K-Line Irrigation Fits the Bill for US Conservation Project

March 3, 2015 Vikki Ellis

Q: What do RX Plastics and elks have in common?

A: K-Line irrigation technology!

The National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming is one of 548 National Wildlife Refuges dotted across the United States, a system of land set aside to preserve the wildlife, fish and plants of America.

Our revolutionary K-line technology has been chosen to irrigate the Refuge and we are delighted to be part of this exciting conservation project!

The Refuge was established in 1912 to help stem the decline of the elk population. Each autumn around 10,000 elk (or wapiti as they are known in New Zealand) begin their traditional migration from their summer home in the high meadows of the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks down to the lower winter elevation range of the Jackson Hole Refuge.

When they arrive in the Refuge, the elk now feed on grass irrigated by K-Line pods and sprinklers.

The Environmental Impact Process which led to K-Line’s implementation was a lengthy and highly scrutinised exercise mainly because of the great national and local significance of the Refuge. The process spanned 9 years, with an astonishing 11,000 submissions put forward.

Minimising Disease

In the past, one of the greatest risks to the endangered elk population has been the high level of animal concentration along feed-lines in the winter months. Animals huddled together and the nose-to-nose contact which occurred escalated the spread of disease.

By irrigating the Refuge with K-Line pods, the main aim is to maximise the area which can be irrigated and eventually eliminate the need to provide supplementary feed during winter.

Increasing the amount of natural fodder through irrigation will not only save money (and lots of it) but also dramatically reduce the decline of the elk population.

In the case of Jackson Hole, traditional centre pivot irrigation systems were unsuitable due to the presence of large wild animals and the particular physical features of the wild-land conservation area. The low-maintenance, simple to use and modular aspects of K-Line made it an attractive alternative to traditional irrigation methods.

Maximising Efficiency in Water Usage

Another beneficial feature of K-Line is its highly efficient distribution of water, meaning water penetrates the soil more deeply, getting the best growth out of the pasture. Efficient water dispersal also means less impact on the environment.

As the Grand Teton National Park is regarded as one of the most spectacular tourist attractions in the U.S. and the town of Jackson Hole is dependent on its continued appeal, it is important that the view of the vast ranges remains unspoiled. Compared to other large high-profile irrigation systems, K-Line is virtually invisible once grass grows and blends in with the landscape.

We are proud to be involved in this worthwhile and rewarding project and that K-Line has been recognised on the global stage as being a pod above the rest.

About the Author

Vikki is a longstanding member of the RX Plastics marketing team, based in rural Ashburton. She knows pretty much everything there is to know about the 3,000+ RX products, and if she doesn't know, she knows where to find out.

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