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Fence Testing

A photo of a worker testing a fence.

In cooperation with personnel from the Dillon and Phillipsburg Ranger Districts, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, MTDC has installed three types of fencing to protect an overgrazed aspen grove from elk, deer, and moose.

The three types of fencing are: polypropylene mesh, high-tensile seven-wire electric, and poly rope (seven-rope) electric. The polypropylene mesh fence is 7 1/2 feet high, supported by 10-foot-long metal T-posts spaced every 21 feet. The high-tensile electric fence is 6 feet high, supported by 6-inch-diameter wooden posts at the corners with fiberglass posts and stays between the corners. The poly rope electric fence is 6 feet high, supported by 8-foot-long metal T-posts equipped with insulators. The posts are spaced every 21 feet. The two electric fences are connected to a remote satellite telemetry unit that transmits fence voltage and battery voltages to a Web page. Readings can be monitored every 2 hours.

The ability of the three different kinds of fencing to exclude moose and withstand the weather is being studied, along with the economics of installing each fencing system. All three types of fencing were installed at the Dillon site, near the Continental Divide on the Idaho-Montana border in high-elevation moose habitat. Only the polypropylene mesh fencing was installed at the Phillipsburg site near the Middle Fork of Rock Creek.

For more information on wildlife fencing, contact Gary Kees, project leader (phone: 4063296753, fax: 4063293719, e-mail: A Tech Tip on the project will be prepared.

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