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

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Volunteers Clear the Way for Colorado Elk

You just can’t beat a sunny day in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Seventeen volunteers from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation teamed up with five Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) personnel in August 2015.

They met up in exceptional elk country that makes up the Green Ranch section of the Golden Gate Canyon State Park northwest of Golden. Upon retirement, the Green family did not want to see their lands developed and subdivided like other properties in the area so they sold the ranch to CPW. Hunting is allowed on 2,500 acres for youth as well as a limited number of other hunters holding elk permits. 

The goal was to remove a mile of old, rusty barbed wire fencing that impeded wildlife movement.

“It was a pleasure to work with people so enthusiastic and dedicated to protecting elk and their habitat,” said Jason Anderson, CPW park resource tech IV. “I have worked with many volunteer groups over my 15 years with the agency and rarely encounter a group so energetic.” 

 After a late lunch of burgers and brats, many volunteers remained to continue removing barbed wire fencing along a road which not only restricted elk movements but was also an eyesore.

“The fence was old and decrepit with the wire mostly down in the grass. I could see places where wildlife had snagged this fence and pulled pieces away from the main line. I’ll be back next year,” said volunteer Mark McAdoo.

At the end of the day, the barbed wire and metal posts had been hauled out of the woods and each volunteer left for home safe, minor punctures notwithstanding, as well as satisfied with the day’s accomplishments.

“I was extremely happy with the amount of work we accomplished. It is always rewarding for me personally to look back after a wire removal project and know that not only does the area look better but wildlife will no longer tangle in rusty wire. Thank you RMEF volunteers for your continued hard work, dedication, and eager willingness to make a difference in elk country,” said Anderson.

                 Video courtesy Garrett Drach

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