Wildlife guzzler installed by volunteers

Volunteers install the apron of a new guzzler on the east side of Monroe Mountain, Saturday. The guzzler will store and assist in providing water to wildlife in the area.

A group of 58 volunteers joined forces with the U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Dedicated Hunters to install a wildlife guzzler on the east side of Monroe Mountain, above the town of Greenwich, Saturday.

Guzzlers are designed to help provide water gathered from rain and snow storms for all forms of wildlife. 

The materials for the new guzzler, which consisted of a 100’ X 22’ collecting apron, a 1,800-gallon dome-shaped tank, an escape ramp and wildlife friendly/restrictive fencing, cost approximately $13,000. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation funded the expense for the materials. 

“We have installed 20 guzzlers over the past eight years,” said Kreig Rasmussen, wildlife biologist for the U.S. Forest Service. “It has only been through partnerships with conservation groups, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Watershed Restoration Initiative, the UDWR and the Dedicated Hunter Program, as well as others that we have been able to fund the materials for the guzzlers. And without the incredible help of volunteers from a variety of groups and organizations, we would not have been able to install them.

“We had 58 volunteers consisting of men, women and children helping with the installation on Saturday,” Rasmussen said. “Some of the volunteers had experience from helping with previous installations and were able to help guide some of the new and young volunteers. With the tremendous turnout, we were able to complete the project in about five hours. We would like to extend a big thank you to everyone involved.”

About half of the volunteers participated as part of the 32 service hours required for Utah’s dedicated hunter program, which is a service-based program under the UDWR, according to Rasmussen. For more information, visit wildlife.utah.gov/hunting/dedicated-hunters.html. 

“The guzzlers assist wildlife in areas wildlife could use and there is ample feed, but a lack of water,” said Jason Kling, district ranger for the U.S. Forest Service. “This is in addition to areas where wildlife has to travel a distance in order to get to water. It also helps keep wildlife in preferred mountain locales and out of agricultural areas.” 

 Six additional guzzlers are slated for installation during the next 12 months in the Last Chance area, which is east on Interstate 70 and south on Utah State Route 72. Four of the six will be installed in the fall and two more in the spring of 2020, according to Rasmussen. 

For more information or to volunteer, contact the U.S. Forest Service Richfield District Office at (435) 896-9233.

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