Known for his generous gestures where Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is concerned, Jimmy Gosdin literally delivered the goods again this summer.
Gosdin, owner of Gosdin’s Dozer Service Inc. in nearby Rainbow, donated a skid steer to Fossil Rim in August. A skid steer is a small, rigid-frame, engine-powered machine with lift arms used to connect a wide variety of labor-saving tools or attachments.
Fossil Rim Project Manager Louis Pienaar sees the new addition as a huge boost for what the park staff can accomplish on a daily basis.
“A skid steer is one of the handiest pieces of equipment that you could have,” Pienaar said. “We’ve been wanting one for about 10 years to help with all of the work that we do. You can get a bunch of attachments for it to work on trenching, hole drilling, using the bucket, maintaining roads and ditches, cleaning out animal sheds, moving hay, sweeping the paved roads – the possibilities are endless for what you can do with this little machine. Up until now, we just haven’t had the resources to get one, so we would always rent one on a short-term basis, which is very expensive.
“When I came to the United States (from South Africa), I was told, ‘If you’re sweating, you’re using the wrong tools.’ The skid steer is the right tool. This is now the most versatile piece of equipment we have, especially because of all the attachments you can use with it.”
Pienaar said he will look to coworker Jerry Monroe to perform most of the staff training to operate the skid steer.
“This is a very easy piece of equipment to operate, so I’m looking for everyone in the support department to be able to operate it,” he said. “We have to take good care of something we’ve waited this long for, so we’ll have training to make sure we use it responsibly. Animal care (staff) currently cleans out (animal) sheds manually, because they can’t get in there with a backhoe. This is small enough to be able to do that.”
Pienaar also said the natural resources department is riding high at the prospect of utilizing this new tool.
“A lot of our pastures are getting overgrown with the (Ashe) juniper trees, and this has an attachment that essentially acts as a big pair of scissors,” he said. “Our natural resources department is very excited about that aspect of the skid steer’s use; they can start cleaning up pastures and clearing out the invasive species. In regard to composting, this is an ideal machine for them to turn the compost piles.”
Fossil Rim Natural Resources Manager Caitlin Pyle was giddy the day the skid steer arrived.
“Gosdin’s Dozer Service was generous enough to donate this skid steer, and it’s going to be a huge game changer for Fossil Rim – especially for the support services, natural resources and animal care departments,” Pyle said. “In the past, we had to sometimes make due with equipment that wasn’t the best option, or find money to rent machinery and then cram all projects into that rental period. This fantastic donation from Jimmy is going to help us with time management and efficiency. When you visit Fossil Rim, you travel on the Gosdin Scenic Drive, and we are grateful that Gosdin’s Dozer Service has been a partner of Fossil Rim for many years.”
Even though tourism is going strong to fuel Fossil Rim’s engine, nonprofit organizations can always use a helping hand.
“Being a nonprofit, every donation big or small makes a huge difference in allowing us to continue our conservation efforts,” Pyle said.
Pienaar hopes Gosdin understands how much his support boosts the capability of support services and other departments at Fossil Rim.
“I have been borrowing a lot from Jimmy,” he said. “He’s been very kind to help us out. We are very proud for people to know that Jimmy made this donation.
“We all share in Caitlin’s excitement. This is a good day.”
-Tye Chandler, Marketing Associate