26 Bar Adopt-A-Ranch
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AES adopt-a-ranch is the 26 Bar Ranch out of Eagar, Arizona
On April 22, 2006 the AES held our first Adopt-A-Ranch project on the 26 Bar Ranch outside of Springerville. We had a good turnout with 22 volunteers on hand to work. As usual Sharon brought the AES support trailer with our World Famous Kitchen and Restaurant set-up. Many comments were overheard about the class act that the AES sets up to take care of hungry workers. Even the Ranch crew was impressed. If you have never been to an AES work project you are missing out.
On that first Saturday morning we installed twenty elk jumps and repaired fencing around the main ranch perimeter. In the afternoon we installed two pipe gates back in the woods to make access easier. We were lucky to have many experienced fence workers and had all the work done on Saturday. We spent Sunday fighting the wind, tearing down and cleaning up.
Over the years the repairs have included digging out the springs so they started flowing for the first time in years, then we piped the water 300-400 yards to wildlife troughs. This helps keep the animals out of the spring while providing water. We also removed 4 miles of unneeded fence. The volunteers have repaired several wildlife trick tanks with a 20,000 gallon storage capacity that needed to have the rust ground off then the leaks in the tank itself were repaired as well as the drinkers.
In June 2010 we had a team that worked on another 20,000 gallon water storage tank for the 26 Bar Ranch. This tank had many holes and rusty spots where the water would leak out. This is the third tank we have done and we are becoming experts at epoxying water tanks.
The process to fix these tanks involves mucking out about 12 inches of muck bucket-by-bucket, cleaning the tank inside, drying the tank and grinding all the rust off inside and out.
After that, we applied two coats of sealing epoxy, replaced the troughs and cleaned up. By repairing the tanks in this fashion, we prolong the life of the tanks for many years and save the ranchers thousands of dollars as well as provide volunteer labor for the job. Through these actions, water is available to wildlife throughout the year.