Domestic and Bighorn Sheep Conflict

BLM Releases Guidance to Improve Coordination and Management of Bighorn Sheep Habitat to Minimize Conflicts with Domestic Sheep and Goats

Policy is aimed at supporting healthy Bighorn Sheep populations

March 11, 2016 -- BLM releases policy guidance for the coordination and management of domestic sheep and goats and wild sheep and their habitat on lands administered and managed by the BLM.

Specifically, Policy Manual 1730 sets forth guidance for the management of BLM lands where the potential for disease transmission exists by interaction between wild sheep and authorized use of domestic sheep and goats. Today's guidance announcement aligns policy with the BLM's current approach to make informed management decisions on domestic sheep and goat grazing. The policy is not expected to have a significant effect on existing grazing levels.

The BLM manages domestic sheep grazing allotments on Federal lands and is working with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), state wildlife managers, tribes and other partners to support sustainable bighorn sheep populations and habitat, and domestic sheep use on BLM–managed lands.

"This guidance helps ensure the health and well-being of our bighorn sheep populations, and their habitat," said BLM Deputy Director, Steve Ellis. "It is important guidance for us to use as we make land management decisions where these species may interact with domestic sheep."

The development of BLM Policy Manual 1730 is compatible with the USFS goal of "effective separation" – the spatial or temporal separation between wild sheep and domestic sheep or goats, resulting in minimal risk of contact and subsequent transmission of respiratory disease between animal groups.

March 2015 -- Documents Prepared by the FS/BLM Bighorn Sheep Working Group
Bighorn Sheep Risk of Contact v2 Users Guide

Bighorn Sheep Risk of Contact Tool, Supplemental R Package Documentation

February 23, 2016 - Secretary of Agriculture and Chief of the Forest Service Held in Contempt of Court for Use of Illegal Reports on Disease Transmission from Livestock to Bighorn Sheep

Background Information on Bighorn Sheep

April 23, 2015 - 2015 Congressional Letter Requesting Answers from USDA and DOL to 2014 Questions

September 26, 2014 - Secretary Vilsack's Response to Governor's Letter of July 9, 2014
September 26, 2014 - Secretary Jewell's Response to Bi-Cameral Letter of June 30, 2014
September 5, 2014 - Gov. Sandoval Letter Supporting Domestic Sheep Industry

September 2, 2014 - Appellants' Opening Brief in the Payette/Bighorn Sheep Case

August 25, 2014 - Memo to Forest Supervisors RE: Regional Bighorn Allotment Closure Moratorium

August 26, 2014 - ASI President Krebs Response to Oregon Hunters Association
July 22, 2014 - Oregon Hunters Association Letter Defending Bighorn Sheep

July 17, 2014 - Forest Service Response to May 12, 2014, ASI Letter

July 9, 2014 - Governor's of Idaho, Utah and Wyoming Share Forest Service Assessment Concerns with Secretary Vilsack

November 10, 2014 - USDA Response to Congressional Letter to USDA and DOI
June 30, 2014 - Congressional Letter to USDA and DOI Regarding Bighorn and Domestic Sheep Management
37 Congressional Signatures Supporting the U.S. Sheep Industry

June 16, 2014 - Jim Logan, DVM, Letter to Sen. Barrasso Supporting Congressional Support Letter to USDA

June 2014 - Region 4 Forest Service Presentation on Framework for Wild Sheep
One-Page Overview -- Domestic Sheep Grazing Within Bighorn Habitat

May 12, 2014 - ASI Letter Regarding USFS/ARS Cooperation on Bighorn Sheep and Domestic Sheep Issues

February 3, 2014 - Forest Service Region 4 Bighorn/Domestic Sheep Management Framework

August 20, 2014 - Mid-year Report Presented by Dr. D. Knowles and M. Highland
Ongoing Research on Bighorn Sheep
Request for Funding from the Public Lands Endowment Trust
Research Proposal -- Bighorn and Domestic Sheep Interface Risk Analysis:
Public Land Grazing and Comparative Immune System Investigation

August 2008 CAST Commentary -- Pasteurellosis Transmission Risks between Domestic and Wild Sheep -- This Commentary reviews current knowledge on pneumonic pasteurellosis in domestic and wild sheep, the risks of transmission between these species, and approaches for lowering the overall risk of epidemics in wild sheep.

