Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Protection for more of the Buckner Orchard trees coming in 2010.

National Park Service plans are in the works to expand protection of the orchard from bears, a traditional threat, and from the more recent and growing elk herd. The weight of bears climbing and pulling to "harvest" apples in the fall has become even more of a danger as trees become brittle with age.

Elk cannot only denude a tree of new and young growth, but also break limbs and leaders when attempting to reach farther up the tree.

Approximately one-fourth of the orchard is now protected with a tall hog-wire fence, supplemented by a solar-powered electrical line. Even with this 8' fence, elk have, during deep snow, been able to leap the fence, creating a need to shovel snow away from portions of the fence.

In the spring of 2010, the NPS plans to fence the portion of orchard between the packing shed and the currently fenced trees. Work will involve creating post holes, mixing cement, placing poles, attaching wires, constructing gates, and adding the electric fence.

In addition, a semi-temporary electric bear fence will be installed on the remaining orchard, those trees in front of the homestead house, from the pasture to the packing shed. This fence will be composed of a single fabric wire strand between low fence posts, which can be easily dropped or removed. This fence will be utilized during the "bear season" in the late fall.

The NPS has applied for a Washington Conservation Corp grant that would provide WCC workers to construct the fences, but word has not been received as to whether or not the grant has been funded. If not granted, volunteers will be needed to complete the fence installation.

No longer the working ranch it once was, the Buckner Orchard is now haven to a small herd of deer; and bear and elk find the ranch more inviting without the activity, dogs, hunting, and work that were once the norm for the Buckner Family.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Your support of the Foundation is critical to the care and preservation of the Buckner Homestead and Orchard. Membership in the Foundation, Adopt-A-Tree, donating to fund specific projects, and volunteering are all ways that individuals, groups, and businesses can join in this effort.

January is our memberhip month, with a wide variety of categories for enrollment. Membership in the Foundation is simply another means by which you can contribute funds that directly benefit the Homestead and Orchard and participate in the organization. Download a membership application now. (click here)

Please join us today!