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Sheepherding: Basque, Historic, Modern -Virtual Happy Hour Presentation

April 8 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm



Registration is required to join the ZOOM!   7 PM MOUNTAIN TIME, April 8th!

Enjoy your beverage of choice during this Virtual Happy Hour with guest speaker Mikie McDonnell, Rangeland Stewardship Specialist with the California Rangeland Trust.
It is no secret that the American Basque has a strong connection and history with the sheep industry. Delve a little deeper into the agricultural side with us. This talk focuses on the agricultural impacts of Sheepherding in the Western United States, the Basque connection to the sheep industry, and how this industry has evolved and adapted to modern times. Mikie is an expert in targeted grazing practices and land stewardship using sheep and has even spent significant time sheepherding in the Montana mountains ranges using a Basque wagon and methods.
Do you have specific questions you want answered? Email them to before the class and we will be sure to address them.
This event is FREE and open to the public. Registration is required. Event will be recorded and published.
More about our Guest Speaker, Mikie McDonnell

Growing up in San Luis Obispo, Ca on a ranch that was never my own unknowingly set the stage for the life of conservation work I lead today. The connection I still hold with every acre of that property that I had to leave in my early 20’s helps me to understand ranchers, grazing lease holders, agriculturalist and lovers of open space stories and those complexities that come along with them. I always considered myself somewhat of a “cowgirl”, helping out at brandings, raising livestock, always ready to jump on a horse. I had no real experience with sheep before being handed about 500 head, a sheep wagon, herding and guard dogs and a Tennessee Walker mare. I still am not sure if the rancher was just out of options or if he really wanted to give this girl a chance. Maybe a mixture of both. Before that summer in Montana, I had received an undergraduate Biology degree from Boise State University, had done some rangeland bird survey work around Idaho, and had made the decision to try my hand at Graduate School. I had started this summer job with more knowledge of the science and management processes for targeted grazing than I did about actually herding sheep. The hard lessons that I learned almost every day those two summers are ones I will never forget and always cherish. After receiving a Masters in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho, I took a cowboy/range monitoring job for a rancher out in the Pahsimeroi Valley, truly Gods country. After a failed attempt to create a permanent position through The Range Rider Program, I decided to take a job as an Americorp member at a land trust in the Wood River Valley later that fall. After creating a Pollinator Initiative Program that continues in community success, I was fortunate enough to receive a job offer from the California

 Rangeland Trust in Sacramento as their Rangeland Stewardship Specialist. This position has allowed me to combine all my passions and strengths and the fact that I get paid for it still amazes me! Though I reside in a large city, the ranges are still my home as my career takes me to all the ranches with conservation easements we have throughout the state of California. Though I am far away from the hillsides of Montana, being a shepherd is something that will always be alive within me.


April 8
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm




Basque Museum & Cultural Center
California Rangeland Trust