Monday, June 23, 2014

deer, elk, and fences

In an interesting article from the AP, we learn that :

"Deer still balk at crossing the border with Germany even though the physical fence came down a quarter century ago, new studies show.
Czechoslovakia, where the communists took power in 1948, had three parallel electrified fences, patrolled by heavily armed guards. Nearly 500 people were killed when they attempted to escape communism.
Deer were also victims of the barrier. A seven-year study in the Czech Republic's Sumava National Park showed that the original Iron Curtain line still deters one species, red deer, from crossing.
"It was fascinating to realize for the first time that anything like that is possible," said Pavel Sustr, a biologist who led the Czech project. Scientists conducting research on German territory reached similar conclusions.
The average life expectancy for deer is 15 years and none living now would have encountered the barrier.
"But the border still plays a role for them and separates the two populations," Sustr said. He said the research showed the animals stick to traditional life patterns, returning every year to the same places.
"Fawns follow mothers for the first year of their life and learn from them where to go," Sustr said."
This is interesting to me because I have been observing the local elk herd (and deer) here in Muddy Valley for a number of years. I have maintained game cameras on our property which let me know when they are here even if we don't happen to see them.

 We are located on a major wildlife corridor and it recently was disrupted by the continuing addition and expansion of the local wine industry's vineyards.

The forest in the background...Only a matter of time. (web photo)

These come at the cost of removing all plants growing on land that traditionally was unsuited for farming and erecting deer and elk proof fences. Actually animal proof in general, as not much can get through them. This includes most all native insects and pollinators, as their habitat inside has been destroyed.
I have noticed that the elk herd stayed away for several months with the latest fences added to Eagle Point road, just North of us. (Insert photo of fence)
Needless to say, I am not a fan of the addition of more of these new tax shelters for the wealthy. Somehow they have managed to bring snob appeal to being a wino. "How is your vineyard doing" is becoming the new topic among some of the already wealthy. I say "already wealthy", because I see hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars inserted inside those game proof fences to build the lodge style tasting rooms, processing facilities, new diesel equipment, and the high maintenance vines themselves. I don't believe that many of these could possibly pay off the investment in our lifetimes. It's not like they were built up slowly over generations, these seem to pop up almost daily.
And they aren't much good for bees either.


  1. Too much money is some sectors. Not enough in others. So you see silliness like this. There's a reckoning coming I imagine.

    1. It's not so much the amount of money, it's what they do with it. Which I guess is the same thing you said.

  2. It is kind of funny to note that the wine drinking crowd (in general) think they are so forward thinking and environmentally conscious.

  3. Looks like a picture of soil sliding downhill and taxes sliding up.

  4. Red Deer? Maybe they carry a political grudge and as unreconstructed Communists refuse to recognize the fall of the wall.

    1. Great observation! They no doubt had enough doe to share where they were.

  5. I guess you can always hope that they at least make use of some of the local labor pool.