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Fauna Series No. 6








Life History





Fauna of the National Parks — No. 6
The Bighorn of Death Valley
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Here are the names of some of the people without whose help this survey and this report would not have been made. On behalf of "Old Mama," "The Hook," "Little Fuzzy," and all the other bighorn in the world, we would like to express appreciation to the following:

Principal Biologist Lowell Sumner, of the National Park Service, without whose wisdom, encouragement, constant support, and editorial assistance this study might not have progressed beyond its initial stages; Dorr Yeager, without whose sponsorship we might never have been in the National Park Service at all; Regional Director Lawrence C. Merriam and Regional Chief of Interpretation Bennett T. Gale for that often intangible but always necessary acceptance which can be found only in "the Region"; Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Daniel B. Beard, himself a biologist, who actively supported and made possible the publication of this report.

Former Superintendent Fred Binnewies, without whose support this study would never have become an official National Park Service project and would have bogged down at Badwater; and Superintendent Granville B. Liles, who carried on where Fred left off.

Park Planner C. Gordon Fredine, through whose efforts the Desert Bighorn Council was established.

Former Chief Ranger Lou Hallock for his work with the 1955 census.

Ranger Matt Ryan for his intelligent inquiring mind, his faithful reports, and his enormous energy, without which we might still know nothing about Twin Springs and Blackwater. And to Rosemary a special necklace of "black pearls."

Bob and Besse Carr for their steady hand at the tiller through the turbulent fiscal seas.

All the National Park Service staff, with special thanks for assistance beyond the call of duty to Park Naturalist Bill Bullard, Ranger-Naturalists Dave Ochsner, Ro Wauer, Ed Menning, Bob Badaracco; Rangers Lee Shackleton and Tom Monroe; and Mike Fahrner, who told us that the Badwater bighorn had finally after 6 years returned to "eating the softer rocks" at Badwater Bay.

The many geologists of the U.S. Geological Survey, whose reports from the back country have filled so many gaps in this story—Hal Drewes, Wayne Hall, Wayne Ross, Don Mabie, and particularly Jim McAllister for his special report of the ram's "conversation" with him in the Red Amphitheater.

Charlie and Alice Hunt, whose assistance in this project has filled so large a gap that it can scarcely be measured in the time and space at our disposal here.

The staff of the U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife at the Desert Game Range, particularly Oscar V. Deming, Lloyd and Estelle McKibben, Newell Morgan, Lydia Berry, Jim Burnham, Clair Aldous, Ged Devan, John Van den Akker, and Dr. Charles Hansen.

Fred Jones, adviser and stanch supporter, Richard ("Bee Seep") Weaver, Vern Burandt, and Gene Gerdes of the California Department of Fish and Game.

Harold Elliott, whose suggestions and generous enthusiasm for our first bungling efforts with long lenses helped so much to prepare us for this work.

Dr. Gertrude Cavins and Dr. Carl Duncan and their West Coast Nature School.

The New York Zoological Society and Dr. Helmut K. Buechner.

Leonard Penhale and the California State Division of Beaches and Parks.

The botanists, Curator Roxana S. Ferris, Dr. Wallace R. Ernst, and Dr. John Thomas, for their encouragement and help in the field, but especially for the permanent installation in the Dudley Herbarium at Stanford University of the specimen collection of bighorn forage plants used during this study.

The miners and prospectors throughout the back country for their interest and cooperation, especially Jim Gill, the foreman of the Pussy Cat mine, and Bob Fordham, Charlie Hammock, "Red" Amey, and George ("Mountain Mover") Ishmael.

Cecil Godfrey for his daily patrol of Furnace Creek Wash.

Ben and Millie Keeney for their vigil at Travertine Point.

Mike Vaniman for his long hours at Badwater.

The countless visitors to Death Valley National Monument who caught the spirit and made many reports that we otherwise would never have had.

And Amy.

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Last Modified: Thurs, May 16 2002 10:00:00 pm PDT

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