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Pole Mountain Wildlife Friendly Fence Conversion

Pole Mountain Wildlife Friendly Fence Conversion

Volunteers prepare to modify non-wildlife friendly fencing

On National Hunting & Fishing Day and National Public Lands Day, 40 volunteers gathered with the Mule Deer Foundation outside of Laramie, Wyoming, to help modify fencing on the Medicine Bow National Forest. The project took place on Pole Mountain in an area that is adjacent to the Pilot Hill Wildlife Habitat Management Area and is crucial winter range for deer and elk. Projects like this require a lot of physical work and the help from the local volunteers help accomplish more on the ground.

New fencing with smooth bottom wire being installed.

“This project shows the commitment of people to participate in National Public Lands Day and National Hunting & Fishing Day by getting their hands dirty and making a very real difference for wildlife,” commented Nicole Reed, MDF’s habitat partnership coordinator in southern Wyoming who pulled the project together along with Wyoming regional director, Shawn Blajszczak. Volunteers came through local MDF chapters, the University of Wyoming, Laramie Common Outdoor Ground, and the communities of both Cheyenne and Laramie, as well as U.S. Forest Service and MDF staff.

Volunteers worked hand in hand with staff from U.S. Forest Service and other agencies.

Some old fences make it difficult for deer, particularly fawns, to be able to move across the landscape. This project, funded by our partners at the Boone and Crockett Club, removed old woven wire fencing and replaced it with wildlife-friendly fencing to allow deer and other wildlife to cross more easily. Fawns are at greater risk during the fall migration because of their size. Barriers that adults can cross more easily are often what can kill fawns. Decreasing the overall height of a fence and installing smooth wire at the bottom of the fence reduces this risk.

Light equipment facilitates the safe removal of old fencing.

“It was great to be out here to help with this project,” said MDF President/CEO Joel Pedersen who participated in the event. “The University of Wyoming pioneered the science that spotlighted mule deer migrations and called attention to their habitat needs and barriers to their movement across the landscape. MDF is working with our partners on the policies that drive migration conservation efforts, but also working with our chapters and volunteers on projects just like this one.”

CEO of Boone and Crockett Club, Tony Schoonen and MDF President/CEO, Joel Pedersen spent time evaluating the project, and lending their assistance.

In addition, to fence conversions, MDF is partnering with the U.S. Forest Service in southern Wyoming to implement projects that benefit mule deer and other wildlife species. Reed serves in a shared position and is working with the agency and private landowners to coordinate habitat enhancement projects in southern Wyoming.

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