D.W.U. was formed in 1979 when the Bureau of reclamation concrete lined 50 miles plus of the dirt banked Coachella Canal, bordering the Chocolate Mountains, which have mule deer, desert bighorn sheep, burros, and many other smaller animals and birds. Due to this lining we lost approximately 200 deer, which almost wiped out the herd along this section of canal.
The lining prevented the mule deer from being able to drink from the canal without falling in and drowning. At this time a small group of sportsmen went into the desert and started installing permanent water sources. We dug out old wells and installed windmills. We discovered the windmills needed constant maintenance, so we developed new types of water systems, which require very little maintenance if any and will go for three years or more without rain with normal use.
The size we use most of the time is a (12,000 Gallon) fiberglass tank with a step drinker attached. All labor is donated to install these drinkers and majority of the money are from Imperial County Fish & Game Commission, California Department of Fish & Game (Hill Bill), Safari Club (San Diego Chapter), Foundation of North American Sheep Society, fund raisers and where ever we can beg money from.
Our deer harvest figures indicate that it has increased approximately three to four times, so we feel this water has helped tremendously.
In early 1997, U.S. Representative, Duncan Hunter asked Leon Lesicka Desert Wildlife Water Co-coordinator to head the Citizen's Congressional Task Force for the New River clean-up.
Two Wetland Projects are completed and studies are being monitored which will include General Water Chemistry, Selenium, Pesticides, Nutrients, Silt, Water Quality. When monitoring proves the projects successful, wetlands will be constructed in other selected sites, including the Alamo River.
This has been a busy four years and a very good one as so many are involved in cleaning up the New River.
Desert Wildlife is also busy helping to make hunting better for all hunters. This year they have located vacant field and asked owner to let them plant sections in wheat, Safflower. This was planned with the Fish & Game Department and was paid by Fish & Game Department. This took many donated hours by Desert Wildlife members. These fields will be for Dove hunting and fields will be open to all hunters.