Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Sycuan Donates to Bighorn Sheep Conservation Fund


Last updated 7/12/2022 at 9:09am

Evan McGinnis

(L to R): Chairman of the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Nation Cody Martinez, ABF's Development Specialist Karin Eugenio, ABF's Education Director Oliver Goodman, Colorado Desert District Superintendent Ray Lennox, Fish and Wildlife Representative Tim Dillingham, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Senior Environmental Scientist Danny McCamish and Vice Chairman of the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Nation Joshua Muse.

The Sycuan Casino and Resort has donated $25,000 to Anza-Borrego Foundation that will be used to launch a Peninsular Bighorn Sheep Conservation Fund.

The donated funds come at a time when bighorn sheep are facing survival challenges due to several years of Drought.

ABF made the announcement following the June 9 check presentation at the resort following the 2022 Sycuan Cup Celebration and Award Ceremony.

"As you may know, the park's Peninsular Bighorn Sheep population is facing many challenges due to the severe Drought and lack of recent rainfall. We have exciting news in our progress to protect Anza-Borrego Desert State Park's iconic and namesake species," announced ABF.

As a result of the donation, ABF will establish and seek additional donations to the Peninsular Bighorn Sheep Conservation Fund.

The fund will be used to support park conservation efforts of the endangered species.

"Working together with the Park, we will see that the Peninsular Bighorn Sheep Conservation Fund is used to support strategies outlined in the current federal recovery plan as well as supporting the changing needs of the Peninsular Bighorn Sheep from impacts of climate change and additional habitat loss within the Park," said the ABF announcement.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park encompasses more than 50 percent of the bighorn sheep's habitat. The conservation fund will provide financial support for critical projects to protect the sheep, estimated to number about 700 within Anza-Borrego.

Anza-Borrego Foundation is the official non-profit partner of the desert park and for 55 years has been dedicated to protecting and advocating for California's largest state park through land acquisition, education, and direct park support.

During that time, ABF has provided more than $35 million in land, programming, and direct cash support.

"We are very proud to say that we have been able to respond to 100% of the park's fiscal requests. Help us continue to support the park by donating to the Peninsular Bighorn Sheep Conservation Fund," ABF said.

Last year, efforts were made to provide water for sheep in areas where the lack of rainfall had prevented wildlife guzzlers from filling up as they normally would during winter rains.

Funds raised through donations could be used to help with habitat and water restoration projects.

Sycuan was praised for donation at the ceremony.

"Together, with donors like you, we're making a difference in California's desert wilderness: an often misunderstood or overlooked resource that is rich with life, history, education opportunities, unique recreation and more," said ABF. "We invite all of you to learn more about what Anza-Borrego Foundation is working on in partnership with the State including, new public education programming, conservation and more. We could not achieve our goals without you, our fellow desert lovers."

Donations to the Peninsular Bighorn Sheep Conservation Fund can be made online at the ABF website, Click on the Donate button.