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Volunteers Needed for Bighorn Sheep Survey March 3 and 4

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February 03, 2012 03:53PM
Volunteers Needed for Bighorn Sheep Survey March 3 and 4
Release Date: Feb 3, 2012

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., February 3, 2012— Volunteers are needed on March 3 and 4 (Saturday evening and all day Sunday) to assist in an annual bighorn sheep survey in the San Gabriel Mountains, conducted by the California Department of Fish and Game, US Forest Service, and the Society for Conservation of Bighorn Sheep.

No survey experience is necessary to participate but volunteers must attend a mandatory orientation on Saturday, March 3, at 6:00p.m. at Verdemont Community Center and Library in San Bernardino. Volunteers will then reconvene early Sunday morning, March 4, to hike with expert representatives to designated observation sites in the San Gabriel Mountains to count and record bighorn sheep.

Participants must be at least 16 years old and capable of hiking one mile in rugged terrain, although some survey routes are longer. In general, hikes will not be along trails and accessing survey points will involve scrambling over boulders, climbing up steep slopes, and/or bush-whacking through chaparral.

We highly recommended volunteers bring binoculars or spotting scopes in addition to hiking gear. Mountain weather can be unpredictable and participants should be prepared to spend several hours hiking and additional time making observations in cold and windy weather.

For those who wish to camp, complimentary campsites will be available to volunteers on a first come, first served basis at the Applewhite Campground in Lytle Creek on the night of March 3.

To sign up online, visit http://www.sangabrielbighorn.org or call (626) 574-5287 or (909) 382-2870 to receive a volunteer packet.

The Society for the Conservation of Bighorn Sheep, California Department of Fish and Game, and the Forest Service have conducted surveys for bighorn sheep in the San Gabriel range annually since 1979. The mountain range once held an estimated 740 sheep, which made the San Gabriel population the largest population of desert bighorn sheep in California. The bighorn population declined over 80% through the 1980s but appears to be on the increase with recent estimates yielding approximately 400 animals.

Volunteers Needed for Bighorn Sheep Survey March 3 and 4

Rick2029February 03, 2012 03:53PM

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