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Vegetative Response

A standard barbed-wire fence was built in the winter and spring of 2003 and 2004. Making the fence elk-proof was considered but rejected. Damage by elk that pass through the area does not impact the vegetation enough to justify the much higher cost of an elk-proof fence.

The vegetative response due to the exclusion of cattle was tremendously successful. In only one full growing season, the response was significant enough to withstand a sudden, heavy water flow in the spring of 2005. Previously, this flow would have caused erosion. This time it actually improved the site by increasing a mat of dense vegetation. In particular, the sedges captured and held large amounts of sediment that help stabilize the area.

The Fence-Out project and the log structures complement each other well, each increasing the impact of the other.