“As they say, you can’t have habitat without water,” said Michael Murry, Rangeland Management Specialist with the Rawlins BLM Field Office, while explaining the need for water improvements across the landscape.
On August 6th, 2022, twenty Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation (WY-WSF) volunteers gathered on the northeast side of Ferris Mountain in central Wyoming to help rebuild the Spanish Mine Spring exclosure. This volunteer day event was organized by Rawlins BLM Field Office personnel and led by Rangeland Management Specialist and WY-WSF Life Member, Mike Murry.
The Spanish Mine Spring is just down drainage from the Miner Creek guzzler that the WY-WSF helped construct in 2017 in support of the Ferris Mountain bighorn sheep herd and continued bighorn sheep transplant efforts in the area. Creating and maintaining water features across arid wildlife habitats, not only provides water wildlife but also spreads livestock grazing pressure out across the landscape, increasing habitat availability and forage for both wildlife and livestock. This particular spring exclosure had become dilapidated and the spring source was no longer protected.
The WY-WSF volunteers helped restore the exclosure by installing steel continuous panel fencing around the spring. Protecting the spring source will ensure that the associated tire tank will continue to provide water for both wildlife and livestock for years to come. Moreover, the cumulative efforts of the Rawlins BLM, WGFD, and WY-WSF in the Ferris Mountain area will enhance bighorn sheep habitat and we will continue to see the growth of this herd and opportunity for harvest for years to come.
A huge thank you to the Rawlins BLM Field Office for their commitment to conserving bighorn sheep habitat in the Ferris Mountains. As well, we’d like to thank the following volunteers for taking time out of their busy schedules to join us for the WY-WSF 2022 Volunteer Day!