Down Fence Removed and Recycled, Protecting Game, Livestock and Recreationists

Wednesday October 12, 2022

Mountain Home, ID - Rusty barbed wire fence lay on the ground for miles. No one is certain when the fences were put up or when they fell down, but it can pose a hazard to livestock, wildlife and those who recreate on endowment land. Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) with the help of volunteers is getting it cleaned up.

Volunteers from Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, Mule Deer Foundation, Fish and Game and the public joined IDL to remove nearly 2,300 pounds of old down fence from the Danskin area of the Southwest Supervisory Area.

Over two days, 13 people filled two dump trailers and two pickups with rusty barbed wire and debris and it was taken to a local recycling plant.
This is a favorite place to hunt both deer and upland birds for many of the participants and they were concerned leaning and broken fence post with sagging or down wire both unsightly and dangerous.

The volunteers wanted to do their part to protect the animals and create a better recreational experience for themselves and others.
“As an upland bird hunter, the barbed wire can be brutal to one’s hunting dog, ripping their legs and bellies, resulting in a shortened hunting trip and expensive vet bills to get them stitched up,” said Darwin Waters president of Snake River Quail Forever, Chapter 3208. “I have also caught my foot in wire hidden by grasses, causing me to trip and injure myself.”

“I also want to protect the wildlife, to help assure deer and antelope don’t get hung up or injured by the old fencing,” he added.
If IDL employees were to attempt to do this work by themselves it would take weeks, taking them away from many other important projects.
“When volunteers partner with us on cleanup projects, the work is done quickly and the results are immediate,” said IDL Director Dustin Miller. “This project improved the landscape, protecting the livestock, wildlife and people who enjoy the land.”

There is still more down fence to clean up. Additional projects will be planned in the future.

Endowment Trust Lands are managed differently than other types of public land and recreational use is a privilege, allowed only if it does not cause damage or disturb management activities. These lands were given to Idaho at statehood to create a legal trust for the sole purpose of financially supporting specific beneficiaries, in this case public schools. The Idaho Constitution requires endowment lands to be managed to maximize revenue for the beneficiaries.