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As Drought Mounts, So Does Dollars for Wild Sheep

July 20, 2021
posted in: Conservation, News

At the Wild Sheep Foundation's (WSF) 13th Chapter and Affiliate Summit in Lewistown, Idaho (June 25 & 26), a hat was passed to raise money to bring water to drought-inflicted bighorn sheep herds in southern Nevada and elsewhere in the southern Rockies. By the end of the Summit, eighty-two thousand dollars was raised. This number is now up to an incredible $180,000 from generous WSF chapters, affiliates and individual WSF members.
"With all the negative banter these days about hunters and hunting by self-proclaimed and media-appointed conservation groups, I say get out your checkbook if you want to do something real for wildlife," said Gray N. Thornton, president and CEO of the Wild Sheep Foundation. "That's what sportsmen have been doing for more than a century, and that's what is happening here again for our wild sheep."
More than 70 delegates attended the annual Summit from throughout WSF's Chapter and Affiliate network, encompassing North America, Africa, Europe, and Central Asia. When presented with the dire situation in Nevada, without hesitation, pledges started rolling in.
"We see this time and again," Thornton explained. "If there is a more giving group ready to make things happen than sheep hunters and those that just love seeing wild sheep, I'd like to meet them."
The money being raised will be used to fly water via helicopter into dry water entrapment stations throughout southern Nevada. These water catch stations were built with sportsmen dollars for the area's sheep herds, but all local wildlife benefit from what typically is a reliable water source. As effective as these stations are, they need rain to fill them, and precipitation this year has been well below average, leaving many stations completely dry.
Since the Summit, more WSF Chapters & Affiliates have made their financial commits to this relief effort, and by all accounts, they're not done yet.

Anyone interested in contributing to this effort should contact the Wild Sheep Foundation at 406-404-8750 or

The Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF), based in Bozeman, Mont., was founded in 1977 by wild sheep conservationists and enthusiasts. With a membership of more than 10,000 worldwide, WSF is the premier advocate for wild sheep and other mountain wildlife and their habitats. WSF has raised and expended more than $135 million on wild sheep habitat and population enhancements, education, and conservation advocacy programs in North America, Europe, and Asia to “Put and Keep Wild Sheep on the Mountain®.” These and other efforts have increased bighorn sheep populations in North America from historic lows in the 1950-60s of 25,000 to more than 85,000 today.

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