East Fork grazing plan tweaked
SNRA: wolves, bighorn not affected by
By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer
The Sawtooth National Recreation Area is
clarifying this spring that livestock grazing in the East Fork of the Salmon
River valley does not "substantially" degrade the habitat for bighorn sheep or
Based on an appeal by a local
environmental group, the SNRA is tweaking a decision it made in September to
curtail grazing on the east slope of the White Cloud Mountains.
The U.S. Forest Service issued a revised
record of decision for the grazing allotments last week.
Western Watersheds Project, a Hailey
environmental group, appealed the original decision after is was issued in
September 2003. The appeal alleged the decision failed to provide for an
adequate assessment of the impacts livestock grazing has on bighorn sheep and
The appeal reviewing officer in the Forest
Service’s Intermountain Regional Office found that information is presented in
the record regarding the effects of livestock grazing on wolves and bighorn
sheep. However, the conclusion required by the law that established the SNRA
requires a clearer determination that wolves and bighorn sheep would not be
The decision was remanded to the SNRA.
Officials were ordered to spell out the effects.
There are no changes to the original
decision in the new document, said Sarah Baldwin, SNRA area manager. The new
decision clearly spells out that continued livestock grazing on the upper and
lower East Fork allotments will not cause substantial impairment of SNRA
wildlife values associated with wolves and bighorn sheep.
As with the original decision, the new
decision is subject to appeal.
Copies of the new decision will be
available on the Internet at
www.fs.fed.us/r4/sawtooth, or at the SNRA
headquarters office 8 miles north of Ketchum.