Settlement Reached in Lawsuit Challenging Illegal Sheep Grazing in Yellowstone Ecosystem

For years the U.S. Sheep Experimental Station, headquartered at Dubois, Idaho (not Dubois, Wyoming) has been grazing sheep in the top of the Centennial Mountains and elsewhere in the general area, and with no environmental analysis.

After yet another successful lawsuit by Western Watersheds and the Center for Biological Diversity, represented by Advocates for the West, they have agreed to do their first environmental analysis.

I recently found out they winter the sheep at the base of Lemhi Mountains in high semi-arid country. I had wondered since 1972, when I first went there, why this country looked so beaten out come spring.

Ralph Maughan
_____________________

For Immediate Release, February 20, 2008

Contact:

Michael Robinson, Center for Biological Diversity, (575) 534-0360
Jon Marvel, Western Watersheds Project, (208) 788-2290
Todd Tucci, Advocates for the West, (208) 342-7024

Settlement Reached in Lawsuit Challenging Illegal Sheep Grazing in Yellowstone Ecosystem: U.S. Sheep Experiment Station Agrees to Conduct Environmental Analysis

Boise, Idaho – The Center for Biological Diversity and Western Watersheds Project have reached a settlement agreement with the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in eastern Idaho to resolve a lawsuit filed last summer. The settlement requires the U.S. Sheep Station to analyze the environmental effects of the sheep grazing under the National Environmental Policy Act and to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the impacts of the sheep grazing on threatened and endangered species. The Sheep Station is part of the Agricultural Research Service within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The presence of these thousands of domestic sheep, and management actions taken on their behalf, harms sensitive and endangered native wildlife such as Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, lynx, gray wolves, and grizzly bears – and yet these impacts have never been examined on the thousands of acres that are directly managed by the U.S. Sheep Station in southeastern Idaho and southwestern Montana. Analysis of impacts on the even larger tracts of national forest and Bureau of Land Management public lands is decades out of date and was cursory.

Read the rest of this entry »