For Landowners, for Wildlife
Fencing is vital for working lands, for marking boundaries, and for protecting resources. But when wildlife and fences collide, the effect is detrimental for both wildlife populations and landowners. By using data from the Northern Bighorns Mule Deer Study and by working with landowners, volunteers and wildlife organizations, SCLT can improve wildlife movement while protecting livestock functionality of fences in Sheridan County.
Why wildlife friendly fencing?
We can’t imagine a landscape without fences. We need fences to mark boundaries, contain livestock, and protect resources. At the same time, fences can pose a threat to the wildlife who share the landscape. It is estimated that there is 1 death per 2.5 miles of fence due to entanglement annually. Entanglement isn’t just bad for the animal, but it makes more work for the landowner too.
It’s not just entanglement that poses a threat to wildlife- if a mother can jump a fence but her young cannot crawl under, the young may be abandoned and die. Fence crossings are yet another stress for wildlife that can increase mortality. By considering wildlife in fence design, we can reduce these impacts while still achieving the fence’s original purpose- whether that be marking a boundary or containing livestock.
What is SCLT doing?
SCLT works with landowners, volunteers and other organizations to increase wildlife friendly fencing in Sheridan County. Keep an eye out for volunteer fence removal and modification days this summer.
Additionally, SCLT is helping landowners explore how wildlife friendly fencing can work for their unique operation. While there are some guidelines for wildlife friendly fencing, it is not ‘one size fits all’. Depending on the operation, some wildlife friendly fence designs may work better than others. We are working to increase knowledge about these options.
How you can help?
Interested in putting your boots on the ground to remove or modify fence? Sign up to be notified of volunteer opportunities or check our upcoming events to find our next volunteer project day.
On May 5th, SCLT partnered with the John C. Schiffer Collaborative School to remove fence at the Bridges West property east of Sheridan. Learn more about the project here!
Interested in supporting the project, but unable to make it to a project day? You can support wildlife friendly fencing when you donate to SCLT.