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October 2019

It's Almost Time!

Bighorn Institute's Annual Party and Golf Classic fundraiser is just a couple of weeks away November 17th &18th at Stone Eagle Golf Club; it's not too late to join us! The Annual Party will be Sunday November 17th at the ultra-exclusive Aerie restaurant at Stone Eagle, which is set at nearly 1,000 ft. elevation in the Santa Rosa foothills with unbeatable views. We'll have fantastic food and drinks, a live and silent auction and more! For all of the golfers out there, come play with the legends at our Golf Classic Monday November 18th at Stone Eagle Golf Club. Dave Stockton, Donna Caponi, Don Pooley, Al Geiberger, Mark Pfeil and others will help make your round of gold a day to remember! Golfers will enjoy a light breakfast, a professional's clinic before tee off, lunch on the course and an awards reception following play. If you can't make it, you can still support the event with a donation. Every little bit helps and all proceeds benefit Bighorn Institute's conservation efforts for the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep. For details or to sign up, visit our website: or call our office at 760-346-7334. We hope you will join us!

Fall Lambs, TWINS, in NSRM

October was an exciting month for lambing in the northern Santa Rosa Mountains (NSRM), which is a weird thing to say for desert bighorn sheep. Lambing season usually takes place January through June, but for the third time in our 37 year history, we have fall lambs in the NSRM. These ewes gave birth in the spring, lost their lambs and gave birth a second time in the fall. This is an amazingly rare phenomenon for a ewe to give birth twice in a calendar year. Now to blow your mind a little more, one of these ewes gave birth to TWINS! An equally rare occurrence, we have only documented four sets of twins two in the captive herd and now two in the wild. The neat thing about this ewe is that she was born and raised in the captive herd and released into the wild 9 years ago. We're anxious to keep an eye on all of these new little ones and see how they do. And, there are other ewes showing signs of pregnancy, so we'll be following them closely to make sure we don't miss any lamb births. We'll keep you posted!

Lamb Death, Fence Update

October saw another urban-related bighorn death with a lamb that died in PGA West from unknown causes, but lab results are pending. While this brings the total to 25 urban-related bighorn sheep deaths on or near the La Quinta golf courses since a fence was required in 2014, the good news is the fence has finally gone out to bid. We are hopeful that the fence construction can begin this fall and are optimistic that the fence will prevent urban bighorn deaths.

Bighorn Presentation

In late October, we gave a presentation to the Indian Wells Rotary Club on bighorn sheep in the valley. This was a great opportunity for us to spread the word about the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep and the Institute's conservation efforts. Would you like us to give a bighorn presentation to your group? Please give us a call at (760) 346-7334 or email us at

Membership Hike

The weather has cooled so it's time to lace up those boots, grab your binoculars and hit the trails to look for bighorn sheep! Our first Member Hike of the season will be Friday, November 8th at 8:00am. We would love to have you join us, but 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 (760) 346-7334 or email us at

Back-to-back Recognition

We are very proud to announce that the Institute's founding and current Executive Director, Jim DeForge, has been recognized in back-to-back issues of Palm Springs Life magazine! In October, Jim made The Big List, 50 people influencing and shaping life in the valley. In November, he's one of five Environmentalists in the Desert Dreamer series focusing on the Coachella Valley's pioneers, innovators, and leaders throughout history. Jim has dedicated his life to helping bighorn sheep, especially our local endangered Peninsular bighorn so we're immensely proud to work with him, be mentored by him and share in his passion! Read the stories here:

Wish List

Field receiver - $1000 -- allows us to track the radio-collared bighorn sheep

1 spotting scope - $150 -- 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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