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Ucross Foundation Plants Living Snow Fence

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In May, in a joint effort between the Ucross Foundation, Sheridan County Conservation District, (SCCD), Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) and the Wyoming State Forestry Division, there was a living snow fence planted along Highway 14-16 near Ucross.

Jackie Turner SCCD Program Specialist, talked about what the SCCD did on the project.

She said that WYDOT helped with wind data, and they mapped out the exact angle where the rows of trees would be needed to be to catch the snow.

She said they did one row of 240 buffalo berry shrubs and two rows consisting of 330 juniper trees.

Ucross is responsible for taking care of the trees, and Turner said they had installed a drip irrigation system for water. The SCCD will monitor the trees for the next three years, and they will replace any trees that die. After that three-year period, the maintenance of the trees will revert entirely to Ucross.

She added that the public can purchase these trees and others for conservation projects through the seedling program. They have to be ordered in November for the spring planting. For more information on the tree program contact the Soil Conservation Service. She said they try to work with local a nursery whenever possible to get the trees.

Vickie Abbott, Ucross Foundation managing director, talked about the Ucross Foundation’s role in the living snow fence project.

Abbott said she worked with the Soil Conservation Service, WYDOT, and the state Forestry department. Due to the fact that much of the land is in a conservation easement with the Wyoming Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and they also had a voice in planning the living snow fence.

WYDOT provided the slated snow fence on the windward side of the plots. The tree protectors were made and donated by the state correctional facility. They also had to build some fence, to keep livestock and wildlife out.

Abbott added that they received a $32,000 grant from the state department to help fund the project. The Ucross Board of Directors were on board with the tree planting.

Abbott talked about planting day, and how many people helped.

She said that being so remote, The Ucross Foundation is happy to have others take an interest in the projects they do. She also wanted to thank her staff, and everyone who helped with the project.

Except for feature image, photos courtesy of Ucross.



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