By Glen Dickens, VP/Grants/Projects Mgr.
Another successful AAF fence modification/removal project was completed by 27 volunteers in Southeastern Arizona on September 27/28, 2019 on Allen Flat 20 miles northwest of Willcox in game management unit 32.
We modified 3 miles of existing boundary fence on the 3-Links Ranch.
We removed the bottom barbed wire strand and replaced with smooth. In addition, on another 1.5 miles of fence on an adjoining ranch we simply had to move the bottom strand up to 16 inches as it had been installed to a 10-inch height.
Separate from this work we utilized the remaining $23K of our NFWF
8-year grant funds to purchase 7 full miles of fence materials, These were delivered to the Warbonnet/Dobson Cattle/Dos S Land & Cattle ranches for full fence replacement on ranch boundaries and interior fences. We thank all 4 ranches on the Allen Flat pronghorn herd zone for their cooperation! Family members from the Warbonnet ranch joined us for our Saturday night dinner to accept our appreciation personally.
This effort is in direct proximity to where 14 pronghorn from Prescott were released in January/19 of which 5 were radio collared. That radio collar data was utilized to “tell us” where the top priority choke points were due to fencing that needed to be modified or replaced. As a result, an additional 13,500 acres of Allen Flat are now completely “permeable” to resident pronghorn! In addition to the supplemental release this herd zone has received periodic coyote treatment. When our project began in 2011 the resident population numbered just 24 animals with the AGFD observing 70 in their August 2019 aerial survey.
This project effort benefits the now completed 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 had a goal of improving up to 100,000 acres of “Pronghorn habitat connectivity”. That goal was met in April of 2018 at Elgin and we are continued to add to that total through the end of the grant period in December 2019.
Dinners were served on Friday and Saturday nights with the sides
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, Joe Bill Pickrell, Gary Boyer, Robert Velasco, Al Sue, Connie Taylor, Steve Tritz and yours truly.
-Representing the Az Game and Fish: Troy Christensen, Mike Richens, and Rana Tucker
-Representing The Nature Conservancy: Ron Day
-Other AAF members and volunteers: Betty Dickens, John Millican, Bill & Mary Keebler, Ken & Kathy Cook, Frank Tennant, Darrell Tersey, Bill Werner, Darrel Wood, Jason Angell, Mike Ebright, Joelle Buffa, Clyde Morris and Joyce Partain
Thanks, everyone for your efforts!
Photos by Betty Dickens