Volunteers needed to help restore and improve wildlife habitat July 13-14

by Arizona Game & Fish Department

July 9, 2013

Escape the heat and help restore wilderness in picturesque Mogollon Rim area.

If you're looking for a reason to get outside and help enhance wildlife habitat, join us for a special volunteer project near Clint's Well, Arizona, in the Mogollon Rim area. The Arizona Elk Society, the U.S. Forest Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Department are looking for volunteers to lend a hand on the Arizona Elk Society Buck Springs work project July 13 and 14.

Buck Springs, in the beautiful Coconino National Forest north of Payson, is a unique place with very high value for wildlife. The area is home to a great elk population, as well as turkeys, bears, songbirds, native fish and a host of other important wildlife species. One of the keys to making a good place into a great place for wildlife and wildlife enthusiasts is helping to restore the function of the wet meadows that are so important to wildlife. At one time, these meadows acted like giant sponges and stored moisture, slowly leaking the water into the creeks, maintaining the riparian community. Many of these meadows and the associated riparian areas are now overrun with young pine trees that are invading these meadows. Unless these trees are removed, the meadows will again be entirely overrun with pines and the water storage role for the meadows will be lost.

In a cooperative venture, volunteers from the Arizona Elk Society, the Forest Service, and Arizona Game and Fish Department will cut these trees down, lop off the limbs, and stack everything into piles to dry out and be burned. Thousands of trees need to be removed. The more help we get, the more we can accomplish. By removing these trees, the meadows will again be more open and the ecological function of the meadows will be greatly improved.

If you enjoy time in the forest, this is your chance to give back and help make the forest a healthier place for wildlife and a better destination on your next visit. We will also be restoring the riparian area creek channels for better flow of the water in the creeks. Using unique restoration tools we will help restore the ecological function and return water to the sponge meadows.

The Arizona Elk Society will provide meals on Friday evening (dinner at 6:30 p.m.), all day Saturday (breakfast at 7 a.m.), and Sunday breakfast and lunch. If fishing and wildlife viewing is your thing, this is the place to do it.

If you would like to carpool please let us know. We need 100-120 volunteers in camp for this weekend work project event. Tools and gloves will be provided. There are restrooms and plenty of room for campers, RVs and tents. Visit www.arizonaelksociety.org for full project details. Please sign up online at www.arizonaelksociety.org or RSVP to Tom Schorr at tomschorr@arizonaelksociety.org to confirm that you'll be joining us. We need an accurate count of volunteers in order to plan the food for the weekend.

Arizona Elk Society
Contact: Steve Clark
Website: www.arizonaelksociety.org
7558 W. Thunderbird Rd. Ste. 1-465
Peoria, AZ. 85381
602-885-0835 Cell 623-594-7074 Phone

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