Scenic BLM roadless area next to Mt. Borah draws Western Watersheds lawsuit

Western Watersheds Project sues BLM to protect the Burnt Creek roadless area from livestock abuse-

Ever since I returned to Idaho in 1971, one place I wanted to see was Burnt Creek in the high colorful foothills on the east side of the Lost River Range. It has been selected as a wilderness study area by the BLM long ago, and assumed must be at least somewhat protected.

The truth was revealed in 2007 when I went with “kt” to see if the BLM was complying with removal of an illegal turnout of cattle in the area.

The steep, low mountains composed of Challis volcanics were very pretty, but the stinking mess made by the cattle was not. Thanks to indefatigable “kt” who seems to know all the hidden pockets where livestock operators try to stash their cattle, they were removed. However, the BLM just seems determined to screw up, ignore the law, and cater to the cowpersons on the grazing allotment. So, the Western Watersheds Project has gone to court.

Story: WWP files suit to protect sage grouse, bull trout, and wilderness values on the Burnt Creek Allotment, Central Idaho. Overview of the Burnt Creek Allotment

Wild horses thought to create beautiful fields of wildflowers in Pryor Mountains

Unfortunately, the flowers may be the result of overgrazing by the horses-

Wild Horses © Ken Cole

Wild Horses © Ken Cole

This article and its premise may spark a lot of controversy.

Wild horse range pressured by overgrazing. By Brett French. Billings Gazette.

I should add that I have never been to the Pryor Mountains of Montana, which are east of Cody and near the Wyoming border.

Cattle denude the Sonoran National Monument

ORVs were kicked out of monument; the real damage is grazing-

This is apparently, though a good place to find the bleached bones of cattle, a common visual theme of cartoons of people lost in the desert.

Inane official, public actions scar Sonoran monument. By Linda Valdez. The Arizona Republic

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Update. Link to WWP Arizona Office. Great photo of cattle in Sonoran Desert National Monument 😦

End of the grazing season. Devastation as usual

Oh, what a comparison!

Last October a number of us visited the Lost River Ranger District in an area called Pine Creek. We went with the district ranger and the Supervisory Range Conservationist. It was pretty embarrassing. Some of the awful photos went up on Google Earth. End of 2007 grazing season in an unnamed tributary called “Pine Creek.

I guess it wasn’t embarrassing enough because this year things were as bad or worse.

End of the 2008 grazing season with 90% forage eaten by cattle on Lost River Ranger District. Salmon-Challis National Forest. Photo Western Watersheds Project

End of the 2008 grazing season with 90% forage eaten by cattle on Lost River Ranger District. Salmon-Challis National Forest. Photo Western Watersheds Project

I can post a bunch more if people are interested.

Later. Folks did want to see more-

Here is what a wet meadow/riparian area should look like in similar country. I took this photo in early October about 20 miles from the photo above on an Idaho state grazing lease acquired by the Western Watersheds Project after a many year battle with the State Land Board. WWP removed all the livestock.

Wet meadow/streamside area in Lake Creek. Herd Creek Highlands. Central Idaho. Early October 2008. Not grazed for about 4 years. The grazing lease is held by the Western Watersheds Project. WWP pays to run cattle on the lease, but doesn't run any. Copyright Ralph Maughan

Wet meadow/streamside area in Lake Creek. Herd Creek Highlands. Central Idaho. Early October 2008. Not grazed for about 4 years. The grazing lease is held by the Western Watersheds Project. WWP pays to run cattle lease, but doesn

More on Pine Creek –

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