Fence work, Mizzou style

26 03 2015

Amazingly, all 10 Missourians came back yesterday for their second day of work on Spring Creek Basin’s southeastern boundary fence line. Actually, it’s no surprise! Students returned bundled up against the brisk wind and gathered beneath the Temple-Butte-dominated horizon – dusted with snow! – to gather tools and supplies and head back up the trail. Smiling. 🙂


Day 2 was more of the same: Taking out old wire, stringing new wire, installing staves to keep the wires stable. Here, MK Thompson (SJMA), Evan, Aloe, Tom West (SJMA), Jordyn and Mary wire in staves while Jessi carries a bucket containing more cut-wire pieces and Zach carries more staves.


Two more H-braces were built – Miranda pounds in the spike to attach cross post to brace post.


More wire was tightened to hold H-braces in place – Aloe twisted the post with help from student leader Chalen (far right) and BLM range tech Justin Hunt.


Did someone mention all the staves wired in place? Evan, Aloe, Jessi and Lauren complete the task, which is the last step in each fence section.

But this group did something a liiiiiittle bit differently this year.


They put items in an ammo box designed to serve as a time capsule, to commemorate their time in Southwest Colorado and Spring Creek Basin. Items included notes written to future fence-builders (or themselves in 20 years?!), a Mizzou ball cap signed by students, BLM and volunteers, an SJMA bandana, a pair of watermelon-colored sunglasses similar to the protective eyewear issued to students without their own shades and – appropriately – a pair of fencing pliers.


To end the day, students took turns pounding a “golden” spike into their last H-brace post …


… then gathered ’round to collectively feel the good vibe!


Of course, the very last task is to carry out old wire and tools.


It was the girls – Mary and Sarah – who still had the strength to carry the lion’s share of old wire on one of the heavy tamp bars.

Young ladies and gents, sincere, heart-felt and appreciative THANK YOU for your work to help rebuild our fence and keep our mustangs safe! At the end of the day, we drove into Spring Creek Basin to see those for which we labor with such good cheer: the mustangs. We saw several bands and got to see some of the horses “running with the wind.” They make all our labors worthwhile!


Justin, Mike, Aloe, Miranda, Zach, Lauren, Sarah, Mary, Evan, Jordyn, Chalen, Jessi, Kathe and MK (and Tom and Dave) … thank you, thank you, thank you! (The box on the cross post is the time capsule, and it was buried in the hole Jessi and Kathe are *not* falling into!)

Mizzou, every spring, you send us a crew of brilliant, enthusiastic, kind, productive, hard-working and happy young people. Hopefully we send them back to Columbia with one-of-a-kind memories of an experience that will stick with them for the next 20 years. We think our fence will last at least double that, but we’ll see you in 2035 to find out!

Thank you, truly, for your exceptional work for our mustangs. 🙂



6 responses

26 03 2015
Lisa Alexander

Thank you for sharing their adventure and giving we parents a look at the great work of our kids! Proud momma!

26 03 2015

Thank you for sending such great kids to the wilds of Southwest Colorado to do good work for our residents, including mustangs and other wildlife! I didn’t get last names, so I don’t know which wonderful young man or woman is yours, but we’re also proud of each of them!

26 03 2015

Bravo to these young people!!! Protect our natural resources, including OUR wild horses!

28 03 2015

Ditto! We appreciate their work every year for our mustangs and other places and things in Southwest Colorado!

26 03 2015

I can feel the good vibe from here!

28 03 2015

These kids have palpable good-energy vibes!! 🙂

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