Oregon Hunters Association builds pens

Oregon Hunters Association members work with U.S. Forest Service personnel to build the second of two aspen enclosures. Submitted photo

The Grant County chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association assisted U.S. Forest Service employees July 10 and 11 in building pens around two large stands of young aspen trees.

This effectively put "those tricky little devils behind bars," said Dean Elliott. "Yep, penned up for good. Aspens in, animals out."

The Flagtail fire destroyed much of the aspen growth in the area, which in turn degraded the riparian and wetlands that are responsible for maintaining a lot of animal habitat. The buck and pole fences were constructed to limit animal damage to the new growth until the trees are larger.

Led by Oregon Hunters aspen project manager Bob Wedell, 15 OHA members and five Forest Service personnel showed up Saturday: Nineteen OHA members and six USFS workers were present Sunday with ATVs, chain saws, and other equipment. Afterward, the group held an evening cookout at Star Ridge.

"It is amazing how fast this group of people constructed the enclosures," Elliott said. "With Forest Service personnel directing and the Oregon Hunters Association members working, it seemed like the fences just sprouted from the ground.

OHA, through the efforts of Wedell, donated $4,500 to the project, and the local chapter donated many man-hours in this rehabilitation effort.

"Everyone can be proud of how much and how fast everything was accomplished," Elliott said.

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