WSF Directing $7.815 Million for Wild Sheep

WSF Directing $7.815 Million for Wild Sheep

Bozeman, MT. – For its fiscal year 2023-24, the Wild Sheep Foundation’s (WSF)

will direct a record $7.815 Million for wild sheep conservation, management, and advocacy.

On August 31, WSF’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a record $1.6 Million in Grant-In-Aid funding requested through its chapter and affiliate network for wild sheep conservation and management projects.

“Our Grant-in-Aid allocations keep growing every year,” said Gray N. Thornton, President and CEO of the Wild Sheep Foundation. ” This $1.6M represents 68% of WSF’s budgeted $2.302 Million in total Grant-In-Aid for the fiscal year and 45% of our planned $3.495 Million in Mission Programs Funding in addition to state, provincial, and tribal conservation permits sold at the Foundation’s annual Sheep Show® convention.

Eighteen projects from the Yukon to Mexico and California to Nebraska were awarded grants, the largest single sum being $282,800. All projects will influence wild sheep populations in areas of critical need, including Stone’s and bighorn sheep studies in British Columbia, desert sheep population enhancement and predator and aoudad control in West Texas, domestic sheep grazing permit retirement in Colorado, the continuation of projects in Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and Nevada, and internationally, a hunter-based disease surveillance effort in Kyrgyzstan.

“These Grant-in-Aid funds are but one “bucket” of our total $7.815 Million Mission Programs Funding forecast for this year,” Thornton explained. ” This is a testament to the generosity of our members and industry partners, our Chapter and Affiliate network for identifying legacy projects for wild sheep, and our state, tribal, and provincial agency partners who request and receive these funds and do the work.”

In total, WSF will direct $2.302 Million toward wild sheep trap and translocations, test and remove programs, habitat improvement, and research. Another $1.192 Million will be invested in wild sheep advocacy, education, public relations, and grants to support its industry partners. Last year, WSF also raised and distributed $4.472 million to state, provincial, and tribal wildlife agencies to fund their wild sheep and wildlife programs by auctioning their conservation permits.

Thornton added, “We’re anticipating a similar result, if not more, from conservation permit sales at our 2024 Sheep Show® in Reno come January to round out our second year in a row of more than $7.5 Million directed to “put and keep wild sheep on the mountain®.”

Known as the Wild Sheep Economy, WSF has raised and distributed more than $6 Million annually each of the past six years to maintain and grow wild sheep populations. With a tightly controlled number of state, provincial, and tribal sheep permits available, there is no funding source other than the generosity of sportsmen and women and the companies that support them to help fill in the gaps and contribute the necessary funding to run these programs.

“This is incredible for an organization our size, Thornton concluded. “We’re proud to be the facilitators that help make putting and keeping more wild sheep on the mountain possible. More sheep equals more interest, advocacy, and opportunity, which we help turn into more sheep, which drives more funding.”

Full reporting can be found at this link.