2017 SWF September Newsletter

Fall Begins and the 20th Anniversary of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation!

The cooper's hawk that arrived in August emaciated, was able to be released in September.  A common nighthawk which came in with an unknown injury and a house finch who flew into a window and was stunned were both also able to be released.

Four different owls came into the care of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation in September.  A great horned owl arrived after being hit by a car and had soft tissue damage to a wing.  It is unable to fly and is still in rehabilitation.  Another great horned owl brought in by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) with a concussion is also still in rehabilitation.  A burrowing owl came in with a bad concussion and temporarily blindness.  Its vision is returning and is improving.  A saw whet owl brought to us after it flew into window and obtained a bad concussion is improving also.  We hope to be able to release all of these owls in the next month or so.

We had a couple ringneck doves brought in.  One was hit by a car and another had a broken wing.  They were both too badly injured and had to be euthanized.  Ringneck doves are common, but are not actually a native species.

Fall marks migration time for many birds and other animals so be cautious when driving, especially during the morning and evening hours.  Remember large birds may be in or near the road feeding on road kill and if they eat too much, they won't be able to take off or move quickly out of your way.  Also watch for deer crossing the road heading toward winter feeding grounds.  Drive a little slower during these times so you have time to stop or slow down if needed.

The Southwest Wildlife Foundation was founded on September 29th, 1997.  That means that September 29th, 2017 marked the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation!  This is an exciting milestone, especially with all the progress that has and is being made recently with the SWF and at the Cedar Canyon Nature Park.

Just in the past couple of years, thanks to the hard work and dedication of new Board Members, partners and volunteers, the SWF designed and came out with brand new brochures, a brand new website, formed volunteer committees, updated our Master Plan for the CCNP, acquired the funding for the Information Destination restroom facility, and formed new, valuable partnerships!  For those of you who have been following the construction of the Information Destination, this past month has been full of progress!   Volunteers from a variety of organizations in our community, including Southern Utah University (SUU) students and youth from Discovery Ranch for Girls and Renewed Hope Ranch for Girls, came out to help with caulking, taping, painting, and applying visqueen to the interior walls in preparation for insulation.  Volunteers from our Construction and Development Committee helped blow in the insulation, sheath the interior walls, paint the ceilings and puzzle together our sandstone facade.  Volunteers poured the concrete pad around the Information Destination as well as the pathways.  Stamps were provided to set some native animal prints in the concrete, railroad ties were donated, transported, stacked, cut and secured by volunteers to create planter beds, rocks were removed and dirt and wood chips were raked.  We cannot thank the countless volunteers that have made this construction what it is!  Your hard work and passion has created a beautiful building for the community to enjoy for centuries to come!

In addition to the countless hours of work put in this month by volunteers, Big D Specialties LLC did a beautiful job finishing the siding, Hahn Electrical Services took care of all of our electrical needs except for the solar tubes inside the restrooms that were provided by D&D Electric.  Summit Valley Plumbing installed all of the plumbing and plumbing fixtures, while Imperial Window & Door, Inc. provided and installed our metal doors.  You won't want to miss stopping by to take a look at all of our beautiful informational signs that Rainbow Sign & Banner put together for us!  These are all local companies who did a marvelous job and we appreciate them!  A special thank you as well goes out to our General Contractor, Roger Thomas from Choice Builder's who worked with us and was so flexible and willing to allow volunteers to do as much as possible, while also being so professional dealing with our subs.  Another amazing local business.  As always, The Home Depot in Cedar City worked so hard to donate as much material as they could to help us cut costs and keep our budget in check!  

A special 20th Anniversary Celebration took place on Friday, September 29th, and we couldn't resist also having a beautiful memorial bench placed for Bobbie Long whose love of all living things prompted her daughters to donate towards the creation of our native plant garden, and special ribbon cutting ceremony for our Information Destination the same day!  Etch n' Carved did an amazing job with the bench and the Cedar City Chamber of Commerce were so kind to provide us with the ribbon and scissors for the special ribbon cutting ceremony!  Though to some this may be just a restroom, it represents the beginning of huge strides forward in the development of the Cedar Canyon Nature Park, which in turn means the continuation of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation and its mission for generations to come! 

The celebration also included a special bird of prey program by our Founder and the Director of Wildlife Resources for the Foundation, Martin Tyner with our wildlife ambassadors, Scout the golden eagle, Cirrus the prairie falcon and BG the goshawk.  As always, Martin's program was awe inspiring, educational and full of laughs.  If you have not had the amazing opportunity to attend one of his programs or read his book, Healer of Angels, you really should make time!  You will not be disappointed!  Musicians Kimberlee Baldwin, David Shafer and Tish performed in our final campfire concert of the 2017 season, Dr. Jackie Grant provided a special bat program after the music, youth volunteers with the Youth Volunteer Corp provided free face painting for the kids, and gear donations from Utah Canyon Outdoors, Thermarest and Marmot raised $300 in donations for the SWF through our silent auction!  Thanks to Alysen Tarrant for letting us use her photos of the ribbon cutting, Martin and BG from his bird of prey program, and the ribbon on the Information Destination.
Our work does not end with the completion of the Information Destination.  We will be working on the grading and paving of the trail head from the parking area to our green bridge at the beginning of October.  We also have plans to run electrical and plumbing from our Information Destination to our campfire area to provide convenient access to electrical outlets and water for future events. 

A 20ft x 60ft mobile office is being donated to the SWF which is going to be fixed up and used as our first Visitor Center at the CCNP!  This building will provide us with an additional restroom, offices and a large area for educational displays and retail.  Having this facility provides security to the park, makes it possible for us to begin training educators, and will allow us to begin moving our rescue and rehabilitation work to the CCNP.  We are so excited for this huge step forward!  We plan to have this facility operational around the middle of next year!  As many of you know, we have blueprints for an amazing 4,000 sq. ft. Visitor Center and Natural History Museum that we are currently raising money for.  Once the funding is acquired and the big Visitor Center is built, this smaller facility will be used as our Wildlife Triage Lab and rehabilitation offices.  We are so grateful to Gilbert Development and Alysen Tarrant who have made acquiring this building possible, and to our other awesome Construction & Development Committee members, Roy Tryon, Ben Herring and Roger Thomas, who are helping make our big Visitor Center a reality! 

We would also like to thank our many donors who are so generous with donations through our website, through material donations, checks, fundraisers and grants.  We have already received $13,250 dedicated to the construction of our Visitor Center and have another $10,000 pledged.  We have a lot more to raise, but with the amazing support of so many, we have no doubt that this dream will become a reality in the next few years.

Other projects we are working on or are in the planning stages include finishing fencing in our rehabilitation yard, a waterwheel, Historic Reservoir Outdoor Theater, Waterfall Bridge, Eagle Flight Cage and Raptor Critical Care Center, a reptile house, aviaries, small mammal habitats and large mammal habitats for non-releasable wildlife.  Follow us on our website and social media pages for upcoming events and progress reports!
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