MPG’s new neighbor to the north, Oxbow Cattle Company, leases the Sapphire Ranch to graze cattle. Oxbow and MPG share a strong conservation ethic and have partnered to rebuild the shared border fence.
On the map above, the red line delineates the MPG property boundary. The shared fence line, in blue, is about four miles long.
The current fence is either overbuilt, with 2.5 feet of woven sheep wire on the bottom and multiple strands of barbed wire on top, or it is falling down. The photo above shows a dilapidated section. The barbs have ungulate hair caught in them.
Hundreds of elk, deer, and other wildlife cross back and forth over the border between MPG and the Sapphire Ranch. In the winter months, elk crossings increase, as this area is prime elk winter range.
To date, University of Montana and Ecology Project International students and community volunteers have completed 1.75 miles fence and contributed 616.5 hours to this project.
The resulting fence has two center strands of barbed wire and smooth strand wire on the top and bottom. A drop clip attaches each strand to the post (above inset). The clips allow the fence to be bunched in the center during the winter months when not in use with cattle, as shown in the photo below.
Please join MPG and Oxbow Cattle Company on Saturday April 18, 2015 as we resume work on this project. The day will run from 9:30am to 4:30pm with lunch provided. No experience necessary. RSVP with Joshua Lisbon at email@example.com to register for the event and receive directions
Joshua graduated from the University of Montana, Missoula, in 2009 with an M.A. in Intercultural Youth and Family Development. Joshua has designed and implemented wilderness and experiential-based education programs for various agencies since 2001. He has worked in Missoula since 2005 predominately with disadvantaged populations providing challenging and empowering programming for youth and adults alike.At MPG, Joshua works to coordinate with local agencies and school districts as well as the university to connect students and members of the community to MPG’s work. He also recruits and mobilizes volunteers to accomplish various projects for the ranch. In his free time, Joshua enjoys exploring Montana’s wild places. As an avid outdoorsman, he enjoys any pursuit that keeps him connected to the natural world.