Thursday, July 28, 2011

Judge allows some grazing in Jarbidge area

A federal judge has partially lifted an injunction that had blocked cattle grazing on 17 allotments on Bureau of Land Management property in Idaho. Ranchers will be able to turn cattle out in the Jarbidge Resource Area as long as they follow conditions spelled out in the order: * Grazing will be governed by plans developed by BLM to preserve populations of sensitive species, habitats and watersheds. * The BLM will have full authority to prohibit grazing during the sage grouse mating and nesting season in summer, as well as during fall and winter when plant growth ceases. * Ranchers must ensure cattle don't graze grasses beyond stubble height levels set by the agency. * Grazing will not be allowed in previously burned areas until restoration objectives are met. * The BLM will consult with environmental groups and state agencies in developing grazing plans. * The agency will submit annual reports on the grazing allotments to the court...more

Can fire scare some sense into a judge?  Apparently so.

Winmill said he decided to modify the injunction on July 22 because the BLM needed to use grazing as a tool in preventing rangeland fires, such as the one which devastated the area in 2007.  "A total ban on grazing will interfere with the BLM's efforts, by contributing to a buildup of fuel..."

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