Desert Bighorn Council
Desert Bighorn Council

About Us






The Desert Bighorn Council is comprised of wildlife professionals from natural resource agencies, organizations, and research and academic institutions from seven western states and Mexico.

Primary Council Objectives

To provide for the exchange of information on the needs and management of the desert bighorn through meetings and published transactions, by means of which new or important information, ideas, techniques, and problems can be presented and discussed by council members.

To stimulate and coordinate studies in all phases of the life history, ecology, management and protection, recreational and economic values of desert bighorn, including studies of wildlife species that may be detrimental to desert bighorn.

To provide a clearinghouse of information among all agencies, organizations and individuals professionally engaged in work on desert bighorn, through the appointment of work committees, the preparation of bibliographies and abstracts, and related methods when desirable and feasible.

To function in a professional advisory capacity, where appropriate, on local, national, and international questions involving management and protection of desert bighorn, and to adopt such measures as shall tend to promote the advancement of knowledge concerning desert bighorn and the long- range welfare of these animals.


The Council is comprised of wildlife biologists, scientists, administrators, managers, and others interested in the welfare of desert bighorn. Any individual engaged or interested in management, protection, or scientific study of the desert bighorn is encouraged to join. Dues are $20, collected every other year (in April of odd-numbered years, when the DBC meeting is held), and include one copy of the most recent DBC Transactions. You can join by returning a completed membership form  (with a check made out to Desert Bighorn Council) to:

          Erin Butler, DBC Secretary
          Arizona Game and Fish Department
          5000 W. Carefree Highway
          Phoenix, AZ 85086

Membership Form_23-25.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [188.6 KB]

Biennial Meetings

Biennial meetings are held in April of odd-numbered years, somewhere in the range of the desert bighorn, with the actual location rotating among the seven U.S. states inhabited by wild populations of desert bighorn (Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, California) and Mexico. Up to 100 people generally attend the meetings in order to exchange information and take action on matters pertaining to desert bighorn management and welfare. Technical papers are presented by researchers and managers working with bighorn populations, and status reports are given by a representative from each state's wildlife agency estimating current population numbers, harvest numbers and general population welfare. In conjunction with each meeting, a field trip is taken to observe a nearby population of desert bighorn sheep and their surrounding habitat. Click Here for information about the next Desert Bighorn Council meeting. Further details concerning these meetings may also be obtained by writing the council's current Secretary:

          Erin Butler, DBC Secretary
          Arizona Game and Fish Department
          5000 W. Carefree Highway
          Phoenix, AZ 85086


Proceedings of the biennial meetings are published under the title: Desert Bighorn Council Transactions. To submit an article to the DBC Transactions, please Click Here to read more about the official Transactions.


Digital copies of the DBC Transactions are available for free on this website.  Click Here to download or print a digital copy of past volumes.

Technical Staff

In 1960 the Council appointed a technical staff to compile all pertinent knowledge on the ecology and management of desert bighorn sheep. As a result of this work, in 1980 the Council published a book "The Desert Bighorn, Its Life History, Ecology and Management. " This book provides a comprehensive review of desert bighorn ecology and management.


The technical staff currently serves as the Council's official voice by providing written input for planning documents, legislative proposals, and actions on public lands that could affect desert bighorn sheep or their habitat. The technical staff can be contacted by writing the technical staff chairman (address below) or Click Here for additional contact information for technical staff and officers:


     Pat Cummings (Chair)

     Nevada Department of Wildlife (Retired)


     Phone: (702) 286-6437

     Address: 5309 Palm Leaf Ct

                    Las Vegas, Nevada 89131

Representative Council Resolutions and Actions

1963:  Passed resolution opposing the introduction of exotic ungulates without thorough environmental analysis.


1967:  Passed resolution endorsing retention of desert bighorn habitat in Public Domain under the Classification and Multiple Use Act.


1981:  Passed resolution encouraging the state of Texas to re-initiate the Texas desert bighorn re-establishment program.


1990:  Developed and published a set of guidelines for management of domestic sheep in bighorn habitat.


1996 :  Passed resolution opposing propagation of desert bighorn by interspecies embryo transfer using domestic ewes.

Council Awards



When the Council Awards Committee determines that an individual or group has made outstanding contributions to the knowledge and welfare of desert bighorn, an award is presented at the Desert Bighorn Council meeting honoring that accomplishment. Three awards are currently given: The Ram Award (Bighorn Trophy), The Honor Plaque, and The Award of Excellence.  For information about past award recipients, please Click Here.


In addition to these periodic awards, the Council provides funding to those working on desert bighorn research projects. Please click on the following for more information:  Desert Bighorn Council Memorial Scholarship (In honor of: Charles Hansen, Ralph Welles, Robert Campbell, and Dick Weaver). All proposals for funding must be submitted in writing by February 1st (during meeting years) to the Chair of the Technical Staff (below).  Awards will be announced at the business meeting during the Council conference


Pat Cummings

5309 Palm Leaf Ct.

Las Vegas, NV. 89131

Phone: (702) 286-6437


Banner Photo Credit:

Michael T. Pittman




All drawings by 

Pat Hansen© 

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