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WSF Holds Chapter and Affiliate Summit


May 26, 2022

Bozeman, Montana. May 25, 2022. The Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) and its Chapters and Affiliates recently concluded a two-day summit in San Antonio, TX. The meetings were hosted by WSF Affiliate, the Texas Bighorn Society.

"Leaders and delegates of our chapter and affiliate network convene every year in a one-tent, one-campfire gathering to address challenges and opportunities for wild sheep conservation across North America and internationally," said Gray N. Thornton, President and CEO of the Wild Sheep Foundation. "You just don't get the same energy from emails and Zoom as when we're all together in one room pulling on the same rope, and energy and collaboration are what our wild sheep need."

WSF has thirty-eight chapters and affiliates from Alaska to Mexico and California, east as far as Pennsylvania. This year's Summit welcomed representatives from nineteen wild sheep organizations. Among successes achieved in recovering bighorn and desert bighorn and managing and protecting Dall's and Stone's sheep, emphasis was given to pathogen/disease transmission from domestic to wild sheep.

Thornton said, "Die-offs from disease are the elephant in the room right now. We are encouraged by strategies, policies, regulations, and legislation being implemented, to keep wild and domestic sheep separated on the landscape. Investments in science are also paying dividends in animal-side rapid testing, so we know which individuals among both wild and domestic sheep are carriers."

Dr. Kate Huyvaert, WSF's new Rocky Crate chair at Washington State University's School of Veterinary Medicine, was presented with a check from WSF for $50,000 to further her research on animal-side testing.

Another highlight was showing a recently produced film titled Team Bighorn, which documents a recent bighorn sheep capture, testing, and GPS collaring of rams and ewes along Idaho's Salmon River. The film was sponsored by the Idaho Wild Sheep Foundation, the Midwest Chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation, and WSF. You can watch the film at this link to see what money and manpower are doing for wild sheep in Idaho.

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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 $136 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. www.wildsheepfoundation.org.

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