2020 Wildlife-Friendlier Fence Projects
This year, staff, volunteers and partners removed or improved over 10 miles of barbed-wire fence to make life easier for wildlife!
Roughly half of these modifications and removal were completed during public fence projects throughout the summer, where the contributions of over 50 volunteers was critical to our success.
We also partnered with the Bureau of Land Management in Pinedale to make modifications to over seven miles of barbed-wire fences to benefit elk, pronghorn, and Greater-Sage Grouse. All seven miles of fence can now be permanently lowered when not in use.
Zoom in on the map to learn more about each project!
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. 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 two decades, 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.
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!