- How did you get involved with the National Bighorn Sheep Center (NBSC)? When Bill and I moved to Dubois in 2015, Carolyn Gillette told us about the Center and its needs for volunteers. I was retired from teaching at the time and needed to fill my days with meaningful activities. I started volunteering at the Sheep Center shortly after we moved here. About a year after that, Bruce Thompson asked me to join the board in 2016.
- What do you like most about being on the NBSC Board? Being a part of the board was a little out of my comfort zone. At first I was intimidated by the knowledge of all the other members, but over time, as I learned more about the Center’s mission, I felt like I was a small piece in the conservation of the sheep. I had a voice to share in the education about sheep and their need for conservation.
- What has been one of the most impactful experiences you have had in “wild spaces” and with wildlife? Why? One Thanksgiving, my family took a ride out to Torrey Valley to see the sheep. It was during the rut, of which I had no idea what was involved. We came upon the herd, and the males were doing the usual sniffing, rubbing, and stare downs. We stayed for about 30 minutes watching the performance, when two rams got into position to hit. The sound was so loud and echoed for a second or two. That moment was what hooked me into really wanting to do my part to keep this herd going.
- To you, why is conservation education important? And how do you see us ‘moving the needle’ around “wild sheep, wildlife, and wild spaces” conservation? As a former teacher, I’ll always feel that conservation education is important. Without it, people, like myself before I moved here, have no idea what is happening to our animals and their habitats. A lot of adults and children can become interested in conservation by touring the center, and direct education is very impactful. Borrowing education trunks, visits to schools from staff, and classes through the center are all great ways to spread the word about conservation. What I think is a strong way to get future conservationists hooked is by immersing them in the habitat where the wildlife live. The summer camp is one of the best ways to get kids passionate about sheep and the environment. They are essentially experiencing the terrain, food, and some of the challenges that the bighorn sheep encounter, making it real and tangible.
- What advice do you have for the next generation looking to get involved in conservation? This is what guides me to take part in conservation: Think about the first time you encountered wildlife or a habitat that took your breath away. Remember how excited you were to share that experience with someone else. Without conservation, it won’t be there to share with future generations. It won’t be there for others to get to feel the way you felt. Small things can make a big difference, do what you can to take part…just take part!
- Is there anything else you would like to share with us about yourself and your journey towards conservation? I would just like to thank those who lead me toward a passion for conservation, Carolyn Gillette, Bruce Thompson, Sara Domek, Karen Sullivan, Sara Bridge, and most of all, my husband Bill. Without their dedication for the Sheep Center and the sheep, I would not have had the experiences and education that I’ve had, and be able to pass it on to the next generation!
NATIONAL BIGHORN SHEEP CENTER
Providing education and outreach for the national conservation of wild sheep, wildlife, and wildlands
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P.O. Box 1435 (Mailing Address)
10 Bighorn Lane (Physical Address)
Dubois, WY 82513
EMAIL: [email protected]