OHA STATE & BEND CHAPTER TEAM UP WITH OREGON YOUTH CHALLENGE PROGRAM CADETS TO CONSTRUCT POTHOLE SPRINGS BUCK & POLE FENCE – SEPTEMBER 18-21, 2019
IMAGINE A 300% RETURN ON AN INVESTMENT IN DAYS
Yet that’s exactly what our Chapter’s PotHole Springs Buck & Pole Fence Project accomplished this Fall!
Between a $15K donation from OHA State plus $16.6K attributed to about 500 volunteer hours “invested” by mostly Bend Chapter members, the project qualified for an additional $94.9K of state and federal grants. That’s 300% – HUGE!
That additional $94.9K will now be used to improve more Deer habitat in that area!
LEVERAGING OUR FINANCIAL DONATIONS & VOLUNTEER HOURS INTO MATCHING GOVERNMENT GRANTS IS HUGE. SO OUR CHAPTER, OHA STATE & OTHER OUTDOOR ORGANIZATIONS ALONG WITH STATE & FEDERAL AGENCIES WILL BE AGGRESSIVELY PURSUING THESE TYPES OF OPPORTUNITIES GOING FORWARD!
IT’S A WIN, WIN, WIN – FOR GAME, HABITAT & EVERY OREGONIAN!
Bend OHA took the lead for this important event to communicate and coordinate the build with Ecotrust Forest Management (EFM), Lake and Klamath OHA Chapters, Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) and Oregon Youth Challenge Program (OYCP).
The project took place on the lower end of Pothole Springs on EFM property. Pothole Springs is located within the nearly 26,000 acre Embody Tract in the Fort Rock Basin that’s located 20 miles southeast of La Pine. In 2018 EFM, a Portland-based conservation-based timber management company (https://efmi.com), purchased the property which is mostly forested property and a key migration area for Mule Deer between their summer range in the Cascade Mountains and wintering ground in Fort Rock and Christmas Valley. EFM with help from ODFW and OHA is committed to enhancing this habitat by protecting critical springs and other riparian areas and supporting the Cabin/Silver Lake Winter Range Cooperative Closure. During hunting season, the property is open to the public.
The purpose of the project was to fence out cattle and sheep within the meadow allowing the meadow to restore itself and not be heavily grazed while deer and elk can still obtain access over the fence. Grant dollars aided by $15K of OHA State funds plus volunteer hours valued at $16.6K made this project and other buck and pole projects on EFM property possible as it is directly connected to the Mule Deer Initiative (MDI) See below links to learn more about EFM and MDI.
On Wednesday September 18 three Bend OHA members, Greg Petsch, Rex Parks and Eric Brown set up a camp near the project site and spent the next 3 days prepping the site for the building of a 1600 ft Buck & Pole fence. They cut down standing trees along with a large amount of deadfall. They also cleaned up a large amount of brush using a hand held brush cutter. EFM supplied the material to make the fence but Rex spent considerable time placing the material properly. Just before arriving, they also unexpectedly learned that 80 of the Bucks had not been notched. They had never done this before but Greg and Eric built a jig and completed the task. On Friday they built two gates at either end of the project so that the following build day they could show volunteers how and what to do. This project would not have come together as it did if their pre-work had not been done. It was a Herculean task for which we all owe them a huge amount of gratitude!
On Saturday the cavalry arrived. Members brought their personal generators, small sledge hammers and cordless drills to use at the project along with 4 ATVs. And 28 eager OYCP Cadets joined us as well; the Bend Chapter enjoys a fantastic relationship with OYCP. If you are not familiar with OYCP please refer to the attached web link. This is a fantastic program and past classes have helped us with other conservation projects along with our annual banquet each year.
With all this help we completed the 3 rail fence Buck and Pole fence in record time. And that allowed us enough time to also cut up and make piles of tree limbs within the meadow for EMF to dispose of afterwards.
EFM provided donuts for the group in th emorning and pizzain the afternoon for all however the cadets brought their own food as they are on a healthy diet.
When all was said and done – $15K plus 48 volunteers (28 being OYCP Cadets) worked just under 500 hours to complete this project. In addition to Bend OHA, volunteers from the Lakeview and Klamath Chapters plus Mule Deer Foundation pitched in.
BEST OF ALL – our collective efforts helped EMF qualify for an additional $95K in matching government grants; enough to take on quite a few more projects on this vitally important tract of land.
A huge Thank You to all who were involved, but especially Eric, Greg and Rex whose extraordinary efforts were responsible for the project being a success!
Site Prepped & Ready to Build
Unloading the Materials
Work Crews Building the Fence
The Finished Project
The Volunteers and OYCP Youth