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  • August 10, 2019 2:31 PM | Kara Jensen (Administrator)

    By Gary Boyer AAF Board Member

    The weekend of August 10th and 11th marked the fourth AAF work project of 2019 and the beginning of a new project site for the Arizona Antelope Foundation (AAF). The area known as the Garland Prairie, south of I-40 and between Williams and Flagstaff is the site for several future fence removal and modification work projects. Garland Prairie is roughly 14,000 acres, the pronghorn spend summer and fall there and other high elevation meadows before migrating up to 60 miles south along I-40 and down SR 89 to Prescott or Jerome. Some animals stay around Wagon Tire or Drake.

     AAF is coordinating with AZGF (Arizona Game and Fish), Kaibab and Coconino NF (National Forest) personnel to develop projects to remove or modify existing fences to facilitate the Pronghorn migration routes from winter to summer ranges. Using data collected from radio collared Pronghorn, existing routes are identified then plotted. This data is used to identify obstructions in the animal’s routes. Other species in the area, elk and mule deer, also benefit from this activity. Pronghorn prefer going under fences and only in extreme cases do they attempt to jump fences. AAF modifies fencing by removing the bottom strand of barbwire and replacing it with smooth wire 18” above the ground, or in the case of this first project, complete removal.

     Ramrodding this project were: Jeff Gagnon, AZGF Statewide Biologist; Scott Sprague, AZGF Biologist; Roger Joos, Coconino NF Biologist; Travis Largent, Kaibab NF Biologist. Also assisting were Troy Christensen, AZGF; Colin Beach, AZGF; Sarah Bearman, AZGF; and Mike Ebright, AZGF.

      Early arrivals on Friday at the basecamp, located on the west side of Garland Prairie, were treated to a dinner of pulled pork, baked beans and coleslaw, many thanks to our camp cooks, Bill and Mary Keebler. After dinner and evening around the campfire, folks turned in.

     Saturday morning after 14 large pots of coffee and a continental breakfast, at eight a.m. 80 volunteers gathered for an orientation talk by Jeff Gagnon. Jeff gave a brief history of why, how and what we were going to accomplish that day. Volunteers broke up into four groups. Each crew had a wire roller mounted on ATVs, post pullers and hand tools. Then the crews headed out to their work areas, several close to camp and another 2 mile stretch of fence about 12 miles distant. Thanks to our team leaders, Travis, Roger, Scott and Jeff’s guidance, by early afternoon crews had removed over 3 ½ miles of fence, some of it more than 100 years old.  Also removed was about 120 yards of old sheep fence. Fence posts, both wooden and steel T-posts, had been gathered and stockpiled along with countless spools of old wire destined for the recycler. The ranchers take the T-posts for reuse.

     Being the efficient, energetic group of people involved, the rest of the afternoon was spent “lopping” or cutting down young Ponderosa pines, cedars and other brush that were encroaching on a corridor that had been cleared 5 years earlier. Keeping this area open, and as grassland is important as a migration route for the Pronghorn. Pronghorn need open grassland as their eyesight and speed are their only defenses against predation. Congratulations are in order for that crew as they cleared an astounding 130 acres that afternoon. Well done, especially after all the fence work and on a very warm day.

    Back at camp, our cook crew, Mary and Bill, assisted by, Connie Leadabrand were preparing their famous Quesadillas, salsas, etc. to snack on while dinner was being prepared.  Bill’s Tri-Tip, Mary’s Scalloped Potatoes and a huge Green salad were served. Always a great meal followed by sitting around the campfire telling stories, some true, worn out folks, myself included, headed for bed. Sunday morning Mary’s delicious breakfast burritos were enjoyed while everyone broke camp. By 9 a.m. the forest returned to normal as almost everyone headed for home.

    Many thanks to all the participants, too many to list, however, know that each and every one of you contributed to this, another successful work project. As our regular photographer, Betty Dickens, was attending to our VP, Glen Dickens, who is recovering from heart surgery, Kenny Cook took over photography duties. Also assisting with photos was long time contributing member Richard Ockenfels.

    Representing the AAF Board: Ken Meadors, Joe Bill Pickrell, Terry Schupp, Gary Boyer, Kara Jensen, and Robert Velasco. 


