Recently I have been working with a landowner to improve his wildlife health and production on his farm. We are developing plans for fall and spring plantings for food and cover for whitetail deer and non-game species of wildlife.
But as important as food and cover we cannot forget to provide sources of water. In the more arid parts of Washington State and during an occacional drought a dependable source of water is vital for year round occupancy of the animals we wish to protect and provide for on our area.
On this farm we are developing and restoring a wetland that had been filled in by one of the previous owners. We have a good flowing spring and a 200 foot deep well which will give us sufficient water for irrigating plantings, shrubs and trees as well as to fill the wetland as needed.
I am certain that the snowmelt and precipitation will overfill the wetland next spring. However, we may need to supplement the water level from time to time during the drier, warm summer weather.
The aspect of this project which intrigues me the most will be using Solar Panels wired to a water pump in the well. We can run our irrigation and overflow to the wetland with out having power lines to the well site. And the environmental benefits do not stop here, because of many days of full sunlight, in our area, we will be able to store electricity in batteries to sell or use on other habitat projects on this farm.
This ability to pump water in remote sites will be very useful for mule deer, wild turkey and sustaining non-game habitat in isolated spots. We are learning as we go, but I plan to spread the word about