by Jon Mobeck, Executive Director

Saturday, August 11 was the sort of sunny scorcher that forces even the most ebullient dogs to slink into the shade. These are the days that force siesta. Yet despite the 95-degree heat, 35 dedicated souls showed up to the Hardeman Meadows north of WY 22 to help Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation and the Jackson Hole Land Trust improve fences for safer wildlife passage. Some of Saturday’s volunteers have been on most of our projects this year, which is remarkable itself, but especially gratifying when any of them could have chosen to sit this one out and stay cool. That’s just not the way these wildlife-nuts operate, though. They’ll be there. They’ll get it done. Amazing.

Eleven middle school students also joined us, arriving with three instructors from Teton Science Schools, to dislodge (demolish!) top rails on a fence that will be replaced. It wasn’t hard to inspire the kids to whack away with their mini-sledgehammers! They did great work and lifted us up in the hot afternoon with sunny dispositions. Thanks, boys!

By 2 pm, we had removed more than 3/4 of a mile of fence, and hammered staples into posts on a fence now lined with smooth wire that can be dropped to a single strand when the pasture is not in use – a standard Wildlife Friendlier Fencing modification. Importantly, all of the volunteers stayed well hydrated – few moments passed without someone shouting “are you drinking water?!” – and completed the project safely.

JHWF is grateful to its volunteer fence team leaders – Randy Reedy, Scott Landale, Steve Morriss, and Gretchen Plender – and to Teton Science Schools as well as the Jackson Hole Land Trust (especially Erica Hansen and Steffan Freeman) for another rewarding day making the landscape just a bit better for wildlife! We’ve now removed or improved 5.5 miles of fence this summer.

We’ll get after it again on August 25. Join the herd!

– Jon

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