Twenty wild bighorn sheep were recently found dead near Grand Forks. They have determined the sheep died from bluetongue, also known as epizootic hemorrhagic disease, a virus caused by mites which has no specific treatment.
Though the catastrophic loss of cherished wildlife is indeed unfortunate, it does not affect the habitat value of SILT’s conservation properties. In fact, this occurrence highlights the importance of acquiring and maintaining quality wildlife habitats in places where wildlife may thrive. It will take time for the Grand Forks bighorn sheep herd to recover.
In the meantime, SILT will remain committed to managing its Grand Forks Grasslands property to benefit wild sheep and other wildlife. SILT looks forward to cooperating further with its conservations partners, including the Wild Sheep Society of BC, to help the Grand Forks bighorn sheep herd recover as quickly as possible.
Photo: BC Wild Sheep Society
SILT has an agreement to purchase 109 hectares (270 acres) of rare grassland habitat near Grand Forks. We need to raise $117,000 this month! Please help create another lasting legacy for wildlife. Click here to DONATE. Every dollar matters! Donations are tax deductible.
DL 492 is open, rolling hills of bunchgrass interspersed with patches of trembling aspen-rose thickets. The property is year-round habitat for a healthy herd of 200-300 California bighorn sheep. Rams and ewes of all ages use the land. It is also excellent winter and spring range for mule deer and white-tailed deer. Several species-at-risk occur, including rattlesnake, gophersnake, spadefoot toad, tiger salamander and badger.
The Grand Forks (Gilpin) sheep herd has provided decades of first-class hunting and excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. Your donation will help ensure that undeveloped, productive habitat is protected forever. SILT welcomes and encourages non-mechanized public access for wildlife- and nature-related recreation on all its conservation properties. DONATE HERE
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