by Steve Clark
WATER FOR ALL WILDLIFE
2020 was a bad year for rainfall yet 2021 is on the path to becoming a year of severe drought for Arizona.
The Arizona Elk Society (AES) water haulers have been hauling–with a few days off here and there to let the mud dry from small rainstorms–pretty much weekly since the beginning of this year. Without enough time to get all our equipment repaired and ready, we had to dive right in hauling water for wildlife.
AES is on course for hauling more water than ever this year. We have received a grant to purchase another Dykstra Machinery water trailer from Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation, who receive funds from the sale of the Arizona conservation license plate. The funds are granted to organizations like AES for habitat, projects youth programs and more leading to better habitat and youth education in Arizona. Get your license plates updated to wildlife conservation plates and help make a difference for wildlife, youth and morein our state. More information can be found here: https://azsfwc.org/license- plate-2/
At left, pictures from trail cameras show the many species of wildlife that use and depend on the water catchments we haul to. This AES program is crucial to the survival of elk and many other wildlife species.Thanks to Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation and Dykstra Machinery in Casa Grande; the AES water haulers–without you there would be a huge loss of available water for wildlife!
If you are interested in volunteering, we are always looking for dedicated volunteers to help haul water and fix many of the old, non-working water catchments across elk range in Arizona. Please visit www.arizonaelksociety.org and sign up to volunteer.
by Steve Clark,
In the 2nd quarter of most years, we see snow still melting, rain, water flowing, and a nice green up. This year shaped up like the last–very little snow runoff and nonexistent rain. This combination meant the AES Water for Arizona’s Wildlife haulers were hard at work hauling hundreds of thousands of gallons of water to remote water catchments in Region I all around Flagstaff. AES has the best volunteers in Arizona and we thank them for their dedication to elk and other wildlife last quarter and always.
It would have been great to get a break from mother nature! Speaking of breaks we were lucky to have eliminated much of the breakage on the trailers from last year. We hope that we never repeat a year like last where we could not keep our trailers on the road due to broken springs and flat tires. Well, here we were hauling water daily and no end in sight. Fortunately, we found a new-to-us Ford F350 and put the new 2500 gallon water truck on the road and capacity was up. The volunteers worked together and used the new water truck to fill trucks closer to the catchments; that meant more water and less miles driving on the rough roads all the way back to town to refill. This donation from Tom Donaldson Equipment and Maverick Equipment made a huge difference in how much water we could haul. Thank you Tom and Rick.
We received new style trailers from Dykstra Machinery in Casa Grande. These Mac water trailers hold 1000 gallons and the haulers love them. They tow nice, track behind the truck tires so they are easier to tow and are low profile so they are safer. The only thing we can’t fix is the roughness of the roads; it is terribly rough on many of the roads in Units 7W and 9. Thank you to all the new volunteers that helped haul water and have worked on the old water catchments getting many of these dilapidated catchments back online. During the dry spell we also had time to dig silt out of the dirt tanks in many of the elk units as we looked forward to a good monsoon where we could capture more rain water in the deeper dirt tanks.