Ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

RMEF Volunteers Help Elk Quench Thirst in Arizona

Nothing hits home like a swig of water under the scorching Arizona sun. Same goes for elk. And those elk that live in the Kaibab National Forest in the north-central part of the state now have a new watering hole. Check that, they have three new watering holes!

Eight volunteers from Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Flagstaff and Red Mountain chapters installed the 10,000 gallon water catchment tanks in Arizona’s famed Game Management Unit (GMU) 9. They teamed up with the Arizona Game and Fish Department (link) to finish the project last fall. The work included grading, excavation, construction and the assembly of tanks, plumbing, a drinker trough, an apron, apron fencing and a perimeter fence. 

Though the site itself is small, covering a mere one acre in size, its ramifications are far-reaching. GMU 9 has no perennial streams, rivers, lakes, or springs. The only natural waters are small, short-lived bodies that develop in low-lying areas where seasonal runoff collects so they don’t stick around very long. This habitat enhancement project reduces impacts to vegetation and soil resources around existing water developments by better distributing elk habitat use patterns throughout the district. It also reduces water hauling costs to wildlife water developments. 

And it doesn’t help just elk either. Mule deer, pronghorn, birds and other critters will also take advantage of the water supply, plus it will create a more sustainable system, allow for potential growth of the elk population, and potentially increase hunting opportunity. 

Thanks again to our dedicated RMEF volunteers! Combined, they worked 156 hours and traveled 1,574 miles to help elk better quench their thirst.

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