Friday, August 08, 2014

Public phones in to comment on closing Idaho sheep station

Sheep producers touted research on climate change, sage grouse and grazing as reasons to retain the troubled U.S. Department of Agriculture Sheep Experimental Station in Dubois, Idaho. Twenty commenters called in to a USDA Agricultural Research Service conference call Wednesday to weigh in on the proposed closure of the Sheep Experimental Station, which has summer grazing areas in the Centennial Mountains of southwestern Montana. Three-quarters of the commenters were sheep producers, those who worked in agriculture or Idaho politicians, who opposed the station's closing. Several said the station has done essential long-term research that they did not want abandoned, including research on climate change and the effects of grazing on wildfires, sage grouse, weeds and wildlife. Others, such as county commissioners, said the Dubois economy would be affected by the loss of 5 percent of the area's jobs. Retired Montana State University extension specialist Rodney Cott said the sheep station was the only facility that served the sheep industry in the intermountain region...more

No comments: