San Juan Bighorn Sheep

WWP appealed two recent decisions on the San Juan National Forest and Rio Grande National Forest covering hundreds of thousands of acres of bighorn sheep habitat which the Forest Service decided to continue to permit domestic sheep grazing within bighorn sheep habitat despite the disease transmission issue. While the Forest Service did a modeling exercise to determine overlap, they forgot one fundamental issue, the 9 mile buffer needed to provide adequate separation between the species. The model treated bighorn sheep as pixels fixed in one place on the computer screen instead of the biological creatures that they are. Once the Payette National Forest litigation is completed, this will be a likely candidate as the Forest Service again has ignored current science and failed to comply with the Forest Service’s Sensitive Species requirements.

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