40th Anniversary Celebration a Success!
Bighorn Institute’s 40th Anniversary Annual Party and Golf Classic took place November 20th & 21st and was our best party yet! It was an exciting two-days at Stone Eagle Golf Club and incredible celebrating this milestone with our sold-out crowd at the Sunday Annual Party! The food was fabulous, views to die for and it was such a special time to spend with so many who have helped us reach 40 years! Everyone enjoyed their round of golf Monday with golf legend Dave Stockton and other pros. Congratulations to this year’s winners, participants, donors, volunteers and to all who helped us celebrate!
In early November, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife captured Peninsular bighorn throughout the range in an effort to maintain the Recovery Plan’s recommendation of collaring 30% of the ewe population. They captured and radio-collared three sheep in the San Jacinto Mountains near Palm Springs, two sheep in the northern Santa Rosa’s near Rancho Mirage and two in the central Santa Rosa’s near La Quinta. By having a percentage of the sheep radio-collared, we’re able to track the unmarked sheep as well when they’re grouped together to see where they are, if they’re healthy, their reproductive status, lamb survival, etc. and learn more about the herds overall.
For the past four years, an older ram (12 years+) that frequented the La Quinta golf courses lived with a health issue that wasn’t imminently threatening his life, but was cumbersome nonetheless and frequently reported to us. He had severely enlarged testes that he had adapted to; we saw him high in the mountain at times, but he more commonly spent time around Tradition Golf Club. In early November, this old ram finally passed and we were able to learn that his condition was apparently caused by a hernia. He lived a long life in the wild without us or the wildlife agencies interfering prematurely. Thank you, to those who kept an eye on him and notified us when it was his time to go.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will conduct its first range-wide helicopter survey of Peninsular bighorn sheep in 6 years at the end of November and into December. This survey will result in a new population estimate for these endangered sheep, a figure vital for proper management. The Institute historically conducted these surveys annually for nearly 30 years then CDFW took over in 2010 and surveyed that year and again in 2016. It’s important to see population trends to really know how the overall species is doing so consistent biennial surveys are essential. The last survey resulted in a population estimate of approximately 800 Peninsular bighorn, around 300 of which are in our study area from Palm Springs through La Quinta. We’re pleased that CDFW will conduct this long-overdue survey this year and are anxious to see how the population is doing.
It’s that time of the year! Grab your hiking boots and binoculars and come out with us on the trail to look for sheep! Our first Member Hike this season will be Friday, December 9th and we would love to have you join us. 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 email@example.com.
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 www.tourdepalmsprings.com.
Looking for a Christmas Gift?
Need a special gift for the person who has everything? Here are some ideas and the best part is that the proceeds go directly to helping the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep! It truly is a gift that keeps on giving. So, if you have been racking your brain, trying to think of something truly unique and memorable to get your loved one this Christmas, look no further, we’ve got you covered:
Give a gift membership to the Institute – memberships start at just $25/year, are tax-deductible & they can join our member hikes!
Adopt a Bighorn – $100 for a lamb, $150 for a ewe or ram: www.bighorninstitute.org/adopt-a-bighorn
Bighorn Sheep Canvas Prints (16”x20”) - $100 plus shipping and handling with the choice of a ram or ewe and lamb print
Feed the captive herd for a week - $150 (donation only-not actual feeding)
Help track radio-collared bighorn for a month - $500 (donation only – not actual monitoring)
To donate, please visit our website www.BighornInstitute.org, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call us at 760-346-7334.