Being close to nature is a prominent reason why people choose to live here in the foothills of El Dorado County. Most residents enjoy wildlife and recognize their struggle with freedom to travel across our rural landscape.
At the same time, there are crops and livelihoods to support, requiring management of foragers. The great news is there are innovative strategies and fence designs that can accomplish the landowner’s objectives while causing minimal disruption of movement or physical harm to our indigenous wildlife.
My hat goes off to Miraflores Winery, which designed connectivity corridors within its vineyards and installed owl nest boxes to encourage natural rodent control. They not only understand the concept of mitigating human-wildlife conflicts, but also what resonates with their customers who visit our region to enjoy what we enjoy every day.
For anyone planning a new fence this spring (or a repair), consider tested developments in fencing designs and strategies. For example, 12-inch spacing between the top two wires (as opposed to 8 inches) can prevent a deer’s hind feet from becoming ensnared. Often, it is the young that end up hanging upside-down until they expire. Effective deer exclusion fences are recommended 7-8 feet high (if on flat terrain). Increasing visibility using high-visibility poly-wire, flagging or other markers can help deer and birds better avoid fences.
You can find more information about fencing online by searching “wildlife compatible fencing.” There are helpful guides from Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Arizona and Washington. As well, you can consult with our local Resource Conservation District Manager at 100 Forni Road (or at 530-295-5630) for more information.