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Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund Desert Bighorn Sheep Guzzler Project

February 16, 2022
posted in: Conservation, News

Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund Desert Bighorn Sheep Guzzler Project
Desert National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada

Why a water guzzler? Nevada is the driest state in the nation. By the January 29, 2022, project date, this region had gone more than 270 days without precipitation (either rain or snow). The Desert National Wildlife Refuge is home to diverse flora and fauna, including desert bighorn sheep. Man-made water catchment guzzler sites provide critically-needed water for desert bighorn sheep and a host of other desert-dwelling wildlife species.

Partnerships: Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund (COF) and the Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) provided $25,000 to the Fraternity of the Desert Bighorn (FDB) in late calendar year 2020; FDB “matched” this $25,000 from an FDB donor. FDB and the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) selected the Desert National Wildlife Refuge (DNWR) #6 guzzler project to utilize COF/WSF funding. The original COF guzzler project had been delayed multiple times due to COVID restrictions on gatherings/group size, even though construction would occur outdoor.

What: A new guzzler project was built, including four 2,300-gallon H2O storage tanks, an approximately 3,200 ft2 collection apron, and a drinker (complete with small mammal escape ramps) that was cemented and rocked in, down-gradient from the storage tanks.

When: While NDOW & FDB flew in materials in advance of the January 29, 2022, build, more than 30 agency personnel & NGO volunteers (from FDB, WSF, USFWS, NDOW) entirely constructed this guzzler project in a single day.

Where: This guzzler was built in the heart of desert bighorn sheep habitat in the Desert (Mountain) Range, on the Desert National Wildlife Refuge.

How: Volunteers and agency personnel were ferried from the landing zone (LZ) to the worksite, where building materials, quick-set concrete, and necessary tools had previously been ferried in by helicopter. This brand-new guzzler system was entirely constructed in 12 hours.

Nevada’s Pintwater Range was figuratively named due to the lack of water in this region.

All material and personnel were ferried to the site via helicopter

Volunteers constructing the collection apron

A pad needed cleared, leveled, and lined with plywood for the H2O collection tanks

Setting the first of four 2,300-gallon collection tanks

Concrete was mixed on site to secure the steel drinker basin

Concreting in the drinker

Setting PVC piping between the collection apron and collection tanks to the drinker

Collection apron, water tanks, and drinker in place

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