COVID-19 Update: As of 5/13/2020
The JHWF staff and Fence Team have established a set of guidelines to make sure all participants feel welcome, safe, and can minimize contact with others while working in the field this summer. What we’re doing on our end:
- All projects have been postponed until at least July 11th.
- Projects are being reviewed while considering potential group size limitations.
- All projects dealing with barbed wire will involve “hand rolling” the wire due to the impossibility of maintaining social distancing with the winder.
- JHWF will provide sanitary and/or hand-washing materials on-site.
- Volunteers will be issued one pair of gloves from our storage of gloves to keep, or they can bring their own.
What we’ll be asking of you:
- All volunteers are required to provide and wear their own masks in the field when in close contact to others.
- Volunteers and staff are required to maintain 6 feet of separation during projects.
- We request you only carpool with members of your “family group.”
- You may not attend a project if you are feeling sick or have recently traveled out of area.
These protocols will be updated, and volunteers kept apprised as new information related to COVID-19 emerges. All participants will be expected to abide by any existing Teton County public health orders while participating on JHWF sanctioned projects.
Miles of Fences Updated
Volunteers Past 6 yrs.
# Projects Past 6 yrs.
Volunteer Hours Past 6 yrs.
Wildlife Friendlier Fencing Program
The West is laced with thousands of miles of fence. Removing fences entirely opens up landscapes to unrestricted wildlife movement, but in many cases agricultural fences remain a necessary element of the Western landscape. The good news is that those fences can serve a purpose that meets human needs while being friendlier to wildlife movement. While working with landowners to identify feasible ways to accommodate wildlife movement and make fences safer for wildlife, we can create permeable landscapes and demonstrate a wildlife-friendly community’s commitment to a shared land ethic.
In addition to the possibility of entanglement or mortality, unfriendly fences also present less obvious barriers to wildlife movement. Animals uncomfortable crossing what appears to be an impenetrable fence may change their route significantly and expend valuable energy reserves that are particularly precious in winter. This can affect their ability to survive during winter months, especially if the animal is very young or old.
While we know that fences can be problematic in many ways, we also know that simple solutions are available. Our “Fence Team” is eager to discuss and implement those solutions with many private and public partners in 2017. Let us know if you have an unfriendly fence that needs some friendly modification, or if you’d like us to help remove it completely. We are grateful to hundreds of volunteers who have helped us remove or modify over 200 miles of fence over the past 20 years, many of whom remain ready to pitch in this summer along with new folks who want to give back to wildlife.
Can’t make it on a fence pull? Consider sponsoring a fence project!
The sheer volume of fence program work necessitates a core of volunteers who act as the “Fence Team.” They help to coordinate volunteer efforts and on-the-ground logistics, ensuring that there is always an experienced fence specialist on every project site. JHWF values and will rely upon the commitment of the following individuals to accomplish its work.
Celebrating a Successful 2019 Season
Thanks to all who joined us on Wildlife Friendlier Fencing projects in 2019!
Volunteers and staff worked on over ten different project sites this year, removing and modifying fences as far south as Big Piney, and as far north as Elk Ranch Flats in Grand Teton National Park. New private-landowner partnerships included the Snake River Ranch and Hoback Ranches, and we were able to successfully partner with state and federal agencies to address problematic fences in Grand Teton National Park, the Crystal Creek drainage, and on Bryan Flats (amongst other locations).
In total, 300 volunteers contributed 131 project hours to remove or improve a whopping 13.9 miles of fence. We look forward to seeing everyone again next spring!
Free to Roam
The short film “Free to Roam” documents the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation’s Wildlife Friendlier Fencing Program, which celebrated its 20th year in 2016.
Created by Sava Malachowski and Valerie Schramm of Open Range Films, it chronicles the history of the program, the need for the work, and the dedication of hundreds of volunteers!