Join Idaho BHA May 13-15th for a volunteer project to improve fencing for wildlife.
Old, dilapidated livestock fencing can be detrimental to wildlife, particularly big game animals. Movement to and from seasonal habitats can be hazardous and even impeded entirely by certain types of fence materials historically used by range permittees. Idaho Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (IDBHA) has teamed with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) and other partners to support a fence removal and replacement effort near the remote Fremont and Clark County line in eastern Idaho. The project area lies within critical fawning and calving habitat for large populations of migratory wildlife, including elk, moose, pronghorn and mule deer. IDFG identified this area as one of five priority landscapes in Idaho’s State Action Plan for DOI Secretarial order 3362, which aims to improve western big game winter range and migration habitat.
The goal of the project is to remove/replace at least 10.5 miles of sheep fence with wildlife-friendly fence on public lands accessible to sportsmen/women. Important to this project is the support from the working permittees affected. Fence replacement funds of this magnitude are largely unavailable on an annual basis and may be deemed logistically unfeasible across the checkerboard of agency ownerships without partnership. This project will build partnerships across state and federal land management agencies (IDL/BLM/USFS), Non-Government Organizations, and cattle permittees.
An on-line membership raffle held in the throes of the pandemic last year raised $5,000, which IDBHA has contributed to the project. Now it is time to amplify our contribution and mobilize volunteers to further offset project costs. We are planning a volunteer stewardship project to clear brush and remove hazardous wire ahead of the fence replacement contractor. Our focus will be a 2.15-mile fence section on IDL lands. The work with be strenuous and the location remote. We hope to convene and set a camp on Thursday evening (May 13th) so that we can work a full day Friday (May 14) and most of Saturday (May 15). IDBHA leadership will provide dinner Friday night and breakfast Saturday morning, otherwise volunteers will need to bring their own food and camping supplies.
If you are interested in participating or have questions, please contact our SE Idaho co-chair Jeff Klausmann at [email protected]