Press release

The Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Foundation and California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Sierra Nevada Bighorn Recovery Program, invite the public to an afternoon of Sierra bighorn stories and hands on activities, at the Mono Basin Scenic Visitor Center, Lee Vining, CA. Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Ram Steve Yeager

Photo by Steve Yeager

The event commemorates the completion of a rejuvenated visitor center exhibit, funded by a Mono County Arts & Culture Grant, and the recovery of the Sierra’s very own subspecies of endangered bighorn sheep.

The Exhibit
Today, Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are found in places and numbers, not seen for over 100 years. A newly crafted exhibit updates information about recovery progress. The exhibit’s mounted bighorn ram, gives the public a rare opportunity to see wildlife at close range. The renovated exhibit is enhanced by a photograph, by wildlife photographer Steve Yeager, which allows visitors to vicariously experience the rugged, high elevation, Sierra bighorn in habitat.

The Speakers
Expanding on the theme of the exhibit—a rare opportunity to view bighorn at close range–a series of short talks will describe close encounters, with Sierra bighorn. Dr. John Wehausen, who has researched bighorn for nearly 50 years, will talk about unusual encounters with bighorn.

Exhibit Jef Chadwick

Exhibit – Jeff Chadwick

Elsbeth Otto, from CDFW, will describe the experience of trekking into the high country, to monitor bighorn populations. And Jacqueline Leary, from the CDFW, will give a presentation on Sierra bighorn lambs.

Free Activities
Hands-on activities, for people of all ages. Including classroom activities presented by Virginia Chadwick, Vice-President of the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Foundation. A Sierra bighorn video, produced for the Yosemite Nature Notes program, will be shown. For visitors who bring or purchase a t-shirt, a bighorn stenciling activity will also be offered.

Ewe Group Steve Yeager

Ewe group/Steve Yeager

Bighorn Recovery

The Sierra bighorn population has reached over 600 animals in recent years—a recovery from a low point of a little over 100 bighorn sheep around 1995. After suffering a setback with the heavy winter of 2016-17, all herds are rebounding, according to CDFW Sierra Bighorn Recovery Program director, Dr. Tom Stephenson, who states that the recovery of an endangered species, requires patience, perseverance and a degree of experimentation.


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