Spring is finally here

BigDog

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Hello Everyone! Happy Spring 2008! Yahoooooooooo, it is finally here!

I hope everyone is doing well. Hope you have not been suffering too much from "cabin fever".

With the weather warming up, it is time to start planning for this year's work up on the project. I went up to the property once already this year. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it further than about 100 yds once I got inside the front gate. So, I strapped on my snowshoes and hiked in. Talk about a workout.

I am hoping that it is a little more manageable now. I am going to go up again on the 29th. The weather channel says that the area is still getting snow and rain showers but I should be able get on and get a little bit of work done.

We still have one major project left over that we need to finish this spring. Part of the 2007/2008 work list was to fence off the Aspen grove. We got started on it last year but ran out of money for fence posts and then the weather moved in. So, as soon as I can get to that part of the property, I need to start planting posts again.

Putting up fencing is going to account for most of the 2008/2009 projects. We have a area northeast of the Aspen grove that we need to fence off. This area was heavily impacted by Junipers when we started on this restoration. Since we removed the Junipers, the rest of the vegetation in the area is rebounding. Last year, the bitterbrush bloom was amazing.
We installed a 600 gallon irrigation system in this area last year. This year, we will fence it off and start planting more bitterbrush along with some chokecherry trees and some native plum trees.

A bit of great news also involves some new fencing. Last year was the driest year that I have ever seen up there. With very little snow in the winter and no rain during the spring, it was "scary dry" up there. And even with the lack of water, we had a new water source appear. There is an old homestead on the northwest part of the property that used to have a cistern that had been built around a spring. In the 20 some years that I have been going up to the property, I have never seen water in it. Last year, even though everything was so parched, the spring started flowing. In flowed enough that the water traveled and created a green little meadow.
This summer, I am going to dig out a retaining pond to catch the water and retain it for a while longer. Then we will fence it off to keep the cows out of it. The deer found the new water source and were using it all fall last year.

Another fencing project will be the boundary fence that runs along Highway 139. Presently, the fence is a hodge-podge of barbed wire and hog wire. Even with this fencing that is not friendly to wildlife, the antelope are still using this area to cross the highway between the property and Grasshopper Valley. But they are getting cut and scraped from the old fence. So, we are going to start at the northeast corner of the property and start replacing this old fence with wildlife friendly fencing that will allow easier access back and forth. We need to replace 1/2 mile or more for next year's agreement with the DFG.

The other projects for the year are removing the junipers and ground debris from the Aspen grove and planting 2 acres of bitterbrush.

So, as you can see, we have a busy year ahead. We can use as much volunteer labor as we can get.

Also, we really need T posts. We need 6 ft green T posts and we need 8 ft red/white T post. So, if you know someone who has some laying around not being used or for sale for cheap, please let me know.

This should be an awsome year up there. With all of the snow and rain we received, the plant life and wildlife should have a great year. Come on up and join us when you can.
 

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