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September 2019

32nd Annual Party and Golf Classic

We’re excited to be gearing up for our 2019 Annual Party & Golf Classic November 17th & 18th! Our event takes place at the amazing Stone Eagle and there are many ways to get involved and help support the sheep. If you don’t golf, join us for the Annual Party or if you like the links, enjoy the party and golf! Play with the Legends like Dave Stockton, Donna Caponi, Al Geiberger, Don Pooley and others who will provide a clinic prior to play. You’re sure to improve your golf game! Can’t come? You can still be an event sponsor! We have sponsor levels of silver, gold and platinum, but any donation is helpful since we are privately funded! If these options don’t suit you, maybe you’d like to provide us with an auction item. We sincerely appreciate your support because YOU make a difference! All event proceeds go toward our conservation efforts for the endangered Peninsular bighorn! Invitations will be mailed in early October, but for more information, visit our website, call the office 760-346-7334 or email us at

New Lambs in San Jacinto’s

In unexpected but exciting news, we saw two new lambs in the San Jacinto Mountains (SJM) this month! Both lambs are around 1 month old and are the only ones in the range that we know of right now. All of the lambs born in the spring have already perished. The really interesting part is that we have never seen lambs born this late in the SJM. Lambing season is January through June for Peninsular bighorn. We’re anxious to see if other lambs are born this fall and how these two survive so we’ll keep you posted!

Trails Open October 1st


September 30th marks the end of the hot season trail closures so the few trails that were closed will now be open through December, including Dead Indian Canyon, and Carrizo and Magnesia Ecological Reserves. The fall is a great time to get out and explore our beautiful desert; if you’re lucky, you might see a bighorn sheep. They blend in incredibly well, so look for their white rump patch or movement among the rocks. They have eyesight equivalent to 8-10x binoculars so they usually see you before you see them, IF you see them! If you do see sheep, please help us out and log your sightings in Bighorn Institute’s project in iNaturalist (it’s free!). It helps us keep better track of the herd and lets others know where the sheep are! Click on the flyer for details.

More Urban Sheep Deaths

Sadly, three bighorn sheep died this month from urban-related issues, including a lamb. The lamb was struck by a car near the Rancho Mirage Library on Highway 111 early this month. We were able to get the mother back into the mountains and don’t know how they accessed the area since the Rancho Mirage fence was secure. They may have accessed an open flood panel in Cathedral Canyon.

Two more rams drowned in the Coachella Canal in La Quinta this month, one at Lake Cahuilla and one at PGA West. The ram at Lake Cahuilla was the ram with the rope around its leg that we’ve reported about for the past year and a half. It is likely that these two drownings could have been prevented with the fence. Twenty-four sheep have now died from urban-related deaths in La Quinta since a fence was required in 2014, eleven have drowned. This serves as a solemn reminder that the fence was supposed to be built within two years but construction hasn’t even begun.

Are You a Member?

Did you know that Bighorn Institute is a privately-funded nonprofit and we receive no state or federal funding? We have released over 125 captive-reared bighorn into the wild over the past 35 years, kept 2 local bighorn herds from disappearing and monitored the local herds daily, all with private dollars. We also provide vital data to the wildlife agencies to help with the management of the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep. We rely on the generosity of our members; membership donations are completely tax-deductible. Thank you for your support!

Wish List

Field receiver - $1,000 – allows us to track the radio-collared bighorn sheep

Antenna - $350 – used with field receiver to track wild sheep

2 spotting scopes - $300 – for fieldwork and for member hikes

2 field cameras - $275 – we need a couple of used 20x optical zoom cameras for fieldwork

2 tripods - $100 – for fieldwork and for member hikes

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