More Raptor Roosts, 1990

More Raptor Roosts—1990

I began to think in terms of more than one sculpture on a site, and realized I would need help on larger sculptures and multi-sculpture projects. Who was likely to help? The Wyoming Game and Fish Department was an obvious choice. I talked to their local agents and administrators, who suggested I talk to the big guys at the state level. They gave me names, and I went visiting. For 18 months. Finally I found the education department, with a remarkably open-minded director in Dave Lockman, who agreed that my goals were very similar to their goals and they could help. We decided on a raptor roost. They identified the Shirley Basin Rest Area along Highway 287 between Laramie and Casper as a possibility, since it was state owned land. I was familiar with the site (the only public bathroom between the two cities, it is a popular stop) and remembered how windy it always is. So the theme for the “Wind” raptor roost was obvious—the metal sheets below the roosting branch, as well as the lower twisty branches, looked as if they had been blown across the prairie and stuck on the pole. I also created a variety of “branch pile sculptures” for the small wildlife garden at the Game and Fish headquarters building.
As I remember it, the process of getting permission, finding the right people, getting to know the crew who lived at the site (mostly snow-plow drivers & their families) and talking the highway department into installing the roost took about 8 months. Creating and installing the sculpture took 6 weeks.

"Wind" Raptor Roost, Shirley Basin, Wyoming, 1990

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