Battle over Bighorn, part II

Battle over Bighorn: Opposing views on disease and economics. This is part II. By Sven Berg. South Idaho Press

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I posted part I earlier. Here is it again. Battle over Bighorn, part I.

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There is more on this on the Western Watersheds Project blog. “Dear Governor” – Bighorn, Mule deer opportunity, & domestic sheep in southern Idaho.

The blog shows the influence trail with actual documents.

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Update: Idaho bighorn plan could mean more wild sheep would be killed. Idaho Statesman. By Keith Ridler. Bighorn sheep in Idaho have dropped from 6500 in 1990 to about 3500 today. You wouldn’t know it to hear the domestic sheep lobby moan and whine. Now the Idaho Bighorn/Domestic Sheep Working Group is nearing their recommendation to the governor. Not surprisingly, the “solution” will be to restrict the bighorn from reoccupying their native range and to kill bighorn that venture outwards from some boxed-in areas where they will be allowed to persist if they can.

The article says, “There are some 260,000 domestic sheep in Idaho, and they brought in more than $17 million to the state in 2006, according to the state Agriculture Department.” It doesn’t say how much the bighorn bring in, although a ram with a full curl has had tags sold at auction at $75.000.

$17-million dollars is a piss-poor return for an industry that monopolizes millions or acres of land in Idaho, much of it public land that could have abundant wildlife instead.

Defenders statement on stakeholders.

Defenders of Wildlife sent out the news release below November 26, 2007 because Idaho and Fish and Game was saying that they were part of the “stakeholders” and strongly implying that they, therefore, had actually helped build the wolf population plan and agreed with it. I imagine that Fish and Game did this because it was politically helpful to suggest that only a handful of conservation groups opposed what is actually a very unbalanced plan. In fact, I think all do.

Ralph Maughan

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To: Northern Rockies editorial page editors and writers
Fr: Suzanne Stone, Northern Rockies representative for Defenders of Wildlife, (208)424-9385
Re: Idaho’s wolf harvest plan will decimate wolf population

Datet: November 26, 2007

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On Thursday, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game will hold its first public open house on a just-released wolf harvest plan intended to go into effect once wolves in the Northern Rockies are removed from the endangered species list. Unfortunately, this plan is more about extermination than management.

The plan’s primary goal is to reduce Idaho’s wolf population and would allow hundreds of the wolves currently in the state to be killed. This goal was not accepted by all of the stakeholder groups.

While Idaho Fish and Game claims the plan was accepted by all stakeholders, that is simply not true. Defenders of Wildlife and the Idaho Conservation League were two of the stakeholder groups that openly disagreed with the state’s management direction. Read the rest of this entry »

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Rumor of high level Idaho meeting to conspire against recent bighorn sheep victories

There is a rumor that top Idaho state legislators met today in Boise with the Governor’s office of Species Conservation, the Bush Forest Service, the Bush BLM, Idaho Fish and Game, and perhaps one member from the Federation for North American Wild Sheep to strategize how they can stop the spreading legal victories by Advocates for the West and Western Watersheds Project to protect bighorn sheep in the Hells Canyon and lower Salmon River areas from contact with the deadly (to bighorn) domestic sheep.

This is rumor, but most of these agencies can’t be happy they keep losing cases and getting orders that insist domestic sheep be kept away from the bighorn. Rumor is they will try to get the Forest Service and BLM to drag their feet more slowly than ever and shut up those folks in Idaho Fish and Game who think wildlife (bighorn at least) come first.

Story about the issue from High Country News. “Sheep v. Sheep”. By Nathaniel Hoffman. My link to the recent news story in the Times-News has gone dead, so Sheep v. Sheep is a substitute.