Worth Another Look

Malheur National Forest photo

This story was first reported in the July 21 edition of the Blue Mountain Eagle. This follow-up includes information not included in the initial news report and a team photo of the volunteers.

Many of the more than 100 aspen stands that were burned during the 2002 Flagtail Fire, suffered heavy damage.

Sprouts from aspen roots are quite succulent, and elk, deer, and cattle enjoy munching on them. Unfortunately, too much browsing can limit sprout survival and growth.

Aspen are important to a number of wildlife species. Fencing to protect the young aspen will give them a head start. Once the trees are two to three inches in diameter and about 12 to 15 feet tall, the fence will be taken down.

On July 10 and 11, two large buck and pole aspen fences were constructed within the Flagtail Fire area. The hammer-swinging labor crew consisted of 19 members of the Grant County Chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association and six forest service personnel, ready with gloves, hardhats, lots of drinking water and a willingness to build a fence. Materials for the project were purchased with the help of funds received from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Oregon Hunter's Association, National Wild Turkey Federation and Native Plant Society of Oregon.

The fences were completed in record time - the dedication, sweat, and hard work of all the work crew were greatly appreciated. To top off the weekend, a potluck and barbeque was held at Starr Ridge. Grill and charcoal were provided by Malheur Employee's Association. Bob Wedel outdid himself as head chef by perfectly grilling steaks provided by Oregon Hunter's Association. All left with full bellies and a great sense of a job well done.

- Malheur National Forest

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