CA Wild Sheep Foundation Leads The Way To Water for Sheep
Throughout the years from the inception of the California Chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation (CA WSF), there has been a dedication to improving habitat, specifically by providing water, for wild sheep. It’s no surprise then that over $200,000 by CA WSF in the last six years has been spent on installing ‘drinkers’ on the mountains for sheep and other wildlife. But that’s not enough, as CA WSF VP of Operations Mike Borel shared.
Water is the number one issue limiting our wild sheep populations and our sheep hunting tags. The two go hand-in-hand as the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife has a mandate that relates number of sheep totally estimated to availability for hunting.
“Today’s numbers are well below where we want them to be,” explained Mr. Borel. There is currently an estimated 4,800 desert bighorn sheep in California with 103 drinkers in place averaging 45 sheep per drinker. “What we want to do is add another 90 drinkers, in ideally placed locations. Ninety new drinkers would support an additional 6,750 desert bighorns,” Mr. Borel continued. “That will more than double our total numbers in the state and put us on a level with the state that currently has the most bighorn sheep, Nevada!”
There is a price tag, and it’s a big one. New, more efficient, and less environmentally disruptive drinkers, the Raincatcher Wildlife Water System (RWWS), cost $23,015 each for a total of about $2,000000. In addition, there is 488 man hours required to site and install a RWWS. Much of this man-power will come from our sister organization, the Society for the Conservation of Bighorn Sheep (SCBS). “We have an eager and experienced group of volunteers for these installations but the funding must come from us, the caretakers of bighorn sheep.” Mr. Borel continued “The need is certainly big — but the impact will be HUGE!”
This effort will require $250,000 per year — double CA WSF’s current fundraising. “We plan to pursue all options for funding — donations, matching grants, gofundme.com and more,” said Borel. “$300 will give a lamb a drink and a LIFE.”
Donate to Give a Lamb a Drink, and a Life at the CA WSF website, Facebook page or GoFundMe page.