On Saturday, October 7th, nineteen volunteers visited MPG to build wildlife-friendly fence. The group was a combination of university students and community volunteers.
The students were from Vicki Watson’s and Dan Spencer’s Environmental Studies classes at the University of Montana. Professors often require their students to complete some hours of service learning for their courses and MPG has been a destination of choice for several years now.
Volunteers worked on the southeastern border of MPG where the property abuts Red Quill Ranch. Rebuilding this fence line will allow cattle to graze on Red Quill, while also allowing elk and deer to cross more easily between properties.
The crew removed the top and bottom strands of barbed wire and replaced them with barbless wire. All four strands were reset to 18 inches at the bottom, 42 inches at the top, and 26 and 34 inches in the middle. The modified height and spacing allows for smaller animals to pass beneath, and larger animals to jump over more easily. This configuration also permits the fence to be compressed to the center two strands, making it highly visible and easy to navigate for wildlife, thus lessening the opportunity for injury.
Volunteers worked on the southeastern border of MPG where the property abuts Red Quill Ranch. . Rebuilding this fence line will allow cattle to graze on Red Quill, while also allowing elk and deer to cross more easily between properties.
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.