  • July 30, 2019 8:45 AM | Kara Jensen (Administrator)

    The first step in conserving 240 acres southwest of Flagstaff at Rogers Lake has been completed, as the culmination of a unique, collaborative effort involving Camp Navajo-Arizona National Guard, the Army National Guard, Coconino County, and the Central Arizona Land Trust (CALT).

    As a partner with Camp Navajo in the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program (ACUB), CALT has established the first of two conservation easements that will ultimately conserve 240 acres owned by Coconino County. This property, known as the Frontiere property, is located adjacent to the Rogers Lake County Natural Area, 10 miles southwest of Flagstaff, Arizona.

    Rebecca Ruffner, Board Chair of the Central Arizona Land Trust, stressed the importance of CALT’s most recent conservation effort and its importance to the community.

    “This successful conservation effort will serve a two-fold purpose; it will guarantee permanent conservation of an important wildlife corridor for elk, pronghorn antelope, and other large mammals, and ensure the long-term, compatible land use to sustain the state and national security objectives at Camp Navajo," said Rebecca Ruffner.

    CALT is proud to be a part of planning for the future of Camp Navajo and the region, and the ability to partner with Camp Navajo in a strategic effort to support economic sustainability and strategic conservation.

    “The success of the Army Compatible Use Buffer program on The Arizona National Guard’s eastern boundary of Camp Navajo clearly indicates the level of community commitment to the military missions in Northern Arizona,” said Colonel Ray G. Garcia, Commander of the Arizona Training Centers and Camp Navajo. “Camp Navajo and the Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station are strategic assets supporting the Department of Defense and the defense of our Nation, so ensuring the long-term viability of these two installations is critical to our future. The Arizona National Guard has served the community, State and Nation for over 75 years through its resources at Camp Navajo and can only continue to do so if we mitigate potential encroachment through the ACUB program. I want to thank all of the community partners that have made this program successful,” said Col. Garcia.

    Protecting the Frontiere property from development supports improved opportunities for recreation and outdoor experiences at the Rogers Lake County Natural Area as part of the Coconino County Parks and Recreation system.

    “The conservation easement at the Frontiere Property furthers our mission while protecting a beautiful and ecologically valuable asset for today’s and future generations. That is something the County, Central Arizona Land Trust, and the Army National Guard can be very proud of,” said Cynthia Nemeth, Director of Coconino County Parks and Recreation.

    Conserving land around Rogers Lake is extremely important because wetlands are among the most bio-diverse ecosystem types that exist, supporting a very diverse range of animal and plant species.

    “We have a strong partnership with the Central Arizona Land Trust,” said Matt Ryan, Coconino County Supervisor. “The conservation easement on the Frontiere property continues our work in the ephemeral wetlands of Rogers Lake County Natural Area to further protect this community asset for generations to come for activities such as hiking, environmental education, biking, and other outdoor opportunities.”

    CALT background: As a nonprofit organization, CALT has been dedicated to its mission, “to preserve and protect open space, wildlife habitat, working agricultural lands, and the scenic and cultural values of central and northern Arizona for future generations” since 1989. Contact CALT by email at calt@centralazlandtrust.org or by phone at (928) 445-7790. More information at: calt@centralazlandtrust.org.


  • July 08, 2019 12:26 PM | Kara Jensen (Administrator)

    By Dave Cagle AAF Board Member / AGFD Wildlife Program Manager/Projects

    A third fence project was completed by 73 volunteers east and west of the Rudd Knoll campsite near Big Lake on June 8th in Game Management Unit 1. We modified 4 miles of existing four strand fence in three separate work parties by removing the bottom strand and replacing it with the smooth bottom strand set at 18 inches.  Another work party also inspected and repaired three fences surrounding important high elevation shallow reservoirs, which will protect quality wetland habitat by excluding cattle during the summer grazing season.

    This 3rd project was an integral part of what is known as the Big Lake Pronghorn Initiative lead by the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Pinetop Region in partnership with the AAF. It began in 2013, with the collaring of eight pronghorn on the 9,000-foot elevation grasslands surrounding the Big Lake summer range. The collars permitted daily monitoring and two full years of pronghorn movement data from summer range, where they fawn and breed to winter range and back again through 2015. The 2 key objectives of the collar data were to determine seasonal habitat use and to identify potential bottlenecks on their 20-30mile trek from summer range to winter range and back again. The collar data revealed a key corridor utilized by pronghorn to seasonally go from 9,000-foot elevation summer range near Big Lake to 7,000-foot elevation winter range to the north of HWY 260. In this narrow corridor area, pronghorn must traverse forested areas, cross the Little Colorado River and cross a highway to continue to winter range to the north and again repeat the pattern in reverse in the spring.

