Grazing on the Cliffs Allotment in Owyhee County to be Cut by 53%


Friends of Idaho Watersheds Project:
IWP sent the following news release to media outlets in SW Idaho and SE Oregon today.

In a proposed decision issued February 9, 2000, the Owyhee Resource Area of the BLM has decided to cut the Cliffs Allotment grazing use by cattle by 53%.

This unprecedented reduction in cattle use of public lands in Idaho is based on an Environmental Assessment and Allotment Evaluation prepared by an interdisciplinary team of the BLM. These evaluations showed that numerous measurements of the ecological health of this allotment proved that virtually no condition met current requirements and that the reason for these failures was livestock grazing.

As part of its decision the BLM has proposed ending grazing use by July 15 every year and instituting a 6 inch median stubble height on all hydric streamside vegetation. The decision also proposes a maximum streambank-trampling standard for livestock of 10% in any one year.

The allotment is located about 60 air miles south of Boise, Idaho in the South Mountain area of Owyhee County and includes numerous headwater streams of the North Fork of the Owyhee River all of which show massive damage by cattle. The North Fork is proposed as suitable for wild and scenic river status in the Owyhee Resource Area Management Plan. The allotment also includes areas designated as wilderness study areas by the BLM because of their unroaded and wilderness characteristics.

The permittees whose use of these public lands has resulted in the current degraded conditions are Michael Stanford, Tim Lowry, and the Jeff Anderson Estate, all of Jordan Valley, Oregon.

Jon Marvel, President of Idaho Watersheds Project stated: "IWP welcomes this long overdue decision from the BLM. At long last the North Fork of the Owyhee River watershed may begin to recover from over a century of livestock abuse."

Please note that anyone receiving this message who would prefer to have their email address removed from the Idaho Watersheds Project email newslist should email a message to with the word unsubscribe in the subject line. Be sure to visit the updated IWP web site at: Idaho Watersheds Project, Box 1602, Hailey, Idaho 83333; (208) 788-2290.