Proposal for Removal of Barbed and Woven Wire Fencing in Upper Park
There are miles of old barbed and woven wire fences in Upper Park, creating an impediment and danger to wildlife and park users. The precise location and quantity of fencing is unknown. Most of these residual fences are on the south side but there are also several fence areas on the north near the east end of the park. There may also be some leftover fencing in the Five Mile area. All of these fences need to be removed.
We’re proposing a joint project between the community and the Park Dept, with each providing some labor and funding. Volunteers can do some of the preliminary mapping and vegetation removal work. We hope to get help with the fence mapping and data analysis from the Geography and Planning or Anthropology departments at CSUC. Also, local musician and park advocate Bobby Seals has offered to stage a benefit concert to help with the costs. However, because of the terrain and dangers of working with rusty wire, it’s likely that California Conservation Corps (CCC) or Salt Creek crews will be needed for taking out most of the fencing and posts. The Park Dept must also provide the GIS service that’s needed to consolidate and record the fencing map overlay. Even if there’s not enough money initially allocated or raised to remove all of the fences, the Park Dept will end up with a plan for their future removal when additional resources or revenues are available.
The removal plan includes these steps:
- As the first step in the mapping process, Dr. Paul Maslin has proposed a joint project with the Ecological Reserve to GPS the location of the barbed wire fence between the Reserve and Bidwell Park and, at the same time, make it more wildlife-friendly. This involves raising the bottom of the fence to 16-18″ above the ground adjacent to all the prominent game trails to allow fawns, coyotes, etc. to easily slip through. Adult deer can jump over the wire, although we may want to cover the top wire with plastic pipe to prevent entanglement. See http://www.jhwildlife.org/index.php/creating_friendly_fencing/ for more information. Volunteers can do this project.
- Use historical property ownership records and GPS mapping to create an overlay map that shows the locations and types of fencing in Upper Park. Take digital photos of each fence to help determine age of the fence and any historical significance and provide a description of post type (metal or wooden), vegetation, and impediments to removal, such as steep terrain.
- Provide a biological and cultural resources review of these mapped areas, determining when the work can be done with the least impact on plants and animals. In conjunction with the wildlife corridors map (to be created in the MMP update), determine the priorities for fencing removal and what the best truck pickup point will be for each fencing area. Decide which, if any, fencing removal must await the completion of the Master Management Plan update and EIR.
- After a training session (Dr. Maslin has offered to teach this), Volunteers, Salt Creek or CCC crews begin removing the fencing. Save a sample of each fencing type for historical documentation and update the GIS map as each fencing section is removed. Dr. Maslin has provided detailed instructions on how to remove each type of fencing, based on his experience at the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve.
A Google Earth map file showing some locations where wire fencing has been observed recently in the park (kmz — 3KB).