Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Forest Service to cut sheep grazing by 70%

The Payette National Forest aims to protect wild bighorn sheep by reducing rangeland suited for domestic sheep and goat grazing by 70% by 2013. This plan, in the works for years, protects 94% of bighorn sheep summer habitat. Scientists and forest officials have concluded bighorns can contract deadly lung diseases when they encounter domestic sheep; ranchers fear closures will put them out of business. The Forest Service estimates the plan will result in 28 livestock jobs lost, while recreation could increase. Stan Boyd, who heads the Idaho Wool Growers Association, said Tuesday, "The industry is in the biggest fight of its life, and it's fighting its own government." But Payette Forest officials contend this move will balance uses, protect bighorns, honor tribal rights and live up to federal law. AP

Federally controlled resource trumps privately owned resource. It's happening everywhere.

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