Fence Modification Project Aids Pronghorn


(GLASGOW, Mont.) – The Bureau of Land Management Glasgow Field Office conducted a fence modification project over a two-week period during February 2015. 

More than five and a half miles of fence was modified by Wildland Firefighters Jason Snellman and Rich Hayner along a section of Highway 2, west of Glasgow.

“They replaced the bottom barbed wire with smooth wire and modified the fence bottom wire height to 16 inches off the ground,” explained BLM Glasgow Field Office Wildlife Biologist Abel Guevara. “Replacing the bottom barbed wire with smooth prevents the pronghorn antelope from rubbing and losing any hair that would expose their skin to frostbite or injury.” Pronghorn antelope most often negotiate fences by crawling under them.

In 2009 a pronghorn antelope migration study was conducted in this area. Data from pronghorn antelope fitted with GPS radio collars showed significant migration within the Buggy Creek and Chapman Coulee areas west of Glasgow.  

Most fences in the area were 5-wire with a barbed bottom wire often no more than 12 inches off the ground.

Because the work was being done within the Highway 2 right-of-way BLM coordinated the fence modification project with Montana Department of Transportation (MDT).

“This project was coordinated with our local MDT contacts Kevin Gower and Carson Buffington as well as MDT Wildlife Biologist Larry Sickerson,” said Guevara. 

“We had some great consultation with our partners on this project and we would not have been able to be get this work done without the support of MDT and BLM permittees,” Guevara added.

About $2,500 of wire and fuel was purchased locally for the fence modification project.

Approximately two more miles of fence along Highway 2 are slated to be modified later this summer with a Montana Conservation Corps crew. Additionally, other fences that are immediately adjacent to the highway will be considered for modification to maintain connectivity across the migration corridor. 




Source:  Bureau of Land Management

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