The Bighorn Sheep Restoration Project Status update for 12/4 to 12/17 is now available (all updates are currently available here). Two reported mortalities – the death of ewe 435 by a mountain lion and ewe 649 who is now presumed dead (a malfunctioning collar delayed confirmation of this mortality – the helicopter survey observed bones near 649’s last position). On 12/3 a helicopter survey of the Bighorn population was conducted – 15 sheep and 1 lamb were spotted – the survey was conducted without the use of the GPS data from the collars to help establish an observation rate for future years/surveys.
Mt. Lemmon firefighters face unique challenges in the snow – Christina Myers – KGUN9: Interesting details about the winter challenges/duties of the Firefighters with the Mt. Lemmon Fire District – “the most frequent calls in the snow are for hypothermia, people slipping on ice and falling over the edge, and sledding accidents.”
Man falls, injured while hiking in Seven Falls – Brent Corrado – KGUN9: “A man was injured after slipping and falling while hiking in Seven Falls on Sunday morning.”
Coronado Passes and Permits – Annual and Daily Passes for Coronado National Forest are now available for purchase online. When you are purchasing a pass you can either select a ‘self-print’ option or have the pass mailed to you (currently shipping costs start at 4.95) – a $1.95 convenience fee is added per permit (there are a number of self-pay stations (cash and correct change needed) on the mountain where day passes can be purchased without printing/shipping/convenience fee – additional information on fees can be found on the Coronado National Forest Passes and Permits Page). Interagency Annual Passes (which covers standard fees at Forest Service, National Park and BLM sites) and Notice of Required Fee resolution are also available online. Note that most trailheads in the Santa Catalina Mountains do NOT require a fee.
Arizona Game And Fish – materials from meetings of the Catalina Bighorn Sheep Reintroduction Project Advisory Committee: Arizona Game and Fish recently released meeting notes for the Santa Catalina Bighorn Sheep Reintroduction Advisory Committee meetings in response to a public records request (see Catalina Bighorn Sheep Advisory Committee – Meeting Notes, Public Records Request for more details) – this AZGF page has the notes (as PDFs) and additional information including some responses to criticisms/questions the release of the notes generated.
Presumed death of bighorn brings criticism of state’s tracking – Craig Reck – Tucson News Now: Concerns about counting/tracking sheep in the Santa Catalina Mountains.
Warming trend begins – Arizona Daily Star.