Fencing with Wildlife in Mind

140 years ago today, Joseph Glidden received a patent for barbed wire fencing.  His invention would mean the end of the open range and would change the West forever.  And although today Colorado is home to numerous farms and ranches, it is also home to many species of wildlife that must coexist with agriculture.  Therefore the Colorado Division of Wildlife developed a helpful guidebook, Fencing with Wildlife in Mind, for farmers and ranchers to learn how they can protect their livestock while protecting wildlife at the same time.  According to the book’s introduction,

This publication provides guidelines and details for constructing fences with wildlife in mind. The information it contains has been contributed by wildlife managers, biologists, land managers, farmers, and ranchers. Over time, their observations and research have built a body of knowledge concerning wildlife and fences, including:

  • A basic understanding of how ungulates cross fences and the fence designs that cause problems for moose, elk, deer, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep.
  • Fence designs that adequately contain livestock without excluding wildlife.
  • Fence designs that effectively exclude ungulates, bears, beavers, and other small mammals.

Other publications on this topic that can be found in our library’s collection include Fencing for Man and Beast: An Illustrated Guide to Friendly Fencing for Livestock and Wildlife and Fencing for Mule Deer, both also from the Colorado Division of Wildlife.