EITW Property Watch Program

 

Conservation Closure Assistance:

Project 1: Oak Creek Wildlife Area Project

The purpose of this project is to keep people from entering the Wildlife Area prior to the May 1st opening for antler collection.Human intervention in this closed area directly harms the elk and stresses the herd when they are most vulnerable; often times killing calves and weaker adults.

Text Box: Antler Hunters, Violating the ClosureOak Creek Wildlife Manager John McGowan (Retired) asked EITW if we could assist with posting signage and detouring violators.During the planning process EITW Directors discovered new technology in the “Buckeye” camera system and the possible application as a deterrent and an aide for Enforcement.

 

Working with the WDFW Wildlife program we acquired 10-remote cameras and 1-base station.The CORT program contributed a laptop computer and beginning the EITW “Remote Camera System” (RCS).After several planning meetings a “Sign Posting” project was conducted on April 10th 2009; 27-volunteers attended the EITW/WDFW volunteer orientation and posted over 100-EITW Property Watch signs (“Do Not Vandalize or Litter” & “Remote Photo Enforced”) and updated WDFW signage on 85% of the closed area perimeter.

 

That Easter weekend 6-EITW Directors deployed the pilot test of the RCS along several miles of the Bethel Ridge inside the “Closed Area”.Within 12-hours of deployment and initial testing; the first picture of violators was captured.The WDFW Enforcement program assisted with an emphasis and several violators were sited with the assistance of the camera system.John McGowan estimated that the signage, the increased public awareness and new signage greatly reduced the casual violator.

 

This spring EITW is continuing our efforts to discourage the disruption of elk at the Oak Creek Wildlife Area.Planning meetings and volunteer trainings will be posted on the EITW calendar.

 

Project 2:Clearwater Cooperative Road Closure Project:

 

WDFW Region 6 Wildlife Manager Jack L. Smith (Retired) asked EITW if we could assist with the DNR Cooperative Road Closures in the Clearwater GMU.These gates provide a buffer from vehicle activity in several critical headwaters adjacent to the Olympic National Park and also provide a quality hunting experience for those willing to walk, bike or horse pack in.This project partners WDFW Wildlife Management & Enforcement, DNR Management, Jefferson County Sheriffs Dept. and EITW; to post deterrent signage, deploy and monitor the EITW “Remote Photo Enforced” system and maintaining the gate status.GPS planning of camera locations are almost completed and 3-additional cameras were added to the EITW RCS.Deployment is scheduled in the August 2010. Planning meetings and volunteer trainings will be posted on the EITW calendar.

 

An additional aspect of this project is to move the Yahoo Lake gate to provide fishing access to the trail head.This project has been approved and will reduce the continuous damage to this gate.

 

We are currently assembling 2-teams of volunteer’s (1- Eastside and 1-Westside) to deploy and maintain the RCS in several locations as needed.If you are interested in participating on these specialized teams, contact the Property Watch Director.

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