    This was the 3rd of five planned annual prioritized volunteer summer fence modification projects that will be used to remove obstacles in the migration corridor and modify key fences on the Big Lake plains for summering pronghorn.

    All activities and coordination were supervised by District Wildlife Manager Jason Capps and yours truly.

     

    Meals fit for a king and/or queen were provided on Friday and Saturday nights and Saturday and Sunday mornings by Bill and Mary Keebler.  Mary’s secret brisket recipe topped off with Bill’s homemade sauce were a Saturday night highlight! Project photos were taken by Betty Dickens, thanks Betty!

    Thanks as well go out to several groups of folks and the many individuals that contributed to the success of this project;

    -Representing the AAF Board:  Ken Meadors, Brian George, Joe Bill Pickrell, Dave Laird, Connie Taylor, Al Sue, Gary Boyer, Robert Velasco and Dave Cagle.

     -Representing the AGFD: Dave Cagle, Roger Thompson, Jason Capps and Troy Christensen

    -Representing the Apache Sitgreaves Forest: Forest Supervisor, Steve Best; Biologists Valerie Horncastle and Mandy Scott.

    -Other AAF members and volunteers: Bill/Mary Keebler, Mike Anderson, Jason Angell, Franklin Armor, Cameron Becker, David Breeden, Robert and Connor Bueche, Cheryl Cagle, Bradley Caylor, Ken and Kathy Cook, Dave Cruce, Betty Dickens, Steven Damm, Mike Ebright, Terry Faley, Eric and Sandra Friend, John and Marilyn Grena, Clair Harris, Johnny Johnson, Art Jordon, Gerald Keller, Bob Krogh, Jay and Connie Leadabrand, Caroline Long, Brad Lough, Ed Marcarelli, Jeff and Gail Marcroft, David McCasland, Bill McClendon, John Millican, Suzanne Moeller, Clifford and Lynn Nystrom, Alan Sandoval, Robert and Susan Seils, Steve Tritz, Mark Vale, Thomas, Jamie, Alexander and Deana Watkins, Darrel Wood, Sadie Lee Thompson, Vilma Vale, Jim Long, Zion Johnson, Westley and Ally Curry, Savannah Thompson, Riley and Keagan Thompson.

    Project highlights including increasing the mobility of pronghorn by modifying four miles of fence was witnessing the birth of a pronghorn fawn right outside our camp on Saturday evening!  The little guy was up and running around mother within two minutes after birth. 

    Thanks everyone for your efforts!

    Photos by Betty Dickens


  • June 28, 2019 8:01 AM | Kara Jensen (Administrator)

    Article by Gary Boyer AAF Board of Directors:

    On Friday June 28th members of AAF and AGFD met with the ranch manager, Erik Swanson, to discuss possible future projects on the Cross Mountain Ranch. At 10:30 a.m. we gathered at the Jolly Rd. / I-40 off ramp, midway between Seligman and Kingman. There we had a tailgate meeting to outline our plan for the day.

    Cross Mountain Ranch encompasses 36 sections and is used primarily for raising cattle. Erik laid out plans for the future of the ranch that includes Juniper removal to open up more grassland for grazing and wildlife habitat improvements. Also approximately 20+  miles of existing fence consisting of 36” wire mesh, aka Sheep fence, topped with two strands of barbed wire. The plan is to have AAF remove various sections of the fence to promote connectivity for Pronghorn and other wildlife. AAF will plan on doing two work projects a year for the next 5 years beginning in 2020 in the months of April/September removing or modifying fences.

    After the roadside meeting we began our tour of the ranch. The first two stops were to locate and inspect camp sites for our basecamp. Both sites are north of I-40 and offer easy access among the Junipers. As we moved farther north into the ranch we checked out fence lines and the general landscape.

