CO BHA Oak Ridge SWA Fence Removal Project

Project Description

The Northwest is home to the largest elk, mule deer, and prong horn populations in the state of Colorado. The Oak Ridge State Wildlife Area alone will carry up to 3,000 head of elk during the winter months. During this time the property is closed to the public, which encourages the herds to stay on the property instead of spilling over onto and damaging the surrounding agricultural lands. 

Thanks to BHA volunteers and Colorado Parks and Wildlife we were able to further improve habitat quality on the SWA property by removing irrelevant barbed wire fencing over a weekend's time. This project was not for the faint of heart and we were so grateful to have the help of our dedicated volunteers. It was hard work but gratifying to see the landscape open up after a weekend's worth of work. 

BHA would like to thank Smoking River Brewing and the BHA Colorado Chapter for sponsoring this event, as well as Colorado Parks and Wildlife for their partnership and commitment to our wildlife resources. 

The team loading sheep wire into a CPW truck to be sent out to the scrap metal yard and recycled.

Removing t-posts improves habitat for small mammals and grouse.

Fence posts give birds of prey an unfair advantage creating an unnatural predator prey dynamics.

Volunteers roll barbed wire into manageable bundles before transporting them to the truck. 

Volunteers and CPW staff carrying rolls of barbed wire up and out!

A satisfying pile of barbed wire no longer impacting our wildlife. 

Afterwards some volunteers and BHA staff went for a hike along the South Fork of the White River trail. 

Other volunteers slipped into their waders or casted from their canoe at Lake Avery and the White River.

We convened at camp with cold beverages donated by the local Meeker brewery Smoking River Brewing,

a hearty meal, and stories shared around a campfire.

That's a wrap! We are so grateful to all of the volunteers who donated their time and energy pulling fence for the Northwest's wildlife.

About Brittany Parker

Habitat Stewardship Coordinator for BHA