California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Public Outreach
(Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Recovery Program)

Interpretive displays at Community Day, Bishop, CA Participant at Community Day, Bishop, CA

Sierra Nevada Bighorn have long been in the public eye, at least as far back as John Muir, who called them "the bravest of all the Sierra mountaineers." The Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Program has benefited from public involvement in the conservation and management efforts of these bighorn.

In 2001, local guide S. P. Parker notified program personnel of a sighting of a large group of sheep on Charlotte Dome, located on the west side in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park. This was the first reported sighting of a natural colonization from an existing population. Technically, this herd unit is named the Bubbs Creek Herd based on the geographic location, but many local residents fondly call it the "Parker Herd". During the last decade, numerous public sightings have established that other natural colonizations appear to be taking place as well. Any sightings of bighorn sheep in the Sierra Nevada mountains can be reported to asksnbs@wildlife.ca.gov. It is helpful if you can give an exact location, including map coordinates if available, a very detailed description of the location if no map coordinates are avaiable, the time and date and a thorough description of what you saw. If you were able to take pictures, please attach them. It could help us detect a new natural colonization.

Program staff have presented to students at local schools and are available upon request for presentations. We have worked with the local schools to provide educational opportunities to students indivdually and at a classroom level in both grade school and high school. Mentoring on group projects for older students, field trips to view bighorn sheep, and classroom presentations, both in the field and at the school have helped local students appreciate that they live in the midst of an evolving chapter of natural history.

Events

The SNBS program has a number of events each year. In past years, we have participated in Community Day in Bishop, CA. Outings to view bighorn are conducted annually with Audobon Society and the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Foundation. Talks on various aspects of research within the program are hosted by White Mountain Research Station and Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab (SNARL) during their respective lecture series. All of these events are open to the public and you are encouraged to attend. Any upcoming scheduled events will be listed below.

Upcoming Field Trip Information

Field Trip February 15, 2014:

Have you ever seen a Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep in the wild? Now’s your chance! On Saturday, February 15, 2014 , join biologists from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for a FREE bighorn-spotting field trip. Meet at 9:00am in the DFW parking lot at the corner of Church and North Fowler in Bishop. Be prepared to be out till early afternoon and to do some moderate hiking. For more details and to register, please call (760) 872-3159 or email asksnbs@wildlife.ca.gov.

Field Trip March 2014, Date TBD

Field Trip April 2014, Date TBD

Personal Experiences with Sierra bighorn

During some surveys as well as captures volunteers have been asked to participate in helping program staff. While these opportunities are infrequent, they can be quite rewarding.

"Sometimes, when you get into your 60’s you think that all your adventures and dreams are behind you. Then along comes an endangered species, the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep, their hardworking scientists and advocates, and a peak experience enlightens your life."

------------------ Volunteer Ginnie Chadwick ------------------

""When I do spot some limbs, horns, or pale rumps.... I click off a few frames, and just witness. That is more than enough.""

------------------ Photographer Andy Selters ------------------