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June 2022

Save the Date –40th Anniversary Celebration

We’re excited to announce our 40th Anniversary Annual Party and Golf Classic will take place Sunday and Monday, November 20th and 21st at Stone Eagle Golf Club! This is the Institute’s primary fundraiser and is an event you don’t want to miss! We’re excited to celebrate this incredible milestone with you so mark your calendars and plan to join us! All proceeds benefit the endangered Peninsular bighorn.

Lambing Season Comes to a Close

Lambing season has “officially” ended for Peninsular bighorn sheep as it typically extends from January through June. That said, there’s always a chance of an “outlier” lamb birth so we stay on the lookout for new lambs throughout the year. Speaking of which, we documented a couple of new lambs this month that were born in late May. Lamb survival is good so far in the San Jacinto and northern Santa Rosa Mountains near Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage/Palm Desert, respectively. Unfortunately, many of the lambs in La Quinta that frequent the golf course are gone. There are still a number of lambs alive in the central Santa Rosa Mountains backcountry adjacent to La Quinta so we’ll see how they do.

(Pictured: A couple of healthy-looking lambs in the northern Santa Rosa's)

Captive Ewe Dies

It’s with a heavy heart that we let you know one of the older ewes in the captive herd has perished from natural

causes. A number of weeks ago, she began moving slower, isolated away from the other ewe and didn’t seek out food as often, all typical signs of an animal going downhill with age. We care for these animals every day of the year, albeit with a hands-off approach, so it’s a little harder when a captive bighorn dies since everything we do here focuses on safe-guarding them. We’re glad to have had her in the herd and the time to watch and learn from her.

(Pictured: The captive ewe in her prime)

Lamb Drowns in Canal

In early June, another lamb drowned in the canal along PGA West. This is the fourth bighorn to drown already this

year and the fence could have prevented these drownings.

We were told the La Quinta fence construction would begin in June, but it didn’t. The latest update is the final permits have been obtained and they’re awaiting signatures from the Bureau of Reclamation and Right of Entry to Lake Cahuilla. Hopefully, they’ll start in July.

(Pictured: sheep browse near the canal at PGA West)

Wine Down Wednesday Fundraiser a Success

Bighorn Institute was the charity of choice for HOT 95.9’s Wine Down Wednesday Fundraiser on June 22nd at Kitchen 86 and it was fantastic! We had a packed house and everyone seemed to enjoy their share of wine tasting and appetizers. Three lucky winners walked away with cool raffle prizes as well! We appreciate Meg and Todd Marker and Marker Broadcasting for including Bighorn Institute in this event and for their support!

(Pictured: BI Exec. Director, Jim DeForge, Board Member, Randy Bynder and Meg Marker)

Field Vehicle Update

We were hoping to have a new Jeep by now, but fundraising for it has proven easier than purchasing it. In early June, we had an auto broker “secure”or us, but it was sold out from under us, despite everything in writing stating the Jeep was ours. Luckily, we weren’t out any money to hold the Jeep, but it puts us back to square one with little to no inventory and unprecedented mark-ups. The broker is still working so fingers crossed, we’ll have a new vehicle by the next newsletter!

(Pictured: some of the backcountry we need 4-wheel drive to access)

Need a Cool Gift? Adopt-a-Bighorn!

Need a unique gift or just want to support the sheep? You can Adopt-a-Bighorn. Lambs are $100 and a ewe or ram is $150 each. Adoptions include a certificate, a 4x6 color photograph of your endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep, a bighorn sheep fact sheet, a year’s subscription to our e-newsletter, and a year’s membership with the Institute. All adoptions are 100% tax-deductible! Visit our website to adopt-a-bighorn:


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