La Quinta Fence Update
Construction for a fence is still in the planning stages around the golf courses in La Quinta to remove the sheep from the urban environment. A joint letter from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife was sent to the
Coachella Valley Conservation Commission (CVCC) and the City of La Quinta in February 2014 notifying them that bighorn sheep have been regularly utilizing the La Quinta golf courses as an artificial food and water source and a barrier (i.e., a fence or functional equivalent) must be installed within two years. Eighteen bighorn sheep have died on or near these golf courses from urban related incidents since this letter was sent, in fact, two sheep drowned in the canal just since December, a ewe and a lamb. In February 2017, the CVCC finished accepting comments on a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) released to discuss three alternative fence alignments. In April 2017, the City of La Quinta installed their required bighorn exclusion fence along SilverRock Resort to keep the bighorn sheep off of the golf course, however, this fence is open on both ends and sheep can still access this course until the fence is finished on either end. Currently, the final EIR with a newly proposed ridgeline alignment behind PGA West, which we support, is holding up the progress of the La Quinta fence. The next steps are: release of the final EIR, PGA West fence construction, and getting easements from The Quarry and Traditions for their sections of the fence. We look forward to seeing the fence extended to keep these sheep in their natural environment.