In mid-November 2022, the Desert Fence Busters tackled a section of the Big Wash in Oro Valley. Over the course of a beautiful Saturday morning, 35 people removed 1.5 miles of old barbed-wire fencing from the wash, improving the safety of this area for both people and wildlife. The fencing added up to over 2,000 pounds of both barbed wire and t-posts.
The Big Wash is a critical wildlife movement area between the Santa Catalina Mountains (including Catalina State Park) and the Tortolita Mountains. It is also a popular area for local hikers, wildlife watchers, and mountain bikers. Removing this fencing will allow wildlife to move more freely and safely and improve safety for nearby residents.
The Desert Fence Busters officially formed in late 2021, but emerged from a long-time collaborative effort among a variety of public agencies and non-profits. This unique partnership began seven years ago to share information between agencies on projects centered in Avra Valley west of the Tucson Mountains. In 2021, it emerged that multiple land management agencies had outdated fencing that are impeding wildlife, with animal carcasses found hung up on barbed wire while attempting to jump or crawl through the fence. While the work of the Desert Fence Busters is largely focused in Avra Valley, it was exciting to remove old fencing from an area connected to the Oracle Road wildlife crossings and that has seen so much public investment and interest in recent years.
Future Desert Fence Busters events will be announced on our main Desert Fence Busters webpage.
Check out the slideshow below of the amazing group of volunteers that removed fencing in the Big Wash (click on the slideshow to view it in a larger format):