ECO Mid-Summer Update Round 5
The summer heatwave finally broke as the ECO interns returned to finish the project in Tongue Creek. With highs only in the mid 80’s and overcast skies, it was a much better day to remove the last of the fence.
Our secret weapon this week was the game cart. After collecting all of the metal t-posts and coils of barbed wire at the base of the drainage, we were able to load them into the cart and slowly make our way to the nearest road. The road was 3/4 of a mile away. It was slow going and took multiple trips. Over the course of the day, interns shuttled the cart 4 miles, with a few hundred pounds of fencing in each load.
This section of the fence was part of a line that nearly cut MPG in half from its northern border with the Sapphire Ranch to its southern border in Lower Woodchuck Creek. This fence was significant because it sat squarely in the heart of elk winter range and still had wire on it. This fall, when the elk return to Tongue Creek, they will no longer have to navigate this obstacle. Their well worn game trails to either side of the fence illustrate the effect fencing has on wildlife land use patterns.
These photos show the area before and after the restoration work on 7/24.
The blue line indicates the fence removed. The red line shows the route used to haul out materials.