     Next we stopped at two separate wells that are currently not being used. Erik explained that both wells had very good water production in the past with one at a depth of 900’. Also next to the wells are large storage tanks connected to water troughs.  The existing pump jacks were installed in the 1950s and although very interesting, they are no longer functioning. The discussion turned to the feasibility of reactivating the wells most likely with solar powered pumps. Pronghorn does require a water source within one mile of fawning grounds thus the importance of reliable water nearby.

    The ranch is checker boarded with some other land owners and we stopped at one spot were the land owners had built an exclosure fence around their property. Apparently they don’t want terrestrial wildlife on their land, to create a preserve of some type. What was interesting to observe is the grazed land on the Cross Mountain ranch side had a healthy grassland appearance, while the “preserve” side was reverting to scrubby, woody type of flora.

    The field trip was informative and successful in that AAF and AGFD gained a good perspective on what is needed to provide suitable habitat for pronghorn and other species in the area. As we left the ranch just before reaching I-40 a group of 8 pronghorn gracefully ran across our path as if to say either “get out of here” or more likely “thanks for looking out for us”.

    AAF thanks the Cross Mountain ranch, Erik Swanson and AGFD for an outstanding field trip. Also in attendance were Kingman Region 3 AGFD personnel Erin Butler Wildlife Program Supervisor, Wade Zarlingo, Landowner Program Specialist and Elizabeth Johnston, Habitat Evaluation and Lands Specialist. Also attending AAF Glen Dickens VP/Grants/Projects Manager, past AAF President and founding member Jim McCasland,  Betty Dickens our resident photographer and yours truly.


  • March 18, 2019 9:19 AM | Kara Jensen (Administrator)

     By Glen Dickens, VP/Grants/Projects Mgr.

    On Saturday March 16th, 2019 we held our first of many future planned fence removal projects in the Vekol Valley approximately 30 miles southwest of Casa Grande.  This in cooperation with the Phoenix District Office of the Bureau of Land Management and their efforts to make this zone more pronghorn friendly for a planned Sonoran Pronghorn supplemental release.  The Sonoran Pronghorn subspecies is not hunted, is currently federally listed as Endangered and it’s restoration is being co-managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Department.  Note the quarterly updates included in each issue of the Pronghorn.


    This was only the second “winter project” we have held, the first being the Ajo waterhole fence construction project in January of 2018.  Going forward in addition to our usual 4 fence projects held in April, June, August and September, this is intended to be our 5th project each winter, weather and government shutdowns notwithstanding.  For this project we had 30 volunteers, who enjoyed bluebird daytime winter temps and evenings cool enough to enjoy gathering around the fire.  

    For this first project we removed four miles of existing fence and a wire corral three miles west of the Vekol Valley road and three miles south of Interstate 8.  All wire was rolled and removed and to the degree possible old wooden fence posts were removed as well. For the Friday afternoon project early arrivals helped brush out the road from camp to the work site and then having time on their hands they removed an entire wire corral and metal fence posts.

    As stated previously this effort is in direct support of the Endangered Pronghorn re-establishment efforts.  These projects will help ensure that future  pronghorn and resident mule deer can safely utilize open desert and grassland corridors without interference due to fence line obstructions.  After this project this zone now has 50 miles of total fence to be removed.  It’s our goal to take out the highest priority 20 miles over the next several project years.   

    Dinners were served on Friday and Saturday nights with the sides provided

    by Chefs Mary and Bill Keebler and they hosted Saturday and Sunday morning breakfasts as well. Thanks Mary and Bill!

    Thanks, go out to several groups of folks that contributed to this successful project:

     -Representing the AAF Board:  Ken Meadors, Dave Cagle, Al Sue, Connie Taylor, Gary Boyer, Joe-Bill Pickrell and yours truly.

    -BLM: Mike Daehler

    -US Air Force: Jesup Helget

    -Becoming an Outdoor Woman: Linda Dightmon

    -Game & Fish personnel: Troy Christensen, Travis Clarkson and Noah Ratcliff

    -Other AAF members and volunteers:   Betty Dickens, Mary and Bill Keebler,  Jamie and Deana Watkins, Dave Laird, Johnny Johnson, Darrel Wood,  Kathy Cook, Al Kreutz, David Breeden, Richard Roller, Keith Callaway, Sherry Christensen, Oscar Oland, Stanley Crisher, Andy Little, Dennis Pikul and Mark Hullinger

    Thanks, everyone for your efforts!

