Woolgrowers try to spin the decision to muddy the waters on Bighorn/Domestic sheep disease
U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill has voided the Payette National Forest Science Advisory Committee’s contribution to management decisions when it decides whether or not to ban or reduce domestic sheep grazing on the Payette National Forest.
The Woolgrowers successful claim means that the public should have been granted access to ‘listen in on’ the Science Advisory Committee, which was assimilating and summarizing existing information. This decision cuts both ways, ensuring access for industry as well as conservation advocates. The Woolgrowers were not successful in overturning previous decisions restricting domestic sheep grazing.
The judge goes out of his way to affirm that the existing information, including the scientific data demonstrating evidence of disease transmission from domestic to wild sheep that the committee summarized, can still inform management actions.
Not included in the article is the irony that Mark Rey, former undersecretary for natural resources and agriculture for the Bush Administration, is the man responsible for establishing the science advisory committee at issue.
The AP story is inaccurate in one instance :
Idaho Conservation League Executive Director Jon Marvel, head of the Hailey, Idaho-based Western Watersheds Project, which is fighting grazing on public lands across the West
Jon Marvel is not ICL’s executive director.