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December 2022

New Fence - Blixseth Mountain Park

In December, the City of Rancho Mirage installed fences at the north and south ends of Blixseth Mountain Park to more clearly mark the park’s boundary and the Magnesia Spring Ecological Reserve, which is closed to public access from January 1 – September 30. There is a gate installed in the southern portion of the fence to allow hiking access during the “open” period from October through December. We’re pleased that the city has installed these fences because there has been a significant increase in “free-play” in this canyon that serves as a vital area for Peninsular bighorn lambing and rearing as well as an important location for the sheep to drink. Once again, the City of Rancho Mirage has stepped up to protect our local bighorn sheep!

*new fence heading toward Magnesia Canyon

Helicopter Survey

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife conducted its first range-wide helicopter survey of Peninsular bighorn sheep in 6 years from November 29th to December 10th. We were hoping to have an update for you, but with the holidays, it’s a bit delayed. The 2016 survey resulted in a range-wide population estimate of approximately 800 Peninsular bighorn, around 300 of which are in our study area from Palm Springs through La Quinta. We’ll look forward to getting this information and letting you know the new population estimate soon!

Tour de Palm Springs – Walk/Bike for BI!

We’re putting together a team of walkers and bike riders for the 2023 Tour de Palm Springs to support the sheep! The event takes place Saturday, February 11th and there are plenty of options for all skill levels. You can walk 1 to 3 miles or bike ride either solo or tandem for 7, 25, 34, 56, 85 or 102 miles. If you register using Bighorn Institute’s charity code BHIT23, the Institute gets 100% of your entry fee! Walk and ride registration starts at just $25! To register visit

Parking Lot Sale

The Antique Galleries of Palm Springs hosts a parking lot sale from 8-1pm the third Saturday of every month during the season and this month, two of our lovely Board Members, Judy and Sylvia, were there peddling goods donated to our BI Resale Store! It’s a great time to meet people, talk about the sheep and sell generously donated items for which 100% of the proceeds benefit the bighorn going directly to the Institute. Mark your calendar for January and come check out the sale! Also, now that you received all of your Hanukkah and Christmas gifts, you may want to clean out your clutter so why not donate it to the BI Resale Store?! We’re always looking for donated items; please see Mike or Thomas at the Antique Galleries of Palm Springs with your donations. All donations are tax-deductible!

Member Hike

At the beginning of December, we held our first Member Hike of the season and it was a doozy with 21 sheep coming down to the canyon bottom right in front of us! It was a hike to remember for sure! Our next Member Hike will be held on Tuesday, January 17th. 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 us at 760-346-7334 or email us at

*A young ram walks by

Year-End Gift

It’s not too late to make an end-of-the-year contribution! You can donate online at or mail us a check as long as it’s post-marked by December 31st. Bighorn Institute is privately-funded and we strive hard to keep our expenses as low as possible so that your generous gift can go to Peninsular bighorn sheep conservation. Thank you!

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