Monday, April 09, 2012

Fence Work for Wildlife at Crooked Creek

Chris Little, the Conservancy in Idaho's east Idaho field representative, sent the following dispatch from a successful volunteer day at our Crooked Creek project. 
On March 23rd six volunteers and two Conservancy employees traveled to Crooked Creek to (a) help put up fence flags on a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) allotment fence and (b) remove old fence wire on the Conservancy's Bezold Ranch.
For the fence flag project, we successfully placed about 1700 flags on 2.25 miles of fencing. The fence divides the North and South Devil’s Gap pastures, which are BLM allotments that the Conservancy has grazing permits on.  The fence runs by Devil’s Gap--a natural geographic bottle neck that funnels moving wildlife, most notably sage-grouse and pronghorn, through a small area.  The fence and the resulting wildlife collisions are a hazard for these and other species; flagging the fence will help to reduce these unwanted collisions, which can injury or death to wildlife.  This area is especially important for lekking sage-grouse and these flags will reduce negative impacts to leks.
For the second half of the day, we traveled to the Bezold property where the crew worked to removed wire from old, abandoned fence lines that bisect the riparian valley through the center part of the property.  Such fences are a danger for moving wildlife and we intend to remove as much fence as possible to increase the quality of wildlife habitat.  This area is especially important for brood-rearing sage-grouse who seek these riparian areas for protection and forage.  We were able to drop about .75 miles of fence by the end of the day.

--Chris Little
{images by Chris Little and Marilynne Manguba}

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