    Photos by Betty Dickens


  • February 28, 2019 1:02 PM | Kara Jensen (Administrator)


    We enjoyed wonderful weather had a great day this past Tuesday from 12-3 at the State Capitol lawn with our AWF partner affiliates. Ken/Terry and myself staffed the AAF Booth. Wild Game was served by both the Back Country Hunters and AWF Linda Dightmon.

    It ended up lightly attended due to packed House and Senate day calendars but those members who came out learned a lot about our states Critter/Conservation groups. This photo features House Member and Public Lands Holiday Bill sponsor and House Lands & Agriculture Chair Tim Dunn. The AWF plans to make this an annual event. 

    The AWF sponsored AZ Public Lands Day Bill is HB-2271. It  left the House Chamber with a resounding 60-0 approval a short time back. Public Lands day will be a focus for both celebrating our Az resource but also a "Projects Day" to encourage volunteer-ism on that day something we and all critter groups are quite familiar with. The Bill is up for scheduling in the Senate and hearings will be held in the next few weeks. I'll keep you updated on it's progress and will again be testifying in support of the Bill on behalf of the AAF.

    We hope to see more sportsmen show up next year!

    Yours in Conservation,

    Glen



  • January 30, 2019 4:41 PM | Kara Jensen (Administrator)

    Translocation to boost, add genetic diversity to southern Arizona populations   

    PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. — The fastest land animal in North America can make it seem so effortless, reaching a top speed of 55 mph, then being able to coast at 30 mph for miles. When they get their wheels rolling, there isn’t a predator that can keep up with them, let alone catch them.


    There is one thing, however, that an estimated 100 pronghorn that have roamed the Glassford Hill area near Prescott Valley cannot outrun — development.  

    There is one thing, however, that an estimated 100 pronghorn that have roamed the Glassford Hill area near Prescott Valley cannot outrun — development.  


    On Jan. 24, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD), in partnership with the Arizona Antelope Foundation (AAF) and local private landowners, reduced the size of the iconic herd by capturing 45 of the fleet-footed animals and transporting them to various release sites in southeast Arizona.

    “Our mission at Game and Fish is to conserve and protect all of Arizona’s wildlife,” said Erin Butler, terrestrial wildlife program manager for the department’s regional office in Kingman. “With a four-lane, divided highway to the north, an encroaching subdivision to the east, another housing community under construction to the west, and more development to the south, this particular herd needs our help.

    “As development in this area continues, and their habitat dwindles, these pronghorn will find it increasingly difficult to survive. Our goal is that translocating them will boost and add genetic diversity to existing populations in the southeast portion of the state.”

    The one-day operation was conducted on private property south of Highway 89A. A helicopter was used to round up and funnel the pronghorn into a holding area, where wildlife biologists, veterinarians, and others evaluated the health of each pronghorn, attached an ear tag for identification and fitted them with GPS tracking collars.


    The pronghorn then were transported almost 300 miles south to release sites near Bonita, Altar Valley and San Bernardino Valley, where they will bolster a small population numbering about 100. Extensive habitat improvement work has been done in these areas over the past 10 years in partnership with the Arizona Antelope Foundation and the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), both of which provided funding and volunteers. These improvements included clearing 22,000 acres of mesquite, modifying 35 miles of fencing to facilitate easier pronghorn movement, and the placement of 15 water troughs.

     
    As for the remaining pronghorn near Glassford Hill, AZGFD expects the lower-elevation grassland habitat to be completely developed within the next five to 10 years, resulting in a decrease in the population through natural attrition. 


    Costs incurred for the operation were paid for through wildlife restoration funds (which are generated by sportsmen who support conservation through their purchase of hunting, fishing and other outdoor equipment), as well as support and volunteers from AAF and NRCS.  

  • October 01, 2018 11:27 AM | Kara Jensen (Administrator)

    By Glen Dickens, VP/Grants/Projects Mgr.

    Another successful AAF fence modification/removal project was completed by 23 volunteers in Southeastern Arizona on September 28 and  29, 2018 in the northeast end of game management unit 32 near Bonita. 

    We modified 3 miles of existing boundary fence  north and south of the High Creek Road.  We removed the bottom barbed wire strand and replaced with smooth, along with installing replacement stays along the fence line.  Fridays work day was spent removing mesquite that had grown up along the fenceline.  During the project weekend, multiple sightings of rutting pronghorn occurred by most everyone traveling to the camp site on USFS land at the western end of the High Creek Road.

