March 2022


BI Celebrates 40 Years!

Bighorn Institute has reached an incredible milestone this spring as we celebrate our 40th Anniversary! With private funds and unwavering community support here are some of our accomplishments: secured 300 acres of land and built a federally-recognized recovery facility, successfully rescued and rehabilitated 33 sick lambs, established a captive breeding and release program, had 145 lambs born in the captive herd, and released 127 captive-born or rehabilitated bighorn into the wild, which kept the Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage herds from disappearing. Our research has assisted with Peninsular bighorn being listed as endangered in 1998, led to the construction of the Rancho Mirage fence (eliminated urban-related bighorn deaths), and helped local herds increase from all-time lows around 20 bighorn to nearly 100 sheep today in the Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage herds. We’ve published two books, numerous scientific articles, engaged the public with the Path of the Bighorn art project, educated countless kids and community members through our outreach programs and MORE! We are so grateful to EVERYONE that has helped us to achieve these amazing accomplishments. We’re humbled to have such incredible support, grateful to have jobs we love and excited to see what the future holds so THANK YOU!


Lots of Lambs

March was a busy month for fieldwork as we tracked the ewes intensely to see if new lambs were born and our time was well spent. There are now nearly 30 lambs in the northern Santa Rosa Mountains herd near Rancho Mirage and the central Santa Rosa Mountains herd in La Quinta. There are over a dozen lambs in the San Jacinto Mountains herd near Palm Springs. While this is great news, we’re already seeing signs of illness in a few of the lambs. Two to four months is the toughest time for a lamb as they lose their mother’s immune protection while building their own immune system. We’ll keep watching them, but at least one lamb has already succumbed to disease in La Quinta at PGA West and there are a few other sick lambs there. Time will tell how they fare, but we’ll hope for the best!


4th Annual Spring Fling Fundraiser

Join us Thursday, April 28th from 5pm-7pm for our 4th Annual Spring Fling fundraiser! This is a not-to-be-missed event at the ultra-exclusive Stone Eagle Golf Club. This fun-filled evening includes amazing views, delicious food and drinks, a silent auction, putting contest and more! Tickets are $200/person. Would you consider being a sponsor? Party Sponsorship is $1,000 and includes 2 tickets to the Spring Fling plus advertising. Sponsorships are totally tax-deductible! Invitations have been mailed. For more information or to buy tickets, visit our website www.bighorninstitute.org/fundraisers or give us a call at 760-346-7334.


Wildflower Festival & Presentation

On March 5th, we had a booth at the Wildflower Festival in Palm Desert, but it was crazy windy and everyone almost blew away. Thankfully, we were able to move indoors and the day was saved. It was another great event and we were pleased to participate. Also in early March, we gave a presentation to the Sunshine Sisters. They were a great group and we always appreciate the opportunity to spread the word about the sheep and our work. If you’d like a bighorn presentation for your group, give us a call at (760) 346-7334 or email us at bi@bighorninstitute.org. (Pictured: Conservation Assistant, Michaela Morgan, and volunteer, Marcie Borchard at our booth)


Breakfast with the Bighorn

On March 26th, we had a new Breakfast with the Bighorn fundraiser at the Institute primarily for board members and their friends! This small gathering of around 40 was a lot of fun and we’ll likely continue it quarterly or so and include our membership in the future. Everyone enjoyed a great breakfast catered by Sherman’s Deli, mingled with fellow bighorn enthusiasts and got to see the captive herd through the spotting scopes! Thanks to everyone who came out! If you’d like to be on the invitation short-list for this future event, just give us a call 760-346-7334 or email us bi@bighorninstitute.org. (Pictured: Board President, Mike Rivkin (left) visits with guests after viewing the sheep)


Member Hike Hiatus

This month, we hiked up the South Lykken trail for our final Member Hike of the season and got to see four rams. We’ve had a great, successful season of Member Hikes and we would love to have you join us when they resume in the fall. In the meantime, if you’re out hiking and see sheep, please log your sightings into Bighorn Institute’s project in iNaturalist. It’s free and helps us keep track of the sheep and helps others see where the sheep are. For more information visit our website: iNaturalist Project | bighorninstitute.


BI Resale Store

Bighorn Institute’s Resale Store at Antique Galleries of Palm Springs is going strong! If you have any smaller, high-quality items such as: camera equipment, jewelry, coins, bullion, pen sets, small clocks and watches, crystal, statuary and decorative items, antiques and collectibles, etc. please consider donating them to our Resale Store. All profits (l00%) benefit the bighorn AND all donations are tax-deductible! You can take your items directly to Antique Galleries of Palm Springs (505 E. Industrial Place, just south of downtown off Sunny Dunes) and ask for Mike or Thomas. If you can’t take your items in, give us a call and we can help collect them 760-346-7334. Thank you!


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