(L to R) Boy Scouts Ben Earl, Hunter Nowakowski, Jetty Burke, Luke O’Connor, Wilson Littman, Boone Jorgenson, Liam Barker, Keaton Miller and Tucker Nowakowski take a break from the work.Rachel Caldwell with the National Parks Conservation Association shows Jetty Burke and Wilson Littman how to remove barbed wire with pliers.

Make way: Local Boy Scouts remove old fencing for wildlife

It’s not just adults out there making a difference–Big Sky’s local Boy Scouts, ages eight and nine, recently headed to the intersection of Highways 287 and 87 west of Quake Lake near the Madison River to remove old ranch fence along a major wildlife corridor. 

         It was a chilly, rainy day but the boys thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. The project was arranged by Den Leader Travis Earl, who also serves as a deputy for the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Department. 

     “The project went very well and everyone involved had a lot of fun in spite of the cold, rainy weather. The boys learned about the migration routes of the animals. We identified different tracks, plants and even carcasses of animals that got stuck in the fence and died,” Earl said. “That really reinforced why they are doing that project.”

     Participating in the project also allowed the boys to meet community service requirements and other steps necessary for moving to the next scouting level.

     Julie Cunningham with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, as well as Rachel Caldwell and Garret Visser of the National Parks Conservation Association, were also there taking down fencing. Now that it’s gone, deer, elk, antelope and bighorn sheep have one less obstacle in their paths.   – JP


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