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Merkle|RKG and the Oregon Natural Desert Association Fence Pull

For over 25 years, the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) has sought to protect, defend, and restore the wild landscape of Oregon’s high desert. They have protected over 200,000 acres of wilderness, including the Badlands Wilderness. The Badlands Wilderness holds a number of remarkable landforms and a variety of wildlife including marmots, bobcat, mule deer, elk, antelope, and golden eagles. It was designated by the U.S. Congress in 2009 and now has 29,180 acres.

On a chilly November morning, Merkle|RKG volunteers replaced approximately a mile of barbed wire along the Badlands Wilderness boundary with smooth straight wire. The obsolete barbed wire fence was twisted and tangled to the point where it was posing a danger to the local wildlife. The straight wire is better for animals while still keeping people from entering onto the Badlands illegally. The process involves removing stays and clamps with wire cutters and special tools, cutting barbed wire from main posts, manually rolling up the loosened barbed wire, running straight wire from post to post, and securing the new wire in place with new clamps. 

This is the second year Merkle|RKG has teamed up with ONDA for the fence pull project. Through our volunteer hours and partnership, animals can roam free without becoming entangled in old barbed wire. “It is something we’ll chip away at for years to come,” Jefferson Jacobs, ONDA wilderness stewardship coordinator, said.

For more information about ONDA and the work they do to protect our environment for future generations, please visit their site: http://onda.org/ or read more about our project on The Bulletin: http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/environment/3683596-151/bend-volunteers-change-out-badlands-barbed-wire