Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

Groups lend helping hand to wildlife

Photo by Leonard Cook. Volunteers donated their time June 13 to install 11 water guzzlers for wildlife downrange at Fort Carson.

Photo by Leonard Cook. Volunteers donated their time June 13 to install 11 water guzzlers for wildlife downrange at Fort Carson.

by Susan C. Galentine

Fort Carson Sustainability and Environmental Public Relations

A collaborative effort between Fort Carson, the Colorado Chapter of Safari Club International and Water for Wildlife Foundation resulted in a project providing much needed water for wildlife downrange June 13.

Bret Axton, of SCI, coordinated the delivery of two backhoes and arming 20 volunteers from SCI with shovels and levels for the task.

“The volunteers did an incredible job installing 11 250-gallon water guzzlers in remote training areas 55, 43 and 51, all in one day,” said Roger Peyton, Directorate of Public Works wildlife biologist. These guzzlers will help supplement water for elk, antelope, deer and smaller wildlife.

The wildlife guzzlers, purchased by Water for Wildlife Foundation with donated funds from SCI, collect rainwater and condensation in a covered, filtered tank, which feeds into a basin wildlife can drink from. With annual precipitation in Colorado averaging 15 inches per year, supplementing water for Fort Carson’s abundant wildlife can become critical for them to thrive.

A lot of site planning, reviews and legal agreements were involved with this project. These were necessary to ensure regulatory, environmental, cultural and any mission impacts were addressed prior to accepting and installing the guzzlers, said Peyton, who oversaw the project.

Approximately $12,000 in materials and labor were donated by SCI for the project.

“The major benefit to the Safari Club International is sustaining wildlife populations,” said Peyton. “In a way they are giving water back to wildlife to help us mitigate impacts from training.”

Future partnership opportunities with SCI and the Water for Wildlife Foundation are being explored to support installation wildlife.

“Partnership efforts with groups such as the Safari Club International are important as they allow us to achieve wildlife habitat goals at less cost during a period of time that funds for these types of improvements are limited,” said Jim McDermott, DPW chief of natural resources.

“We have many strong partnerships with outside organizations, which greatly assist us with our mission of supporting troop training while at the same time protecting the natural resources entrusted to us.”

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