The Sawtooth National Forest has issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) with three alternatives for two large cattle allotments in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area in central Idaho. Public Comments are needed before the comment deadline of May 30, 2003.
The DEIS can be reviewed at the following URL: http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/sawtooth/eastfork/eastforkindex.htm
One of these two allotments, the Lower East Fork, borders WWP's Spud Creek allotment, and its permanent retirement would greatly assist WWP's efforts to recover wildlife habitat in the area.
WWP strongly recommends that readers support Alternative #3, the no grazing alternative. It is very important that the Forest Service hear from as many of the public as possible supporting the no grazing alternative.
Comments should be addressed to:
Deb Cooper, Area Ranger
Sawtooth National Recreation Area
HC 64, Box 8291, Ketchum, ID 83340
or they may be emailed to:
Ed Cannady at the SNRA: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Upper and Lower East Fork allotments are located on the east side of the White Cloud Mountains in the 750,000 acre SNRA and include some of the most scenic and important wildlife habitat areas in central Idaho. Livestock grazing has damaged spawning streams of listed salmon, steelhead, and bull trout, and every year brings a large number of confirmed trespass reports of cattle in the wrong units of the allotments or even many miles from the allotments in such lake basins as Fourth of July Lake, Washington Lake, and Chamberlain Lakes. Additionally Frog Lake has become notorious for the major negative impacts to the lake shore by livestock. Additionally the presence of cattle on these allotments is a direct threat to the two wolf pairs which have denned in the SNRA including one pair on or very near the Lower East Fork Allotment.
The only fiscally and environmentally supportable alternative in the DEIS is Alternative #3 (no livestock grazing). The cost to administer these two grazing allotments exceeds the grazing fee revenue by at least a factor of twenty. Critical wildlife habitat for the dwindling White Cloud bighorn sheep herd (60 bighorns) would still be grazed by cattle under Alternative #2 which reduces grazing somewhat and closes some areas.
WWP also recommends that readers consider writing or calling Idaho's Senator Mike Crapo (239 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510, 202-224-6142, and by email: crapo.senate.gov), and Idaho's Second District Congressman Mike Simpson (1339 Longworth, Washington, D.C. 20515; 202-225-5531) and suggest that the ranchers who will be affected by a closure of these two allotments be compensated by federal appropriations at the rate of $175. per AUM of actual grazing use. This is a very fair way to address the changes to the ranchers' operations.