When we purchased the 6000+ acres of ground in 2004, it had been over grazed for decades. Nothing but a sea of grass. The border of the Lake, a significant stopping point for migratory waterfowl, was seamless grass- no cover, no willows, no cattails.
Mark and I gave the land a year of rest, then started to manage grazing to keep livestock OFF the lake borders. $2000+ in materials, hours of permanent fence creation, and many more hours of erecting electric fence to control access to the Lake shore has born fruit.
The cattle stay within the borders of the water gap (you can see where the few willows within the gap have been avidly browsed by the visiting cattle), and the willows and trees keep growing around all borders of the Lake.
Migrating waterfowl and other birds LOVE the border zone! Coots and greebs use the submerged willows early in the summer as protective cover for themselves and their chicks. Yellow-headed Blackbirds nest by the hundreds in the willows at the shallow end of the Lake, suspending their pendulous nests safely above the muddy waters.
Devons have adapted beautifully to the high altitude, predator filled dry land pastures of the high mountain West.
Questions? Mark and Jenny Sabo, Harrison, MT 406-685-3248. firstname.lastname@example.org