Friday, August 10, 2018

Your Chance to Help California's Bighorn Sheep

This came through my email tonight and I thought it wise to share. Please read and if you can help, please do! Feel free to share with others.

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW), the Society for the Conservation of Bighorn Sheep (SCBS) and the National Park Service (NPS) are requesting help from volunteers to haul water to three big game drinkers (Kelso, Kerr, Vermin) within the Mojave Preserve during the weekend of August 17th-20th. All three drinkers are used by desert bighorn sheep along with many other species and due to the lack of rain this year all three drinkers are at risk of running dry before the end of summer.

We can use all the help  we can get to help layout hose, man the pumps and shuttle trucks with water tanks from the water truck to the drinkers. We'll have plenty of pumps and hoses but if anyone can bring a pickup with an empty bed, or an off-road water trailer, we can sure put you to good use as well. The Preserve is providing a water truck and water buffalo which combined can hold 3000 gallons. SCBS will have some 250 gallon cage tanks for the back of pickups but if you have your own, we'll use it. Extra ratchet straps are always helpful too.

If you have a large water trailer (or water truck!) that is best suited for on-road use, we can use you at the staging area to avoid tripping all the way back up to Baker for refills.  If you don't have a 4x4 but want to help, we can fit you in another truck as a passenger/spotter - be sure to let us know so we can make an effort to arrange it that way.

NPS and CDFW folks will start laying out some of the hoses on Friday (Aug 17th), if you're available to help please contact Debra and Ashley (emails below). Otherwise SCBS folks will be meeting at Camp Cady on Friday evening to prepare equipment, load equipment onto Big Red and cage tanks into volunteer trucks so that we are ready for an early start on Saturday to beat the heat. Show up in the afternoon or any time before 6 am Saturday. There are a few rooms in the bunkhouse but it will be hot and you might prefer camping out on a cot. There is plenty of space to spread out. On Saturday morning we will head from Camp Cady to Baker to load up on water (thanks to Baker Community Services.) Timing can be subject to delays but we should be at Baker around 7 am or so. If you are not inclined to camp at Camp Cady or you're a real early bird then you should plan to get to Baker about 7 am at the latest and watch for us.

Thank you for your time and if you are available to help all or any of these days (Aug 17-19th) please RSVP to the email addresses below:

Steve Marschke (SCBS): stevemarschke@gmail.com
John Roy (SCBS): johnandlindaroy@yahoo.com
Ashley Evans (CDFW): ashley.evans@wildlife.ca.gov
Debra Hughson (NPS): Debra_Hughson@nps.gov

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