Little Mittens Animal Rescue Association has been permitted non-farm use of Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) west of Golden.
With the approval, Little Mittens can now build their wildlife rescue centre, using temporary structures and enclosures for all of the wild animals they will bring in. This includes building a deer enclosure, an area for aviation birds, water fowl, and more.
The land belongs to Ron and Nancy Watson, who use the agricultural land for farming use. The section Little Mittens will occupy is unused land by the owners.
“They are huge animal lovers. They don’t use it, and they want us to use it,” said Little Mittens founder and executive director Alannah Knapp.
It has been almost an entire year since Little Mittens applied for full exclusion use of the ALR, and they were finally permitted to use the land for non-farm use. After applying for the full exclusion, the application had to go to town council, who then went to inspect the property.
The piece of land is perfect for everything Little Mittens wants to use it for, Knapp said.
“There’s little parts of the Columbia River that come onto it,” she said, adding that the additional water coming onto the property will prove advantageous for the animals they rescue.
The property provides a natural landscape that is suitable for housing animals while they recover, before they are released back into the wild.
“It’s a wildlife corridor that runs through there,” Knapp said.
Now, Little Mittens will work to get funds they need and supplies to build the enclosures and a dwelling on the property.
They will be looking for monetary donations, building materials, and help with building.
“We want to put some sort of dwelling unit on it… We have volunteers that could sleep in a trailer,” Knapp said.
The animal rescue will also have to bring power in to the area to provide lights at night and warm the dwelling if needed.
The frozen ground provides some time before Little Mittens will officially begin their work on the land.
“We’ll have to wait until the ground thaws in the spring,” Knapp said.
Follow Little Mittens Animal Rescue on Facebook to keep updated about their progress and all of the adoptable animals they have, or visit www.littlemittens.org to donate.