Ninth Court big horn ruling could have major effects on grazing rights

(Wyoming)- The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has recognized a connection between bighorn sheep die-offs and diseases transmitted by domestic sheep. This could have far-reaching consequences for federal grazing allotments in the West North America used to have about 2 million bighorn sheep, now there are as few as 70,000. The 9th Circuit Court has stated that the causes are, over-hunting, habitat loss, food competition and disease transmission from domestic sheep. [image: IMG_0946.JPG] In order to prevent further decline to bighorn sheep populations in Idaho, the U.S. Forest Service closed about 70 percent domestic sheep grazing allotments in the Payette National Forest in Idaho. That closure was perfectly legal, the Ninth Circuit ruled on Wednesday, in response to a suit from Idaho wool growers. Idaho's wool industry countered with a lawsuit sued alleging that the Forest Service had violated federal statutes by failing to consult with the Agricultural Research Service. The Forest Service stated that the Agricultural Research Service agency has no expertise in wildlife management, and that it was wildlife, not domestic sheep, that the Forrest Service was investigating. The Court ruled, "Because the lack of consultation did not prevent the Forest Service or the public from considering information ... no prejudice resulted." This is the first time a U.S. circuit court has ruled on disease transmission between the species. What this means for Wyoming is unclear but it does set a precedent for the Forest Service to have legal backing when it looks at other areas in the West where domestic sheep grazing could be limited to protect bighorns. What this means for Wyoming is unclear but it does set a precedent for t #reboot #news #shortgo #oilcity #dally #county10 #county17 #buckrail #springcity