The Big Ranch area got a thorough spring clean recently, with Sparwood and Elkford volunteers clearing away dead vegetation to help deer and elk find food.
On Saturday, April 20, members of the Sparwood and District Fish and Wildlife Association and the Elkford Rod and Gun Club met at The Nature Trust of British Columbia’s (TNT) Big Ranch conservation property in the Elk Valley to assist with a grassland enhancement project on the property.
The Big Ranch is part of three properties that make up the Big Ranch Conservation Property Complex. Historically, both clubs have been directly involved in a number of habitat enhancement and restoration management projects since the first conservation property in the complex was purchased in 1989.
“The turn-out from both clubs was exceptional,” said Rob Neil from The Nature Trust of British Columbia. “The barbecue lunch provided by the Sparwood club was terrific and it was great to see all the young kids that accompanied their parents to the project site. In all it was a fun and productive day.”
The principle intent of the 2013 Big Ranch habitat enhancement project is to buck and pile dead and down Lodgepole pine trees killed by an attack of Rocky Mountain pine beetle and consequently increase the area of available forage on the project site.
“By burning this material and seeding the disturbed sites this fall, we will increase the area of productive and available forage for elk and deer even more,” said Neil.