Monday, December 19, 2011

Payette sheep decision delay drops to one year in final spending bill

Domestic sheep ranchers only get a one year delay in actions designed to protect bighorn sheep on the Payette National Forest. The final Interior and Environment appropriations bill would forbid federal agencies from taking any action to protect bighorn sheep if it reduces the number of domestic sheep grazing on public lands. But it only lasts one year instead of five years. The rider, added to the bill by Republican Rep. Mike Simpson from Idaho, would stop the reductions on grazing ordered by the U.S. Forest Service on the Payette National Forest to prevent the transmission of disease to the wild sheep. Simpson said he added the bighorn sheep rider, at the request of the Idaho Woolgrower’s Association, to slow down the the enforcement of the phasing out of 70,000 acres of domestic grazing on the Payette until a vaccine could be developed that could prevent disease from domestic sheep from killing wild sheep...more

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