Maps displaying occupied bighorn sheep habitat with Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management domestic sheep allotments were developed in cooperation with the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) Wild Sheep Working Group. Occupied wild sheep habitat information was provided by individual State wildlife management agency while the grazing layers were supplied by the associated federal land management agency. Data for Forest Service allotments were derived from the INFRA database. Maps will be updated in the late spring or early summer annually to changed distributions of wild or domestic sheep. Click here for maps.

Industry In Support of Rep. Simpson -- By Peter Orwick
Bighorn Debate Not Just About Idaho -- By Margaret Soulen Hinson

Center of the Nation -- Belle Fourche, South Dakota
Chargeurs Wool (USA) -- Jamestown, South Carolina
Mountain States Rosen -- Greeley, Colorado and Bronx, New York
National Textile Association -- Boston, Massachusetts
Pendleton Woolen Mills -- Portland, Oregon
Superior Farms -- Davis, California


February 25, 2016 -- Jackson Hole News and Guide
Goatpackers Score Win Over Shoshone - By Mike Koshmrl

January 2016 -- Wyoming Wildlife
Skiers vs. Bighorn Sheep - By Kelsey Dayton

May 28, 2014 -- Wyoming Roundup
Bighorn “Viability” Regulations Threaten Domestic Sheep Industry - By Theodora Dowling

June 23, 2013 -- Elko Daily Free Press
Disease Kills Desert Bighorns Southwest of Vegas

May 29, 2013 -- The Jackson Hole News and Guide
Sick Goats Tiptoe North into Fragile (Bighorn) Sheep Country

July 16, 2012 -- Idaho Statesman
Rocky Barker: BLM Orders Sheep Out of Bighorn Land

July 15, 2012 -- Wenatchee World via Associated Press
Bighorn Sheep Health Worries May Cut Grazing Land

June 14, 2012 -- Summit Daily News, Colorado
Two Competing Species: Mountain Goat v. Bighorn Sheep

July 2012 -- Shepherd Magazine Reprinted from Wyoming Livestock Roundup
Enviros Target Bighorn Sheep on Medicine Bow National Forest

May 3, 2012 -- Billings Gazette
Highway Accidents Decimating Bighorn Sheep Herd in Thompson Falls Area

November 1, 2011 -- Denver Post
Border-tramping burros in Texas park's corss hairs

September 21, 2011 -- Livestock Weekly
Sheep Producers Are Challenged by Enviros Over Bighorn Issue

September 12, 2011 -- Western Livestock Journal
Domestic Sheep Losing Ground to Bighorns

September 10, 2011 -- Wyoming Livestock Roundup
Experimental Vaccine in Development for Bighorn Sheep

August 4, 2011 --
California man wins bighorn sheep lottery

September 20, 2010 -- The Jamestown Sun
North Dakota bighorn sheep population is healthy

February 24, 2011 -- Great Falls Tribune
Bighorn tag big moneymaker for sheep, FWP

March 14, 2011 -- Nebraska State Paper
Nebraska Bighorn Permit Brings $117,500

May 30, 2011 -- Denver Post
Bighorn Trouble

April 12, 2011 -- Associated Press
University Researcher Tests New Wild Sheep Vaccine

March 17, 2011 -- Idaho Statesman
Clashing Sheep Cultures in Idaho

March 1, 2011 -- Associated Press
Outbreak Kills Hundreds of Bighorn Sheep in West

Historic Information

May 2013 -- Letter to Rep. Simpson (Idaho) on Domestic Grazing Allotments September 2010 - Idaho Wool Growers Appeal to the Record of Decision
July 2010 - Record of Decision for the Payette National Forest

July 2010 - Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS)
February 2009 - ASI Comments of DSEIS for Grazing the Payette Forest
October 2008 - Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

October 2008 - Shirts' Comments to FS on DSEIS
May 2007 - Court Memorandum Decision and Order

Bighorn Working Session Recommendations -- June 14, 2011

Nat'l Forests in the West Domestic Sheep and Bighorn Sheep Habitat

Bighorn Sheep Meeting Presentations -- June 14, 2011

Reader's Digest Overview: Respiratory Disease in Bighorn Sheep
Peregrin Wolff, DVM -- Nevada Department of Wildlife

Update on Bighorn Sheep Vaccines
Michael W. Miller -- Colorado Division of Wildlife

Alternative Allotments
Ralph Giffen -- Acting Director of the U.S. Forest Service

Bighorn Sheep Occupied Habitat and Domestic Sheep Allotment Mapping
Melanie Woolever -- U.S. Forest Service
Tom Rinkes -- Bureau of Land Management