Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Butting heads: Ranchers unhappy with lawsuit; Bighorn sheep bill moves forward

Patrick O’Toole and his family are concerned about the lawsuit filed against the U.S. Forest Service by Biodiversity Conservation Alliance. If the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance wins its lawsuit, O’Toole will not be issued anymore permits for his sheep to graze on federal land. “There are people who don’t want people to have livestock,” Rancher Patrick O’Toole said. As a multi-generational ranching family, the O’Tooles utilize rotational grazing on private, privately leased, state leased, BLM and federal lands. The O’Toole’s raise cattle, sheep and horses and his family raised livestock since the Great Depression. Senator Larry Hicks maintains that if the lawsuit filed by BCA succeeds, it would wipe out sheep producers in Carbon County.  “They hate ranchers,” he said. BCA is involved in a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service regarding its practice of issuing permits for domestic sheep grazing in the Medicine Bow Forest. The concern is that bighorn sheep herds in the area will be in danger. “It would be a fundamental loss for people who ranch in the Western state, particularly Wyoming,” O’Toole said.  Disease transmission from domestic sheep herds to the bighorn sheep herds is at the root of BCA’s concern. BCA claims that the sheep are in danger of contracting diseases that could potentially wipe out the Encampment herd and impact the diversity required to maintain healthy herds of bighorn sheep in the Medicine Bow Forest...more

1 comment:

drjohnr said...

In my area, Platte and Albany County southeast Wyoming and on the Laramie range there are NO sheep and surprisingly very few big horns actual number I don't know. I would guess that Pat and Sharon and other sheep raisers are going to loose to the litigators to the misinformation of a disease that has been discounted by a top veterinary epidemiologist many years ago as from domestic sheep to the big horns, but no body listens to or want to hear the facts