Dillon BLM to rebuild fencing to make migration easier for antelope

Western Montana DO
Media Contact
David Abrams

DILLON, Mont.— The Bureau of Land Management’s Dillon Field Office plans to remove and rebuild a 17-mile section of fence near Bachelor Mountain southwest of Dillon to make passage easier for pronghorn antelope and other species.

This area has been prioritized as having critical impediments to pronghorn migration and includes multiple BLM livestock grazing allotments.

“The goal of the project is to reduce stress and mortality during migration to create a more navigable landscape and support population resilience,” said Cory Manseau, project manager with the Dillon Field Office. “Through collaboration with grazing permittees and other partners, the field office is investing Inflation Reduction Act funding back into local landscapes to achieve our common goals of removing barriers to wildlife movement and responsible livestock management.”

The field office has entered into a five-year agreement with the National Wildlife Federation to improve big-game habitat in winter and seasonal ranges along with migration corridors for pronghorn, elk, and mule deer in the Missouri Headwaters Restoration Landscape, one of the 21 Restoration Landscapes investing $161 million of Inflation Reduction Act funding across the BLM. The BLM Dillon Field Office also worked with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, who collected data on collared pronghorn.

The Bachelor Mountain project includes the removal of woven wire, installation of smooth top and bottom wires, and changes in wire spacing to make fences more passable for wildlife across the landscape—especially elk and moose calves and deer and pronghorn fawns.