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Notes about your surroundings

Bighorn Help--The Society for the Conservation of Bighorn Sheep is looking for volunteers to assist in the construction of environmental water storage and drinking devices in the federal California Desert Conservation Area boundaries.

Dedicated to desert habitat improvement, the bighorn sheep society works in cooperation with the state Department of Fish and Game wildlife biologists. Over the past 25 years, volunteers have constructed more than 70 man-made drinking devices, called big-game guzzlers, throughout the desert from the U.S.-Mexico border to the High Sierra.

On Saturday, volunteers are needed to construct a big-game guzzler in the Chocolate Mountains in Imperial County. The water-storage systems will be buried underground to give the unit an environmentally clean look. Only the drinking units are visible.

Volunteers also are needed on the weekend of Feb. 25 for a larger project. Drinkers in the Whipple Mountains in San Bernardino County were damaged by recent flash floods.

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On Feb. 24, volunteers will camp on desert lands near the Whipple Mountains, just west of Parker Dam. The next day, crews will be driven most of the distance to the drinkers but, because of restricted access in the conservation boundaries, participants must hike about half a mile into the desert to reach work sites.

Once work is completed, workers will return to camp for evening campfire activities and another overnight stay. Everyone will leave the campsite early the next morning.

Several other desert wildlife projects will be held throughout the year. Those interested in volunteering for either of the opportunities listed above or getting general information should contact the Society for the Conservation of Bighorn Sheep at (213) 256-0463.


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