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Domestic Sheep and Goat Allotments Closed on Payette National Forest


Domestic Sheep and Goat Allotments Closed on Payette National Forest

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cody, Wyoming --The Payette National Forest (PNF) held a briefing at the Boise National Forest (BNF) headquarters in Idaho on July 28th to announce the Record of Decision (ROD) on the Separation of Wild Sheep and Domestic Sheep and Goats on the PNF. The ROD is a part of the FINAL SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT, covering the Southwest Idaho Ecogroup Land and Resource Management Plans. To view the plan go to: www.fs.fed.us/r4/payette/.

The Payette Forest considered many management options that will be phased in over the next three years to ensure the risk of contact is minimized. Domestic sheep and goat grazing allotments anywhere there is potential for contact with wild sheep will be closed in roughly an area from the Snake River (Hells Canyon) to the east side of the South Fork of the Salmon River east of Riggins, Idaho.

This closes all or portions of 20 domestic sheep and or goat grazing allotments on the PNF.

This action will provide an additional 346,696 acres of area for bighorn sheep to live where there is little or no chance of contact with domestic sheep or goats. It will close 68,718 acres to grazing by domestic sheep or goats.. This will protect 94% of the bighorns in the total area they use, based on the 54,000 telemetry points representing over 400 radio collared bighorns observed since 1996 in this area.

The Wild Sheep Foundation's, Neil Thagard stated, "The Wild Sheep Foundation and a number of other groups, including the Nez Perce Tribe, have worked tirelessly to push for the correct decision to be made that will benefit wild sheep - this decision by the Forest Service will have a huge ripple effect throughout the West where wild sheep are involved."

Thagard continued by stating, "WSF also continues to work with the domestic sheep industry on efforts that may further reduce the risk of disease transmission from domestic sheep and goats."

WSF President & CEO, Gray Thornton added, "During the past fiscal year the Wild Sheep Foundation raised and put back on the ground $2.85 million to benefit wild sheep and other wildlife. This is one of the behind the scenes examples of our efforts and years of work in a collaborative fashion of Wild Sheep Foundation staff, Chapters (Idaho, Oregon, and Washington), and other partners."

This recent decision made by the U.S. Forest Service and its Payette National Forest Office is a huge victory for wild sheep!

Neil Thagard [email protected] or (307) 527-6261

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