Volunteers from the Phoenix chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) recently spent 20 hours at the Gold Bar Ranch cleaning out and repairing a 100-year-old irrigation canal to improve wildlife habitat.

The ditch feeds water from the Hassayampa River through the ranch and back in to the river. When the project is complete, more than 2 miles of the ditch will have been repaired, allowing the creek to flow again and feed the small lake where many desert wildlife species drink. The project is part of the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s “Adopt-A-Ranch” program and MDF’s Arizona chapters have adopted four ranches in the state. The program allows volunteers to help ranchers with work projects to improve their ranch management and support wildlife populations; in addition, ranchers are often willing to allow public access across their properties to public lands beyond.

From more information, visit www.muledeer.org call 1-888-375-3337.

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