Caldera Work Party Helps Calves Stay with Herd

A work party coming from the visitor center and another from the highway are separated by elk herd as Saturday’s fence tear-down endeavor got underway at the Valle Caldera National Preserve. Forty people from Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Taos and Albuquerque with organizations including Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC), Sierra Club, Wild Earth Guardians and the New Mexico Environment Department joined Caldera Chief Scientist Bob Parmenter to remove fences built for sheep in the 1930s. These fences have hindered elk movement. Adult elk jump these fences when coyotes approach them but the fences are too high for the calves to manage. Photo by Felicia Orth

When the elk herd did eventually move Saturday, it left behind a very small calf hiding in the grass. Susan Dryja carefully treads near the fawn. Photo by Felicia Orth

Bob Dryja helps cut down fences at the Valle Caldera Saturday. Photo by Felicia Orth

Many volunteers pitched in to help the elk herds Saturday by removing unecessary fences. Photo by Felicia Orth

Couples, families and singles worked together removing fences at the Valle Caldera. Photo by Felicia Orth

Saturday’s fence removal effort will help calves stay with their elk herds, which when spooked by coyotes would jump the fences, leaving the small calves behind. Photo by Felicia Orth

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