WWP Board Meeting, WWP Stirs It Up in WA, Comment on Wolves, Hearing on Bush Grazing Regulations, & WWP Backs BLM on Bully Creek

Online Messenger #126

Western Watersheds Project’s Annual Board And Members Meeting Is Scheduled For May 5, 2007 In Hailey, Idaho;

Western Watersheds Project extends a cordial invitation to all members to join the Board and staff members of WWP at the annual meetings of the Board and members of WWP on May 5, 2007.

Because of remodeling at the Greenfire Preserve house, the meeting this year will be held in Hailey, Idaho at the Inn at Ellsworth Estate located at 702 3rd. Avenue South in Hailey directly across from the main Hailey Fire Station and adjacent to the national Guard Armory. Readers may wish to visit the web site of the Inn (http://www.ellsworthestate.com) to take a look at the Inn that was built by a Standard Oil heir in 1926 and restored as a bed and breakfast a few years ago.

The WWP Annual meeting will start promptly at 11:00 A.M. Mountain Daylight Time, with a break for lunch in the tradition of Cinco de Mayo, and will end about 4:00 P.M.

For those attending from out of town, there are a limited number of rooms available at the Inn for a contribution of your choice to WWP. Please contact WWP’s Hailey office (208-788-2290) to RSVP for the meeting and to let Teri know if you are interested in a room at the Inn for Friday night May 4 or Saturday night May 5 while attending the annual meeting.

Please join us !

Western Watersheds Project Stirs Things Up In Washington State
Opposes Cattle Grazing In State Owned Wildlife Areas

On March 22, 2007 Western Watersheds Project sent a 60 day notice letter under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife in regard to the Department’s approval of cattle grazing in Wildlife Areas near Ellensburg (the Whiskey Dick Wildlife Area) and near Asotin (on Pintler Creek in the Asotin Wildlife Area). It is WWP’s contention that the Department failed to consult with the National Marine Fisheries service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the impacts to ESA listed listed fish species including Chinook salmon, steelhead trout and bull trout as well as a rare plant, Spalding’s Catchfly.

This action has attracted quite a bit of press coverage in Washington State including an Associated Press story, and coverage in the Ellensburg, Yakima and Lewiston, Idaho daily newspapers. The Yakima Herald-Republic had an excellent article that can be read on the paper’s web site. WWP would like to extend our thanks to Washington State WWP members Bob Tuck of Selah, Dr. Don Johnson of Carlton and Dr. Steve Herman of Olympia for much help with this effort.

Comments Due By May 9, 2007 On Proposed Wolf Delisting In The Northern Rockies

Public comments are due to the U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service By May 9, 2007 on the Service’s draft proposal to delist wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains. WWP is opposed to this proposal especially since Idaho’s Governor, Butch Otter, has publicly expressed his desire to see the wolf population in the state reduced to only 100 wolves from the current 600-700 after delisting.

For details of talking points for your comments please visit idahowolves.org, where you can click on the Delisting Box near the top of the page for suggested comment points and the information for where to email or mail your comments.

Federal Court Hearing Scheduled April 2 For Oral Arguments In WWP’s Litigation To Overturn The BLM’s Revised National Grazing Regulations

WWP’s lead attorney Laird Lucas will be making WWP’s oral argument in front of federal District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill in Boise, Idaho starting at 9:00 A.M. On Monday April 2, 2007. The Court Room is located in the Federal Building at 6th and Fort Streets in Boise’s north end. The grazing regulations affect over 160,000,000 acres of public land in the west !

WWP extends a cordial invitation to all readers to consider joining us at the hearing to enjoy the legal excellence of Laird’s winning arguments.

WWP Joins in Oregon Litigation To Sustain A Good Grazing Decision By The Vale BLM

In a modest role reversal WWP is joining with our sister organization, the Oregon Natural Desert Association, in litigation to support a very good decision by the BLM in Vale, Oregon to close the Bully Creek Unit of the Willow Creek Allotment in the upper Bully Creek watershed northwest of Vale, Oregon.

The BLM’s good decision to protect the critical headwaters of Bully Creek from cattle abuse had been overturned by a confused Administrative Law Judge. The legal proceedings brought by the two groups seeks to reinstate the closure to protect important fisheries and wildlife habitat.

WWP and ONDA are very capably represented in this legal effort by lead attorney Mac Lacey and associate attorney Kristin Reuther both of Portland.

WWP Wyoming Director Jonathan Ratner Featured on National Television News

WWP’s Wyoming Director Jonathan Ratner was featured on the CBS evening news Sunday March 18, 2007. Interested readers can view the TV news video segment online.

The segment was about the U.S. Supreme Court hearing the next day on Alabama hobby rancher Frank Robbin’s attempt to charge individual BLM employees under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (known colloquially as RICO) because they were exercising their legal authority to cancel his grazing permits after many failures by Robbins to comply with the terms and conditions of his permits to graze cattle on public lands.


Readers may recall that WWP was successful in stopping a Bush administration legal settlement with Frank Robbins by having it blocked by a federal judge in Washington D.C.