Rocky Barker blogs about the bighorn sheep issue in Idaho.
Payette Forest bighorn sheep decision expected out soon – Letters from the West
But the ranchers who still run sheep are a hardy and dedicated bunch. They don’t want to give up a long family tradition. In fact, they want to pass it down to their kids.
It sounds nice, and of course this narrative of “family rancher” remains the party-line in Western states – incessantly chimed at agency meetings, hearings, other official gatherings, among politicians and echoed with implicit tones of admiration in regional (and especially local) media outlets. But when one digs deeper we find a much different “family tradition” involved in the business of running sheep on federal public lands in Idaho (and other western states). Avid outdoors-folk see it. The sheepman affected by the Payette Forest’s draft environmental impact statement run their business hiring others, in large part immigrants who are exploited by way of pay woefully below minimum wage ~ at the very least.
And the bighorn… Read the rest of this entry »