    This effort is in direct proximity to ongoing mesquite removal for the Bonita Grasslands NRCS/G&F restoration project with a goal of improving an additional 10,000 acres in the next 4 years.  Over the past 8 years, the areas adjacent to and within this project have been grubbed and new waters and boundary fence installed.  These projects will help ensure that resident pronghorn and mule deer can safely utilize open grassland corridors without interference due to fence line obstructions.  It assisted in accomplishing a key portion of the overall Bonita Plains pronghorn travel corridor improvement project.

    This project effort benefits the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant in that all labor hours, materials and mileage from this project were used to match the AAF’s $430K 8-year grant for our “Southeastern Arizona Grasslands Pronghorn Initiative”. The grant has a goal of improving up to 100,000 acres of “Pronghorn habitat connectivity”. This goal was met in April of 2018 at Elgin and we are continuing to add to that total through the end of the grant period in calendar 19.

    Dinners was served on Friday and Saturday nights with the sides was provided by Mary and Bill Keebler and they hosted Saturday and Sunday morning breakfasts as well,

    Thanks Mary and Bill!

    Thanks, go out to several  folks that contributed to this successful project:

     -Representing the AAF Board:  Ken Meadors, Gary Boyer, Al Sue, Ken Meadors, Joe-bill Pickrell and yours truly.

    -Other AAF members and volunteers:   Betty Dickens,  John Millican, Mary and Bill Keebler, Dale Maas, Ron Day, Dave Cruce, Jason Angell, Cameron Becker, Jeff Gillon, Clyde Morris Joelle Buffa, Dave Laird, Darrel Wood, Rene Dube, Warren Adams, Bill McClendon, Jeff Hannum and Steve Tritz.    

    Thanks, everyone for your efforts!




    Photos by Betty Dickens


  • April 16, 2018 11:50 AM | Kara Jensen (Administrator)

    Southeast Sonoita Plains Pasture Fence Projects

    By Glen Dickens, VP/Grants/ Projects Coordinator

    Another successful AAF project was completed by 39 volunteers and Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) personnel in southeastern Arizona on April 13-15, 2018. On Friday we modified and repaired a quarter mile section of fence that is an entrance into a newly identified 320 acre “Fawning Pasture” as well as modified a 500-foot section of fence on the south end of the Upper Elgin Road allowing access to a 2,400-acre pasture. We removed the bottom strand of barbed wire, replacing it with a single strand of smooth wire at a height of 18 inches and replaced all fence stays and posts as needed. Within just 2 weeks of the fence modification 17 pronghorn were observed in the 2,400-acre pasture and in early June a fawn and mother were observed in this newly accessible pasture. Success!

    On Saturday we modified 2 fences both approximately .75 miles in length that bordered a horse pasture to the northeast of the 2,400-acre pasture. This permits pronghorn to pass through the horse pasture to the south as well as gives them access to a permanent water that they could not utilize previously. This modification improved pronghorn access to another 3,000 acres of habitat. Fence modifications were similar to those listed previously.

    The really good news! All 4 of these fence modifications have been caused by the increased herd in this area (now 120 animals minimum, up from 17 in 2012) utilizing and pioneering suitable habitat areas previously unoccupied by Pronghorn. This project is likely a final “Capstone” effort and will complete free pronghorn access in the southeastern portion of the Santa Cruz Plains pronghorn corridor improvement project. Everyone who worked on both days enjoyed multiple sightings of the resident pronghorn.

    All fence materials for this project were purchased with National Fish and Wildlife Grant funds and this effort benefits the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant in that all labor hours, materials and mileage from this project will be used to match the AAF’s $430K 7-year grant for our “Southeastern Arizona Grasslands Pronghorn Initiative”. The grant has a goal of improving up to 100,000 acres of “Pronghorn habitat connectivity”. This project put us over that magic mark!!

    Camp was located at the Rose Tree Ranch Corrals. Thanks, as always goes to Bill Brake and Al Wilcox for again agreeing to host our camp site. Dinners were served on Friday and Saturday nights provided by Mary and Bill Keebler and they hosted Saturday and Sunday morning breakfasts as well, thanks Mary and Bill!

