A volunteer work weekend will partner the Mule Deer Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service July 30-31 in the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge to pull old barbed wire fencing.
The USFWS has identified more than 60 miles of dilapidated barbed wire fencing where it is no longer needed.
Initially this work was to be done by hand and the goal was to achieve four miles in a two-week period. But regional MDF director Marshall Johnson landed a grant to purchase a machine that can pull a mile in a few hours of work.
The Prairie Ghost Chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation in Sidney has been the lead on the project and has already removed five miles of wire and posts. The goal for the weekend is to pull another five to seven miles.
Fences are barriers and can be dangerous to wildlife, especially dilapidated barbed wire that can easily tangle up the legs of wildlife. This can cause injury and death. Additionally old fences can create a dangerous barrier for migration.