On Thursday March 21, 2002 Western Watersheds Project and the Idaho Conservation League filed a signed legal settlement with the BLM in Idaho Federal District Court. The settlement ends, for the moment, WWP and ICL's lawsuit filed last summer to force the BLM to comply with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the BLM's own regulations in the administration of livestock grazing on the 59,000 acre Pleasantview Allotment in Oneida County, Idaho. The allotment is within one mile of the Curlew National Grasslands.
The Settlement Agreement requires the BLM to withdraw its faulty decision of last June; and prepare a new Environmental Assessment before issuing a new decision in compliance with the law. In the interim, the BLM has agreed to institute a 19% reduction in numbers of livestock, season of use, or a combination of the two and to protect the two streams (Wood Canyon and Sheep Creeks) on the allotment with annually measurable terms and conditions as well as temporary electric fencing. The settlement also asks Federal Judge B. Lynn Winmill to retain jurisdiction of the case to ensure that the settlement is fully complied with.
WWP anticipates that when the new decision by the BLM is issued next year it will incorporate all of the elements of the interim management agreement.
This legal victory for WWP and ICL owes thanks to WWP members Jackie Johnson Maughan and Jay Val Carce who first identified this allotment as being one of the most overstocked and abused in south-east Idaho as long ago as 1996.Over the ensuing years, with Jackie's help, WWP has documented the failure of BLM management which finally led to the lawsuit.
WWP and ICL have had excellent legal representation in this case by Laird Lucas of Boise and Judi Brawer of the Land and Water Fund of the Rockies Boise Office.