Federal Judge Edward Lodge slaps BLM on Pahsimeroi grazing allotment decision

Total victory for Western Watersheds Project and Advocates for the West in four grazing allotments-

Idaho’ federal judge Ed Lodge rarely rules in favor of conservation groups, but the defective job the BLM did on these 4 grazing allotments provoked a complete victory for WWP and an strong rebuke to the manager of the BLM’s Challis Field Office, David Rosenkrance. Rosenkrance has been criticized for years for running an incestuous, good old boy operation in this beautiful, if degraded, potentially terrific  wildlife area. Fortunately last week was the end date for Rosenkrance in Idaho.  He has been moved off to the BLM in Colorado.

Judge Lodge ruled that all three of the plaintiff”s claims were valid: that BLM violated the law by not analyzing the impacts to endangered bull trout, by refusing to consider a no- or low- grazing alternative when evaluating the impacts, and by failing to study the cumulative impacts of grazing in the area.

I understand there are similar appeals out there that will succeed because of this decision.

Here is a link to decision at the Advocates for the West web site.

The high Pahsimeroi Mtns from the east (Pahsimeroi Valley). BLM Grouse Creek Allotment. Photo copyright Ralph Maughan

Here is an interactive Google Map of the 4 grazing allotments (created by Western Watersheds Project).

Update. An AP story just came out on the decision. Judge rules against BLM on Idaho grazing permits. By Keith Ridler. Jan. 10, 2011 By The Associated Press