as the days of high physical demand. 

Brigadistas forestales
Photo by Chris Ives.

Much of the work of the hotshot is not glorious, many of the crewmembers joke that when there is a fire that requires a lot of suffering, they call a hotshot crew. Despite the rigorous work schedule, demanding physical labor, and long periods of separation from family and friends, there is a strong bond and sense of achievement that forms on these crews because of what they have had to endure. 

Why Are Trails Important?

Tiempo de lectura | Reading time: 5 minutos

By Vitza Cabrera

Roads or trails are the beginning of an adventure. They are the trace that marks the course that will take us from one place to another, allowing us to discover and giving us the possibility to reach new heights or enjoy new landscapes. 

If we think about it, roads are part of our daily life. They allow us to get from our house to the market or to visit a friend. They give us the possibility to transport ourselves without much hassle. 

Turismo responsable en San Quintín
Trail in the Sudoeste volcano in the Punta Mazo Nature Reserve. Photo by Dzoara Rubio.
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How To Prevent Forest Fires?

Tiempo de lectura | Reading time: 3 minutos

Did you know that 9 out of 10 fires are caused by human activities? Learn how you can help prevent wildfires when you go camping or hiking in natural areas.

Remember that in Baja California the fire season is between March and November, the most critical months are June, July, August and September.

We live in a semi-arid area with grasslands, which increases the chances of a fire spreading. And during the summer, in wooded areas there are usually thunderstorms, which are the main causes of natural fires.

six camping tents in forest
Foto por Snapwire | Pexels.com
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Activities To Celebrate Wetlands

Tiempo de lectura | Reading time: 3 minutos

Last week we celebrated World Wetlands Day, and one of the activities we did in San Quintin was an outdoor display of the art exhibition Travesía: una mirada al mundo natural de San Quintín. The collection includes photos, acrylic paintings, embroideries, and stories, all of which are inspired by the natural beauty of San Quintin.

Actividades del Día Mundial de los Humedales 2022
Photo by Mirna Borrego.
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Rest in Peace, Ernesto Franco

Tiempo de lectura | Reading time: 3 minutos
A plaque was installed in the Monte Ceniza Nature Reserve to honor Ernesto Franco.

February 4, 2022

Message by Alan Harper, founding board member

Terra Peninsular lost a great friend last week. Ernesto Franco Vizcaíno was a founding board member of Terra and a friend of many of us.

Ernesto was a professor at CICESE and at California State University at Monterey Bay. Ernesto dedicated his life to the conservation and discovery of Baja California. He introduced me to the blue palm oases of the Sierra San Pedro Mártir and later we walked up Arroyo Matomí, where our first morning we saw mountain lion tracks next to our campsite — tracks that had not been there the night before when we got into our tents.

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