BLM reviewing sheep allotments within 30 miles of bighorn populations.
This is another exposé about the fallout of the Payette bighorn viability decision and the latest science which conclusively shows that domestic sheep diseases kill bighorn sheep. What jumps out at me is the information contained near the bottom of the article which says that the BLM is evaluating its policy regarding the two species in Idaho.
“BLM spokeswoman Jessica Gardetto said her agency is working statewide with agencies and grazing permittees on regional separation response plans, but has no timeline for their completion. Biologists are using a 30-mile separation as a guide and will review grazing allotments within that distance first.”
The bigger question here regards what is happening elsewhere. Are the BLM and Forest Service reviewing their sheep grazing permits in other states? I should hope so because, in places like Nevada, where sheep grazing routinely occurs extremely close to, or within, occupied bighorn habitat, the risk of exposure is extremely high and underestimated by the agencies in favor of the “custom and culture” of the elite ranchers who often turn out to be big corporations like Barrick Gold or the Southern Nevada Water Authority.
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