July 7, 2017
Online Messenger #354
Western Watersheds Project and our partners at Advocates for the West have entered into a settlement agreement with the Forest Service that gives salmon, steelhead, and bull trout spawning habitats in the upper East Fork of the Salmon River a chance to recover from the impacts of livestock grazing!
The settlement resolves a 2016 lawsuit challenging violations of Endangered Species Act requirements on two national forest grazing allotments. The allotments are within the acclaimed Sawtooth National Recreation Area and they overlap with the new White Clouds Wilderness.
The new court-approved agreement guarantees that there will be no domestic livestock on the Upper and Lower East Fork allotments in 2017 or 2018, and no livestock will be allowed to return until stream health standards for trout and salmon are fully met. This will stop the bank trampling, removal of streamside vegetation, and associated shallower, warmer and more turbid waters, and give the salmon, steelhead and bull trout of the East Fork a desperately needed leg up on survival. The Forest Service must also reassess whether any livestock grazing should occur on these sensitive habitats in the future.
We’re delighted we’ve gained at least two years of rest from livestock trampling for these sensitive spawning streams. It’s a great reprieve for the Spring-run chinook, steelhead, and bull trout from the environmental damage caused by cattle on public lands.
More photos of the allotments are posted online here.