WWP Litigates To Protect Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Stops Grazing in Washington, & Joins Effort to Stop Delisting of Grizzlies

Online Messenger #127

On March 30, 2007 Western Watersheds Project filed a Complaint in federal District Court in Idaho against the Payette and Nez Perce National Forests for violations of their Forest Plans, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area Act and the Administrative Procedures Act charging that the two Forests have failed to protect Bighorn Sheep from disease transmission from domestic sheep permitted to graze on the two Forests in locations that risk die-offs of hundreds of Bighorn Sheep because of direct contact between domestic sheep and bighorns. The case was assigned to Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill.

On April 16, 2007 WWP was joined in the litigation by the Hells Canyon Preservation Council and The Wilderness Society through an amended complaint. Also filed on April 16 was a Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and/or preliminary injunction to prevent the turn-out of domestic sheep on five grazing allotments (Smith Mountain, Curren Hill, Marshall Mountain, Bear Pete and French Creek) on the Payette National Forest and one grazing allotment (Allison-Berg) on the Nez Perce National Forest.

Since turn-out on the critical bighorn habitat on the Smiths Mountain allotment is scheduled for May 15, 2007, the court has set a court hearing on the Motion for injunctive relief for May 3, 2007. WWP and the other plaintiffs are very ably represented by lead attorney, Laurie Rule of Advocates For The West’s Boise Office. Also representing WWP and the other groups and supporting Laurie with their excellent work are attorneys Jennifer Schemm of La Grande, Oregon and Brett Brownscombe of Portland, Oregon.

For more information including all the filings in this important case please visit the WWP web site legal pages.

Western Watersheds Efforts In Washington State Stop Cattle Turn-out on the Whiskey Dick Wildlife Area And Bring An Early Stop to Cattle Grazing Already Underway on Pintler Creek In The Asotin Wildlife Area.

Western Watersheds Project’s efforts in Washington State to influence the grazing of cattle in Washington State Department of Wildlife owned Wildlife Areas has proved successful, at least for the moment. The Whiskey Dick Wildlife area near Ellensburg now will not have cattle grazing on it in 2007 after work carried out by WWP members Dr. Steve Herman, Dr. Don Johnson and Bob Tuck as well as WWP’s biodiversity director, Katie Fite who traveled to Ellensburg and Asotin in the last ten days. In addition the Pintler Creek watershed in the Asotin Wildlife Area has had cattle removed after Dr. Don Johnson and Katie Fite visited the watershed and documented damage by cattle already grazing on the land.

For follow-up stories on this effort please review these articles by Scott Sandsberry from the Yakima Herald-Republic:



Readers will also be able to review photos of both Whiskey Dick and Pintler creek in the Asotin Wildlife Area on the WWP web site on a new Washington State page to be posted shortly.

Western Watersheds Project Joins In Sending A 60 Day Notice Letter To The U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service To Prevent The Delisting of Grizzly Bears

Western Watersheds Project has joined with the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Humane Society of the United States, Center for Biological Diversity and the Great Bear Foundation to send a 60 Day Notice letter under the Endangered Species Act to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service giving notice of the groups’ intention to sue over the proposed delisting of grizzly bears in the northern Rockies. The groups are well represented by Doug Honnold, attorney with the Bozeman office of EarthJustice.

For an interesting couple of stories out of Wyoming about the 60 day notice letter, please review these links:

Lawyer: No decision yet on filing grizzly suit

Groups plan grizzly lawsuit

Western Watersheds Project Sponsors Boise's Own Bluegrass Band, The Victuals, At Idaho Earthfest 2007

In celebration of Idaho Earthfest 2007 and Earth Day, Western Watersheds Project is proud to sponsor one of Boise's own blue grass bands, The Victuals. The Victuals will be performing blue grass and swing favorites on Saturday from 12-3:30 p.m. on stage just left of the 8th Street Wine Company & Beer / Wine Garden on the east end of the celebration area in Boise’s Julia Davis Park . Directions: From downtown Boise on Myrtle St. turn right on 3rd Street and veer left into the Park.

Western Watersheds Project welcomes all Boise area members to enjoy some fine home-grown music ! For all the information on the Idaho Earthfest see: www.idahoearthfest.org