As you may have seen in yesterday’s blog post, the Seven are back on the hill! Here’s the video, as promised.
In case it’s not clear, we had to take down the original fence so that we could expand the overall habitat area and split it into two enclosures. The Young’s Hill side, which belongs to the Cle Elum Seven, was pushed further up the hill and to the north and grew by an additional half acre to 2.4 acres. This was only possible because we purchased the surrounding lots and no longer have to worry about encroaching development (after closing on another parcel yesterday, the sanctuary now owns approximately 110 acres). More space means more room for climbing structures, irrigation, and plantings, and we still have a lot of work ahead of us in that department, but we wanted to get the Seven back out as soon as the fence was complete. Perhaps more important than the expansion in habitat size, Young’s Hill now includes a stand of pine and fir trees, which Missy has already conquered. Who will be next?
One thing to note: Negra is not in the video as she did not go outside on the first day. Too many people and too much excitement, perhaps. But she just went out for a lunch forage this afternoon, so the Queen is also back on the hill.
Now that they are back out, we can turn our attention to completing the Bray. The Sage Mechanical crew is welding the remaining gates and post assemblies now and it will be at least a few weeks before we can complete the fencing on that side. We were fortunate from a construction standpoint to have a prolonged summer but fall weather arrives this weekend and winter won’t be far behind. So the timing for Cy’s group to learn about electric fencing and explore their new enclosure is somewhat up in the air. Whatever happens, we’ll work as fast as we can to keep our options open.
Our thanks go out to all of the donors that made this project possible. I also want to thank Dustin and East Slope Earthworks, Katie, Sean, Dusty, Ben, Karen, Richard, Elizabeth, Tom, Gordy, Steve, Debbie, Donna, Laurie, Kurt, Kristin, Jeremy, Liz, Michael, Lisa, Jesse, Adam, Kyle, Grace, Ryan, Jacob, Nolan, Karen, Claus, Logan, Kyle, Jan, Chet, Sabrina, Brenda, and Chelsey for volunteering their time and energy to help build the habitats. My apologies to anyone I accidentally left off the list. And of course we are grateful to Gary, Aaron, and Jose of Sage Mechanical for all of their hard work on this project. There’s something about the fact that these habitats are built by a community of supporters that makes them even more special.