Conservation Service Projects


This summer we were able to contribute our efforts to a couple of wildlife conservation projects. The first service project took place miles and miles away from home, way out in the arid west desert of Utah. Since sustainable water sources are rare in this part of the state, our project was to build a guzzler in order to provide a water source for upland game. What is a guzzler you ask, it is a water catchment system whereby rain and snow water are collected and stored in a large 350+ gallon tank.


ready to dig guzzler hole
               Ready to dig guzzler hole at stake marker


And due to the remoteness of this particular project, most all of the materials had been previously deposited by the use of a helicopter. Luckily for us, all we had to pack into the would-be spot was food, water, a few tools and approximately 20 metal fence posts.


guzzler tank in place
   Guzzler tank with ramp in place, ready to cap off


I'll admit that standing in the desert out in the middle of nowhere, holding tools in our hands, staring at the dry hard dirt at our feet, knowing we had to dig a 30 inch deep hole to hold the 5 ft. square tank was intimidating to say the least.


guzzler finished
                                  Guzzler finished, barbed wire fence and all



guzzler opening
               Looking into the opening of the completed guzzler, chukars welcome...


But persistence paid off and hours later we smiled as we lowered the tank in place, admiring our work. Knowing we were only half way done with this guzzler installation, we quickly got back to the task at hand until we fastened our last piece of barbed wire, calling this project complete.


walking fence on conservation project
                                         Walking fence line


The scenery of our second conservation project was vastly different than that of the first. However, the mid-day July heat seemed just about as hot as what I remembered of our recent west desert trip. This project took place in a high mountain area where fire had burned the pine and quakie covered hills for miles. Our job was to walk and repair the entire perimeter of erected fence to ensure that no deer, elk or cattle could access and further damage the fragile environment which now was beginning to show signs of regrowth.


repairing fence during conservation project
                           Finishing repair where fallen tree had damaged fence


After two days of packing around our bow saw, tie wire and pliers, we completed the task. My son and I enjoyed our time spent together as we made the necessary fence repairs, but we also were lucky enough to see all sorts of wildlife as well!