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September 2016

Annual Fundraiser

Bighorn Institute’s 2016 Annual Party and 29th Annual Golf Classic will be November 20th & 21st, and we hope you will join us! This year, the entire event will take place at Stone Eagle, a stunning venue set in the Santa Rosa foothills. Annual Party festivities include great food and drinks, and live and silent auctions at The Aerie, a brand new luxury restaurant with breathtaking views! Don’t miss this special opportunity to support the sheep and see Stone Eagle; tickets are $400/couple. Monday’s golf tournament will be hosted once again by golf legend and putting guru, Dave Stockton. Dave and friends will provide a professional’s clinic with tips that are sure to improve your game! Golf is $950/player and includes 2 tickets to the Annual Party. Visit our website for details

We need auction items and all gifts are completely tax-deductible! Large or small donations are welcome; everything helps! Please help us make this year’s event a huge success for the sheep! To donate, please call 760-346-7334.

Wild Bighorn Update

Bighorn Institute monitors bighorn sheep from Palm Springs to La Quinta. Overall, these herds are doing well, especially in the mountains around Rancho Mirage and Palm Springs. Most of the lambs are 6-8 months old and are now weaned. Rams’ raucous rutting behaviors have broken up ewe and lamb groups with some lambs apparently seeking ewes with fewer disruptions. We’ve seen several recent groups of sheep with a skewed number of lambs per ewes. With rams roaming miles in search of ewes to breed, these lambs will surely not have solace for long no matter who they choose to live with. The rut is now in full swing so we’ll continue to follow the sheep, document their health and behavior and marvel at their majesty.

Community Outreach

Bighorn Institute gave two talks this month, one to the Palm Springs Rotary Club and the other to the Rancho Mirage Rotary Club. We enjoyed meeting with these local clubs and thank them for inviting us to speak to them about the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep and Bighorn Institute’s conservation efforts. Education is an important part of our mission, so if you would like us to give a presentation at one of your events, please call 760-346-7334 or email us at

Membership Hike

We resumed our monthly membership hikes in September after a brief summer hiatus. We hiked with a great group of members in Chino Canyon in Palm Springs and had a fantastic time finding sheep! If you are interested in a unique learning experience with a chance at seeing wild sheep then a membership hike is the perfect experience for you! Our next hike will be Monday October 10th at 8:00am. Membership starts at just $25/year and is completely tax-deductible. Space is limited, no dogs, and you must RSVP for this first come first served hike. To sign up or for more information, please call us at 760-346-7334 or email us at

Sheep hit on Hwy 74

September was a tough month for bighorn crossing Highway 74 south of Palm Desert as three of them were hit and killed by cars, two rams and a lamb. We have been working with Caltrans and the wildlife agencies to get more warning signs and Caltrans has finally agreed to install two yellow beacon signs on Highway 74. We feel these signs will be a tremendous help alerting motorists to the presence of sheep on this treacherous road. We’ll let you know when the signs are installed, but in the meantime, please use extra caution driving Highway 74.

Update La Quinta Fence

There has been little to no progress toward the installation of a barrier or fence in La Quinta to keep bighorn from coming down to the golf courses and urban areas, despite the wildlife agencies mandating that a fence be completed by February 2016. As a result, the Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club have issued a 60 day notice of intent to sue the state and federal wildlife agencies, City of La Quinta and Coachella Valley Conservation Commission for failing to protect the endangered Peninsular bighorn in La Quinta. Here is a copy of the notice as well as recent news stories:

Press Release: Legal Challenge Pursued Over Failure to Protect Endangered Peninsular Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn sheep keep wandering onto golf courses. Now activists plan to sue to demand a fence.

Environmental groups to sue over endangered bighorn sheep deaths

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