Preparing for fence work

17 03 2013

In a couple of weeks, it will be spring break time again. And here, alternative spring break comes in late March, courtesy of San Juan Mountains Association, which has brought University of Missouri students to Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area (and other places on San Juan public lands) for something like 10 years now!

Yesterday, a crew of volunteers helped SJMA’s Kathe Hayes clear greasewood and saltbush and small pinon/juniper trees and a small, interwoven shrub we couldn’t identify away from the southeastern boundary fence so the students can start rebuilding the fence from the road with BLM, Forest Service, SJMA and Disappointment Wild Bunch Partners help. For the second year, the students will work for the basin’s mustangs for two days (previous years have had them in the basin one day), and not for the first year, we’re excited to welcome them!

Some pix from our work:

031613tifmadi

Tif and her daughter, Madison (yes, our Madison is named after *this* Madison!), cut and toss greasewood away from the fence near the road.

031613lynkathe

Kathe and Lyn clear the fence of greasewood. This shot is looking back toward the road; you can see the metal supports of the cattle guard in the distance. Note Kathe’s handsaw; this part of the basin also is part of McKenna Peak Wilderness Study Area, meaning no motorized travel or mechanized tools – like chainsaws. Kathe and other volunteers cut some trees on another day for the students to use to make H-braces; those also were cut using handsaws.

031613fenceclearing

Lyn, Madison and Tif clear brush while Kathe moves on to the next bush in need of clearing. Lyn is clearing the last bit of saltbush; the ground here was moist enough that we were mostly able to pull it up through the soil.

031613tifcurly

The couple that saws together stays together! Tif and her husband (and Madi’s dad), Curly, cut and saw a small juniper tree out of the fence line.

031613curlymadi

Curly and Madison head back to the truck after an excellent day’s work. The family that volunteers together … is super fun to have on your work crew!

031613tiflynkathe

Tif, her mom, Lyn (Madison’s grandma), and Kathe walk back to the truck along the newly cleared fenceline boundary of Spring Creek Basin.

In other good news, about 37 drops of rain fell while we were working. 🙂


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8 responses

17 03 2013
Prairie girl

Nice job everybody!
The land around there looks beautiful.
Especially in pic #5.
The Missouri crew must love coming out there.
For the love of horses and the land!

17 03 2013
TJ

The WSA deserves full wilderness area status, in my opinion! The Missouri kids do always seem to enjoy coming and working. They’re always cheerful and good workers. It’s a great program! Seeing mustangs is a big bonus for them!

17 03 2013
curfi

What a great day! Thanks, TJ, for meeting us and working with us! What a great program this is. We look forward to helping next week!

18 03 2013
Puller Lanigan

Fabulous day! Thank you from those of us who couldn’t be there to help. TJ, why don’t any CO schools participate in this project?

18 03 2013
TJ

Wasn’t CU or CSU on the “top party schools” not long ago? 🙂 In all seriousness, it may have to do with giving students experiences in places other than their home states. But specifically, I’m not sure. This program predates my involvement with the mustangs. Coming to Colorado is quite an experience for these Missouri kids! They all love it!

18 03 2013
Pat Amthor

Good for you!! Tif you did a great job organizing and working too, it looks like.

18 03 2013
curfi

Hey Pat! We had fun. My family, Mesa Verde Back Country Horesemen members, had a great time helping. We always feel so good at the end of a day like this. Even though they’re my family, we all love getting out and giving back a little, you know? Looking forward to next week and our count! See you soon!

18 03 2013
TJ

Argh – I should have mentioned MVBCH, which is represented by Tif in Disappointment Wild Bunch Partners. Tif and her family do a lot of trail work, keeping areas open for horseback riders around the entire region! And Pat is our Four Corners Back Country Horsemen Rep to Wild Bunch. She and her husband, Frank, head up the wild horse count every spring. This year will be the 15th?!

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