    Thanks go out to several groups of folks that contributed to this successful project;

    -Representing the AAF Board: Al Sue, Ken Meadors, Kara Jensen, Terry Schupp Connie Taylor, Gary Boyer, and yours truly.

    -Other AAF members and volunteers: John Millican, Joe-Bill Pickrell, Dave Laird, Richard Roller, Colin Hurkett, William Gray, Tyler Mayberry, Dave Cruce, Bill/Mary Keebler, Betty Dickens, Warren Adams, Ray Blanchard, Jay/Connie Leadabrand, Rene Dube, Sherry Kapaldo, Ray Emmerich, AE Montiel, Bill McClendon, David Breeden, Johnny Johnson, Jason Angell, Darrel Wood, and Robert Velasco.

    -University of Arizona Wildlife Club; Ben Morrison

    -AZ Land and Water Trust; Cameron Becker

    -Game & Fish personnel: Brad Fulk, Rana Tucker, Troy Christensen, Jered Ellingson and Brittney Olsen

    Thanks, everyone for your efforts!



  • February 06, 2018 4:36 AM | Kara Jensen (Administrator)

    Yes, it’s true. I’ve been on the AAF Board now for 8 years and this is our 1st recorded “Fence Building Project” during my ten- ure. The good news we had 35 volunteers that made the long drive to Ajo and another 9 miles northeast of there to the desig- nated desert camp-site. The project work date was another 1st being held in the middle of the winter on January 27, 2018.

    So why this location and why build a new one-acre live- stock/burro proof fence around a seasonally filled livestock tank? Presently when full it attracts feral cattle and horses from nearby reservation lands onto the eastern edge of the Son- oran Pronghorn habitat as well as resident burros. This fence construction project will permit access to the water by all wild- life but prevent access by trespass feral livestock and burros.

    This project was identified by the Bureau of Land Management as very high priority need and the BLM not only provided all the materials but set all five corner posts in concrete the week prior to our work date. Thanks Mike Daehler, District BLM Wildlife Biologist!

    How does this improve the habitat for Pronghorn? This effort is located on the eastern boundary of histor- ic endangered Sonoran Pronghorn

    habitat. The BLM has a long-term plan of removing up to 54 miles of un

    -needed livestock fence in this zone as to make it more attractive to Son- oran Pronghorn. This was the first of at least two projects and likely more we will be doing in this zone. Next January 2019 we will begin removing fence but more centrally south of Stanfield and Interstate 8 east of Gila Bend.

    The fence was constructed of metal posts just 10 feet apart and was the usual wildlife standard fence with a 42-inch top and an 18-inch smooth bottom wire. It was solidly supported by dozens of stone tie downs where appropriate. In addition to the fence construction all the old wire on the ground from the previous fence was

    removed and rolled up. Time will tell if it has the desired effect of reducing livestock use in this area of Sonoran Pronghorn habitat.

     

    Getting to the work site some 9 miles from camp was another challenge or as some drivers stated, “a real Adventure.” We carpooled and caravanned in high clearance 4WD vehicles only and it took over an hour to progress the 9 miles of which 3 miles was in severe climbing and rock rolling conditions. But no flat tires oc- curred, and we finished the entire project with no injuries by 3:30.

    Dinners were served on Friday and Saturday nights with the sides provided by Mary and Bill Keebler andthey hosted Saturday and Sunday morning breakfasts as well. Thanks Mary and Bill!

    Thanks also go out to several groups of folks who contributed to this successful project:

    -Representing the AAF Board: Al Sue, Connie Taylor, Gary Boyer, Joe-Bill Pickrell, Ken Meadors and yours truly.

    -Representing the Mule Deer Foundation:  Sherry Kapaldo

    -US Air Force: Jake Vincent, Humberto Morales and Curtis Brown

    -ASU: Barbara Faultner

    -Other AAF members and volunteers: Betty Dickens, Mary and Bill Keebler, Marsha Sue, Paul Pavlich, Jamie and Deana Watkins, Dave Laird, Johnny Johnson, Rita and Rob Rutledge, Ray Blanchard, Keith and Diane Azlin, Darrel Wood, Ken and Kathy Cook, Larry Thowe, Dino Cerchie, Tyler Mayberry and Charles and Mark Wilmer

    -Game & Fish personnel: Troy Christensen

    -BLM: Mike Daehler


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