JH Wildlife Foundation will remove fence in the Gros Ventre

JACKSON, Wyo. — The Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation will launch another fence removal project next weekend with the option to camp overnight.

JHWF is asking for volunteers to join them as they begin two days of fence removal in the Upper Gros Ventre on September 19-20.

“We’ll be helping the U.S. Forest Service dismantle multiple obsolete fences over the course of the weekend, starting with a buckrail fence on Saturday and moving to a barbed-wire fence on Sunday,” the foundation stated.

JHWF has also been given special use of amenities at the Goosewing Guard Station for volunteers who wish to camp overnight at the station This includes use of the indoor bathroom, possible use of bunkhouse, and hot water, as well as permission to pitch tents on the lawn of the guard station which is generally not available to the public. 

There may be limited availability for staying in isolated bunkhouse rooms overnight, so RSVP is required.

The fence team will finish work by midday Saturday to allow time for volunteers to enjoy exploring the area. Sunday’s work should be done by mid-afternoon to account for the 1:45 drive time from the project site back to Jackson, and ensure volunteers return at a reasonable hour.

Anyone who plans to camp will be responsible for their own food, tent, and overnight materials. An indoor stove will be available, but volunteers may want to consider bringing their own camp stove to minimize indoor use. Water and indoor bathrooms are available to us as volunteers.

PROJECT DIFFICULTY: This project rating has a 7 in difficulty (on a 1-10 scale).

Most of the work will take place in open, sagebrush flats. The majority of heavy lifting will occur on the first day while removing the buck and rail fence. Water will be available onsite, but the conditions during the day are likely to be hot with no shade.

Overnight, expect temperatures to drop to near or below freezing. Expect to be working in primarily flat terrain, with the possibility of more varied terrain depending on how much ground is covered. Please bring a mask, bandana, or other face covering.

DRIVING DIFFICULTY: This project rating has a driving difficulty rating of 8 (on a 1-10 scale).

Project sites are along the Upper Gros Ventre Road above Upper Slide Lake. A mile up the road from Kelly Warm Springs, the Gros Ventre Road begins to significantly deteriorate as it hits the USFS boundary. JHWF recommends four-wheel drive and/or high clearance vehicles for making this trip.

Rain is not anticipated but JHWF will be watching the weather as these dirt roads can significantly degrade during and shortly after storms.

Gros Ventre Road closures

The Upper Gros Ventre Road is currently undergoing construction, which means that on days when the road is being fixed, closures are in place which prevent travel between 8 a.m. – 12 noon, and 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.  Road closures are not anticipated over the weekend but volunteers who RSVP should check their emails on Friday evening to make sure plans haven’t changed.

Gear

You should wear layered clothes, long pants, sturdy shoes, and bring a rain jacket. Sun or eyeglasses are also a must. Sun protection (hat and sunscreen lotion) and bug spray is highly recommended.

JHWF also recommends that volunteers check the status of their tetanus shots in case of scratches or punctures from old fencing especially barbed wire. JHWF will provide work gloves and will have tools onsite.

COVID-19: 

  • Please refrain from volunteering if you have had a fever or other COVID 19 symptoms within the past fourteen (14) days prior to the date of volunteering.
  • Report immediately to JHWF staff any COVID 19 like symptoms you experience while volunteering and immediately ceasing all volunteer activity.
  • Maintain six (6) feet of distance between yourself, fellow volunteers, and patrons of the organization as much as possible. This procedure will be required for staff-to-staff contact as well to limit exposure.
  • Utilize a surgical mask or improvised masks such as scarves, bandanas, and handkerchiefs should the need arise for you to be less than six (6) feet distance from another person.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands after using the restroom, sneezing/coughing, and before eating or distributing food or beverage.
  • Only use work gloves and hand tools or those that are specifically issued to you by JHWF.
  • Only carpool with members of your household group.

RSVP to [email protected] if you’d like to join. If you have not filled out JHWF waivers before, they will send you the fence volunteer waiver for 2020, along with a COVID-19 waiver. Both are required.

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