Since 1990 the Blue Mountain Chapter of Pheasants Forever (BMPF) has completed or, is working on over 65 habitat projects in Columbia, Umatilla and Walla Walla counties. Projects include planting trees and shrubs, installing 500-gallon guzzlers and seeding native grasses for nesting cover. During the calendar year 2018, 24 volunteers contributed 182 hours on habitat work and litter removal. The chapter spent $4,092.59 on habitat projects. Two of these received most of our attention.
One, a 14-acre project north of the Sudbury Road elevator was seeded to native bunchgrasses in 2014 and planted with over 700 shrubs between 2013-18. Maintenance includes mowing done by WDFW, weed control and planting additional shrubs. The site was burned in a wild fire in 2016, though grasses and shrubs survived. The only losses were around 100 junipers and a damaged guzzler. In January 2017 volunteers erected three brush piles out of pallets and Christmas trees. In December 2018 volunteers planted 185 rabbit brush and 82 additional shrubs, a mix of rose, elderberry, oakleaf sumac, serviceberry, and juniper. The damaged guzzler was repaired and an additional one installed.
BMPF took on another long-term project in 2015. Located at the end of Byerley Road southwest of Touchet. This 80-acre site was mowed in September 2015, sprayed and disked in 2016-17 for weed control, and seeded to 1,100 pounds of native bunchgrasses and forbs in November 2017. A WDFW $1,000 grant went to this project. WDFW provided equipment and fuel for disking. Volunteers provided labor. Contractors did the mowing, spraying, and seeding. In 2019 the site will be mowed, sprayed, and reseeded as necessary.
BMPF is participating in Washington’s Adopt-a-Highway program. The next scheduled litter pickup will be a Saturday in March or early April. Our mile goes from the Frenchtown Road-US 12 intersection west along US 12 to the Old US 12- US 12 intersection.
Seventeen volunteers contributed 194 hours of on-site work during 2017. They are Gary Benson, Carl Bisgard, Alex Boe, Larry Boe, Dave Carney, Ed Crain, Mike Davis, George Endicott, Dan Eveland, Chet Hadley, John Houston, Randy Kinsman, John Steele, Dale Schielke, Randy Snyder, Corrie Thorne-Hadley, Brad Trumbo and Tami Wass.
The Blue Mountain Chapter of Pheasants Forever would like to extend their appreciation to WDFW private-lands biologist Corrie Thorne Hadley for her work in improving wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities in Southeast Washington. Corrie provided advice, volunteer labor, equipment and encouragement, especially on our 80-acre project, which would probably not be moving forward without her effort. It’s been a pleasure to work with her.
Work parties are announced via email. If you have a habitat project in mind, please contact Larry Boe at firstname.lastname@example.org. Projects should be limited to Columbia, Umatilla and Walla Walla counties. Preference will be given where public access is allowed.