In a means to help reduce the deaths of bighorn sheep along U.S. Highway 95 near Walker Lake, the Nevada Department of Wildlife, joined by Nevada Bighorns Unlimited members and volunteers built the Wassuk Guzzler on May 11 on land belonging to the Hawthorne Army Depot.
Dedicated in memory of Doctor Craig L. Vandelist, M.D. “an avid outdoorsman mastering many sports such as mountain biking, hunting and kayaking”.
The guzzler is used to as a water collection device that collects and stores the water in tanks after rain and snowfall.
John Peterson, avid outdoorsman and staff member for the Hawthorne Army Depot explained that materials used for the guzzler build had to either be trucked or flown in due to its location.
The area around the guzzler is cleared of vegetation prior to the build then a trench is dug so that liners can be unrolled and draped over the berm and into trenches which will form a sloping basin to catch water and direct to the pipes for collection tanks below. The trenches are then back filled and rocks placed to help anchor the lining from wind and shrinkage from the cold as well as helping the disturbed area blend more naturally into the landscape.
Time will only tell if the Wassuk Guzzler build is successful in drawing the animals off the highway area to where water could be more plentiful.