Olancha Peak Herd Unit
Photos courtesy of Lucas Barth
In March 2013, the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Recovery Program carried out the first reintroduction of a new herd of Sierra bighorn in twenty-five years. Ten ewes and four rams from the Sawmill Canyon and Mount Langley herds were translocated to historic habitat near Olancha Peak. The new herd unit is the ninth of twelve areas that must be inhabited by bighorn in order for the species to be downlisted from “endangered” to “threatened.” Now that another link has been added to the chain of occupied habitat extending from Yosemite National Park to the bottom of the Owens Valley, the full recovery of Sierra bighorn seems closer than ever.