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Williams, Wildlife Groups, BLM Work on Project to Benefit Wildlife

Two recently installed wildlife watering stations on Ensenada Mesa, approximately 25 miles south of Blanco, will improve habitat for deer, elk, and other wildlife.

“We had an area of some potentially good habitat for deer and elk, but it was lacking any reliable water,” said Bureau of Land Management Farmington Field Office wildlife biologist John Hansen.  “The two trick-tanks will compliment the vegetative work we’ve done on Ensenada Mesa.”

The two water stations on BLM land were built in November with material the BLM received from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (Chapter 54 of northwest New Mexico) and New Mexico Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife.   The organizations acquired the material – the tanks and steel pipe for the project – through contributions from Williams Exploration and Production Co.

The two trick-tanks are valued at $20,000. Each tank has a 5,000-gallon capacity and the tanks are at separate locations on Ensenada Mesa. 

Each tank is partially buried and covered by a slanted metal roof 40 feet long and 16 feet wide.  Rainwater and water from melting snow flows off the roof and into a gutter that directs water to a buried pipe extending 100 feet from the structure to a cement pool where water is exposed for wildlife to drink. 

The pool is five feet in diameter and 1.5 feet deep.  The depth stays the same as water coming from the tank is regulated by a float.

“Williams is glad to participate and help out with wildlife habitat improvement projects,” said Ron Cochran of the Williams Exploration and Production Co. office in Aztec. 

The two tanks were among 12 contributed by Williams for wildlife projects statewide, along with Williams contributing pipe for water transportation and for construction material for water stations statewide. Chapter 54 of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and New Mexico Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife, arranged for the two tanks and pipe that was used for the Ensenada Mesa project.

“The project also serves so many other animals out there, from the reptiles to the birds and all the other small animals in-between,” said Doris Horvath of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Robert Espinosa of New Mexico Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife, said pipe used for the Ensenada Mesa project was part of $50,000 worth of pipe contributed by Williams for wildlife water projects statewide. Espinosa said New Mexico Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife provided transportation for pipe used for the Ensenada Mesa project.

Hansen of the BLM said the Ensenada Mesa water stations are fenced so that deer and elk can jump the fence however livestock will not be able to access the stations.  He said the water stations compliment other wildlife habitat improvement projects on Ensenada Mesa, including mechanical sagebrush thinning to make room for planting cool season grasses and forbs for deer and elk forage in the spring and summer.

 

A mini-backhoe digs a trench on Ensenada Mesa for pipe that will 
lead from a partially buried wildlife water tank to a small pool where 
wildlife can get a drink.