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

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Volunteers Lay Down Fencing to Help Wildlife

It’s old hat for Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation volunteers to gather together to remove old, unfriendly wildlife fencing. Thousands of volunteers have done it all across elk country and that’s made it easier for elk and other wildlife to migrate unimpeded across the landscape. 

A handful of RMEF volunteers recently took part in a fence project of a different type. They rolled up their sleeves in order to lay down 19 miles of seasonal fencing on the 15,206-acre Bridge Creek Wildlife Area in northeast Oregon. 

The area is key wintering range where there are often more than 1,000 elk. It is closed to public access from December 1 to April 15 in an attempt to keep elk on the wildlife area rather than have them migrate further north onto private property. The fence is laid down to reduce or eliminate damage but it is needed in the spring and summer because the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) allows permittee livestock grazing.

Below is an account of the volunteer project.

We met at the small cabin on the wildlife area at 8 a.m. and following a safety briefing and review of the area map, assignments were made and we embarked on the project. Working in pairs, we either moved ATVs or pickups to eliminate double walking fence. We then worked individually laying down the fence (totaling 19 miles). Once completed, we met at the defined central location. We then finished a small section and met again at the cabin for a late lunch and general discussion of the area, additional volunteer opportunities, learned how our efforts potentially helped ODFW secure Pittman-Robertson dollars via grants that are driven by logged volunteer hours. 

Tim Campbell
Pendleton Chapter Chair/Eastern Oregon Mission Team Leader
Drew Nelson, Kevin Drake (ODFW), Rick Ella, Darin Nelson, Tom Baker, Patti Baker, Tim Campbell
(left to right)

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