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habitat for non-humanity

Living Well

UI-Blaine Extension Tips

Noah’s Ark in the Sonoran Desert Why Sheep Are Sheared


“I want to protect the land for future generations and against future generations.� —Josiah Austin BY BALI SZABO


ast week I covered the effect of a Southwestern land reclamation effort on both sides of the border. This massive private effort Bali Szabo by Josiah and Valer Austin has revitalized the land’s greenery. The slow-release retention dams (trincheras and gabions) slowed erosion and topsoil loss and re-established plant life. With the loss of water and greenery comes the destruction of habitat for virtually all animals. A diverse habitat starts from the bottom up‌ from bacterial health up to cougars. A thorough, self-sustaining food chain starts small and gradually grows in size, both horizontally (numbers) and vertically (size). The existence of one depends upon the existence of the other. The same is true in human affairs. Just look at the importance of visitors to this Valley’s economy. The networks are not just biological; the tentacles extend to people. In Mexico, the villagers stopped building trincheras because the young were leaving to find work. The Mexican government now works with the villagers to help restore the land and so provide work and keep their populations at least stable. The Austins’ efforts have provided a lot of jobs because there’s a lot of work to do. Nearby ranchers are starting to build these rock dams and are seeing similar results. They are bragging about

Late afternoon in the Organ Pipe National Monument.Photo:

‘their’ woodpeckers, and even jaguars. They no longer shoot them on sight. What the Austins are doing can be replicated. All manner of organizations, state and NGOs, now come to roost here to observe and document the wildlife, the job generation or the altered grazing practices. These ranches have become laboratories. Photographers are setting up remote-control cameras to get pictures, especially at night. (Calvin Klein’s Obsession works like catnip, and animals large and small stop to revel in it, and even mate next to it. It’s definitely an aphrodisiac.) The one organization that obstructs the Austins is Homeland Security. They want their fence with a DMZ on both sides of it. They don’t want waterways, and could care less about animals trying to get around the fence to access water and food. No doubt they will also fight animal overpasses that allow for migration. U.S. Fish and Wildlife has helped by working to restore parcels on

its side of the fence abutting the Austins’ property. The Austins are hoping that governments everywhere will invest in this low-tech solution to revive an earth that can be revived. The animals here have been re-introduced, returned on their own or have taken refuge as if it was Noah’s Ark. Here’s a short list of some species types repopulating the area: Yaqui chubb and catfish and another dozen other species of fish; mud turtles, leopard frogs, songbirds, bats, raptors, Gould’s turkey, woodpeckers, the raccoon-like coati, hog-nosed skunk, mule deer, Coues white-tailed deer, black bears, bobcats and jaguars. Desert bighorn sheep and pronghorn are still a work in progress. For more details, go to CNN. com or tws

If you have question or comments, contact Bali at this e-mail:

heep grow wool continuously. If they are not sheared at least once a year, they become very stressed and uncomfortable, especially when it is hot and humid. Eventually, the wool will become soiled and matted, possibly unhealthy, and more difficult to remove. This is the main purposed for shearing sheep. Cutting or shaving the wool off of a sheep is called shearing. Shearing doesn’t hurt a sheep. It’s just like getting a haircut. However, shearing requires skill so that the sheep is shorn efficiently and quickly without causing cuts or injury to the sheep or shearer. Most sheep are sheared with electric shears or shearing machines. Some sheep are sheared manually with scissors or hand blades. While some farmers shear their own sheep, many

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hire professional sheep shearers. In many countries, including the United States, there is a growing shortage of qualified sheep shearers. Many states hold annual sheep-shearing schools. Sheep are usually sheared once per year, usually before lambing or in the spring before the onset of warm weather. Sheep with long fleeces are sometimes sheared twice a year. Feeder lambs are sometimes sheared to make them more comfortable during the summer. Shearing prior to lambing results in a cleaner environment for baby lambs. It also keeps the fleeces cleaner. For more information on Living Well visit your Blaine County Extension office at 302 First Avenue South in Hailey, phone: (208) 788-5585 or e-mail: blaine@ website: http://www. tws

Green Fall Tips from ERC


or fall cleaning, choose non-hazardous products to do the job. Collect unwanted hazardous products from around the house and garage and take them to the Ohio Gulch Transfer Station. Clean out closets and give or sell used items to thrift shops and resale shops. Recycle used oil, batteries, tires, appliances and yard waste. Burn only dry wood in your fireplace. Clean your chimney and have your furnace inspected every year. Winterize windows or replace with double-pane, thermal-break windows. Install storm doors. Use a rake instead of a power leaf-blower. Fertilize your garden and lawn with organic compost, not chemicals. Use chippers as an alternative to dumping or burning yard waste. Clean roof gutters and down-

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spouts of clogging leaves and debris. Pick up after your pets. Conserve energy by turning off lights when you leave the room. Turn off your computer when it’s not in use or when you leave the office. Know what the big energy users are in your home. Avoid engine idling—turn off your engine when parked for more than 30 seconds. Consider using biodiesel fuel in your diesel-powered car. Carpool, bus, walk or bike to work. Set the thermostat and water heater lower. Create your own backyard wildlife habitat. When camping, prevent pollution and leave nothing but tracks. Have a question or want to draft your own ERCbeat? Contact the Environmental Resource Center at or tws 726-4333







Senior Connection & Scoops Ice Cream Parlor Closed Until Oct. 23 We are finally getting our new kitchen! If you need information or assistance, call (208) 788-3468 and we will get back to you as soon as we can! There will be times of power outage due to construction, so please don’t give up calling us!!

Thank you to the entire community for all your support!

The Connection

721 3rd Ave. S., Hailey • • (208) 788-3468 

Th e W e e k l y S u n •

The crew at the home of Esther Boyd.

courtesy photo

Growing and Giving Campaign with SBG Growing and Giving is a campaign that takes place at various homes throughout Hailey, Bellevue and in Picabo on Saturday, October 20 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., with lunch at the garden from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. This year will be the second anniversary of the Growing and Giving campaign. The Sawtooth Botanical Garden is partnering with the Senior Connection and local landscaping companies to provide fall cleanup for seniors in need. Webb, Branching Out,

Nichols Landscaping, All Seasons, Evergreen Landscaping and the Sun Valley Garden Center will be working with volunteers to prune, weed, mulch and winterize the gardens of six community members who are not able to do this work on their own. This is a great opportunity for us to give back. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Sawtooth Botanical Garden at (208) 726-9358. There will be a lunch provided for all participants at the garden from 12:30–2:30 p.m.

Sage School Annual Fall Raffle Fundraiser The Sage School’s annual fall raffle fundraiser will include a grand prize of a full season pass to Baldy! Other amazing prizes include: a four-course dinner for six in your home created by chef Brent Barsotti with wines donated by Frenchman’s Gulch Winery; a wellness basket pack-

October 17, 2012

age; and a one-night stay, with meals, at the Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch. Tickets are $10 each, available at Grumpy’s, NourishMe or from any Sage School student. Drawing is the week of November 11. Info and tickets contact Mary Rau or call 720.6456.

October 17, 2012  

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