Good Job

North gate of seasonal Burrowing Owl Sanctuary, properly repaired, February 3 2021

It isn’t every day that I get to tip my hat to Parks management for a job well done, particularly when it comes to park boundaries. Fencing and signage remain festering sources of disruption and confusion in the park. So it’s a pleasure to be able to say, “Good job” about a fence issue. The northern gate of the seasonal Burrowing Owl sanctuary, shown above, has been repaired and repaired well. This gate was vandalized around January 24, as shown in this photo:

North gate of seasonal Burrowing Owl Sanctuary, vandalized, photo dated January 25 2021

A few days later, there was a repair. But it was not very good. The metal brace in the middle of the long stretch of cable hung at a steep angle, with the result that the top cable of the fence hung barely two feet above the asphalt, as shown here:

North gate of seasonal Burrowing Owl Sanctuary, attempted repair, January 29 2021

That was hardly an effective boundary, and what’s more, it was difficult to see. A bicyclist or a runner could easily fail to see it and injure themselves. Finally today that’s improved. The metal brace has been restored to its upright position, and a yellow caution tape lends the barrier some measure of visibility. Good job.

Now the southern gate to the area still needs attention. It was vandalized earlier, probably around January 12. It looked like this:

Southern gate to seasonal Burrowing Owl sanctuary, vandalized, photo dated January 13 2021

That, too, was repaired, kind of, around January 29. The left side post has got locked to the wall again. That’s good. But no cigar. After the repair, the gate looked like this:

Southern gate to seasonal Burrowing Owl sanctuary, partially repaired, photo dated February 3, 2021

Here the top wire hangs slack, so that the effective height of the barrier is barely two feet. The problem is that the southern terminal of the top cable has become detached from the end post, as shown below:

Southern gate to seasonal Burrowing Owl sanctuary, top cable detached from terminal post, photo dated February 3, 2021

Hopefully the good repair person who fixed the northern gate will also address the southern gate and make the boundary look good again. For what it’s worth. Even when in perfect repair, this fence does not offer effective security to wildlife on the inside. The fence is too low and the gaps between the cables too wide. As I’ve documented repeatedly in past years, irresponsible dog owners allow their pets to jump the fence and run loose inside the supposedly protected area. If this area is to attract and retain wintering Burrowing Owls on a regular basis, the fence needs to be improved or replaced with a more serious barrier.

Coincidentally, the Burrowing Owl that has been spotted repeatedly in the Nature Area on the north side of the park was seen yesterday on the rip-rap on the east side of this sanctuary. Nobody got a photo but the report is from a reliable source.

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One thought on “Good Job

  • that thing is so flimsy i wouldn’t call it a fence. maybe a hint of a fence. it has no use! it accomplishes nothing. put up a fence that might keep something out!

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