Wildlife Friendly Fencing for Bates Public Access
The Community Foundation of Teton Valley was happy to award Friends of the Teton River $1,973 in our recent 2017 Fall Competitive Grant cycle. This collaborative project involves removing an old fence line and installing a new, wildlife-friendly fence for migrating ungulates in the Teton River corridor.
The Bates Public Access Partners, including FTR, Teton County, Trust for Public Land, and the Teton Regional Land Trust, have combined their efforts in multiples ways to enhance the Bates access area. In their latest efforts, Friends of the Teton River has developed a relationship with a private land owner adjoining the recently acquired 80-acre county-owned park and conservation easement to remove an old fence line and install new wildlife-friendly fencing for migrating ungulates in the Teton River corridor. This will be one of many steps in the restoration efforts of the property.
The partners involved in acquiring the Bates property are committed to providing the public with safe access, as well as improving and restoring this property for greater conservation value and public enjoyment. The fence line indicated on the map, in yellow (below), is not functional to keep grazing livestock on the adjacent private property out of the willows and off the stream banks; resulting in collapsing banks, loss of willows, and sedimentation of the river due to erosion.
When the county acquired the property, there was an opportunity to protect this area by constructing a new wildlife friendly fence, by working with the willing adjacent landowner. The direct positive impacts of this new fence are improved wetland quality, stream health/water quality, and ensuring conservation goals are met on the county property, which is an asset for the entire community. The secondary impacts are providing a model of wildlife friendly fencing “in action,” and collaborative relationships that benefit the farming and ranching community, the public, and natural resources.
We are happy to support these efforts with this grant and look forward to recreating in the newly enhanced Bates Public Access Area in the coming years.