Winmill rules Simpson rider can't keep domestic sheep in bighorn habitat

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill issued a temporary restraining order that forces the U.S. Forest Service to protect 7,700 acres of bighorn sheep habitat this year.

Winmill made his ruling after a hearing Wednesday. His decision could force the Soulen Sheep Co. to keep its domestic sheep out of the area where they planned to graze their sheep on the forest next month.

The area was closed under a plan put in place in 2011 to protect the wild sheep from getting a deadly lung disease scientists say is transmitted from the domestic sheep to the bighorns.

Grazing allotments were to be reduced 70 percent by 2013 in a 2010 plan that angered sheep ranchers and the Idaho Legislature. It closed 54,000 acres in 2011 and eventually would kick domestic sheep off 70,000 acres, near Hell's Canyon and the Salmon River.

In response Rep. Mike Simpson inserted a rider into the Forest Service's 2012 budget forbidding the agency from spending money on grazing reductions beyond those already in place on July 1, 2011. Environmentalists presented Winmill documents showing that Payette National Forest officials argued the closures should continue as planned, despite Simpson's measure.

In a Jan. 6 memo Payette National Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom said his employees had begun implementing the grazing restrictions long before Simpson's deadline.

More of this stuff again.

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You fry wants with that?

Save the Bighorns!

So rich guys can pay $50,000 for a tag to hunt them down and kill them.

Do it now, somebody always needs money.

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You fry wants with that?

More enviro terrorism

Is there an actual case of domestic sheep transmitting lung disease to bighorns in this area? If they can tag all these bighorns why can't they innoculate them? The enviros could step up to the plate and pay for it. Riiiight. No they want the hunters and sheep herders to pay their bills.

People can't even vaccinate their kids in this state ...

Brucellosis, pneumonia and a plethora of other diseases and ills are spread by domestic animals to wild populations, as well as fowling the nations water supply with e.coli laden fecal matter. And all you can come up with is "eviro terrorism"? What parallel universe did you pop out of? The "enviro terrorism" in this case is being carried out by the welfare ranchers and their entitled attitudes destroying American resources. Thanks for the view from the side of a shill.

So environmentalists should pay?

Tell me exactly why environmentalists should pay for having bighorn sheep on public land when this is a problem caused by the sheep industry who is heavily subsidized with taxpayer money, cheap grazing fees, cheap immigrant labor, and an agency to go out and kill predators for them.

Yes, there have been many cases of domestic sheep transmitting pneumonia to bighorn sheep and no, there is no inoculation for the diseases. Also, tell me exactly why the bighorn sheep should be inoculated and not the domestic sheep even if there were a vaccine.

Public lands ranching doesn't pay for itself and we, the taxpayers, pay $120,000,000 per year just to maintain the added costs to support an elite bunch of welfare ranchers. So much for fiscal responsibility, let alone environmental responsibility.

Real Science vs. Politics

Though conservative, I can't side with the Congressman on this one. The domestic sheep pose a threat to a wildlife species that is not wide spread and can be wiped out easily. figure out how to control the disease the domestic range maggots carry then revisit the public grazing and focus current grazing in areas absent of wild sheep.

I find it interesting that

I find it interesting that you start your post with "though conservative". Is it really only Liberals or Neo Environmentalists who can care about our native wildlife? THIS is exactly the problem in Idaho today. Can't be seen as one or the other or heaven forbid today as independant, middle ground. Cant we do something just for the good of the wildlife and heritage we'd all like to pass on to our kids and Grandkids? GOOD GRIEF! What a great State this could be if only we'd all move a little less from the right and left towards compromise in the middle, but in today's climate and current leadership from House of Reps and Senate to State Gov. and Govenor I'm afraid that will not be happening. Can't wait for Pimp2 to come and correct my grammar and punctuation.

BBQ

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You fry wants with that?

What's interesting about Simpson's rider.

What is interesting about Simpsons bighorn rider is that, if the ruling had gone the other way, it would have only protected one operator in the entire US, close relatives of LT Governor Brad Little. Because the process of analyzing the risk of contact between bighorn and domestic sheep was not happening anyplace else, it seems that the real effect of the rider was just to mollify the industry for one year without changing anything on the ground.

However, one other impact of the rider is permanent. It allows public lands permittees to sell out and close their allotments to grazing anywhere there is a conflict between bighorn sheep and domestic sheep.