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How did your group get started? On Oct. 3, 1992, a group of concerned sportsmen and wildlife conservationists formed an organization known as the Arizona Antelope Foundation. They dedicated themselves to increasing the Arizona pronghorn population by advocating and actively participating in pronghorn management and habitat improvement programs. In its 13-year history, this organization has made a positive impact on the welfare and enhancement of pronghorn herds in Arizona.
What is AAF’s purpose? The Arizona Antelope Foundation works toward a number of goals and objectives:
- Acquire blocks of key pronghorn habitat and manage them for pronghorn.
- Participate in habitat manipulation projects to enhance pronghorn habitat.
- Develop additional water sources for pronghorn.
- Modify existing fences to exceed current wildlife standards.
- Reintroduce pronghorn into historic habitat.
- Support predator control efforts where necessary to insure the survival of pronghorn populations.
- Educate the public about pronghorn in Arizona.
- Coordinate with the livestock industry, land management agencies, private landowners, and game management agencies to encourage programs emphasizing pronghorn.
- Promote research necessary to better manage pronghorn.
- Serve as an advocate for the enhancement of pronghorn.
How many members do you have? About 350.
What does AAF do? The AAF works tirelessly to improve habitat for pronghorn and other grassland species that benefit from the efforts. One of our primary project focuses is modifying barbed wire fences to make them antelope friendly. Pronghorn typically go under rather than over fences, so we raise the bottom strand to a height of 18 inches to allow the animals to safely move between pastures, ensuring genetic diversity and giving them a chance to escape predators. While working the fences, we have partnered with many ranchers and government agencies, repairing many miles of fence over the last 13 years. We are very active in restoring grasslands by eliminating invasive trees, too. Finally, we also participate in other habitat and conservation activities for the benefit of Arizona’s wildlife, as well as sportsmen and women.
While the conservation spotlight is shining on AAF, what would you like to say? Arizona’s building boom has probably impacted antelope more than any other big game species. Why? Because the ideal place to build a “home in the country” is in prime pronghorn habitat! The grasslands of Arizona that aren’t encroached by housing developments are alternatively being overgrown by invasive junipers, due to decades of fire suppression and other range management issues.
We need all the help we can get to continue to conserve places for pronghorn in Arizona. Come join us on a project and learn why our motto is, “Libertas ad vagor”—freedom to roam!
Another opportunity to help Arizona’s antelope in 2006 is by joining us in our new Adopt-a Herd Project. Watch for details coming soon on the AAF Web site.
How can people reach you? You can learn a great deal about us by visiting our award- winning Web site at azantelope.org.