Radical Environmental Groups File Suit aimed at U.S. Sheep Experiment Station
October 27, 2017

Last week, Western Watershed Project and Wildearth Guardians filed suit against the U.S. Forest Service challenging the service's authorization of domestic sheep grazing permits on the Snakey Canyon and Kelly Canyon allotments within the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. These allotments are permitted to the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station for research purposes. Citing the Payette decision and faulty risk analysis modeling, the radical environmental groups are also seeking an emergency temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent the use of these allotments on the intended start date of Nov. 6, 2017. Chase Adams, senior policy and information director for the American Sheep Industry Association, pointed out that this action relies on false science and a flawed interpretation of "species viability" under the Forest Planning Rule.

"This charge brought by Western Watersheds is a clear example of what happens when you try to litigate science," said Adams. "Their pleadings are false on their face, disease is not transmitted, and domestic sheep are not 'immune' to the pathogens that lead to die-offs. Yet, Western Watersheds and other radical groups continue to rely on flawed science to harass agriculture on all fronts. We know that the pathogens that lead to disease are endemic in bighorn sheep herds across the west. Further, under the most recent case law in Biodiversity Conservation Alliance v. Jiron, it is clear that the Forest Planning Rule gives the Forest Service great deference in managing the forest as a whole to achieve desired results."

The American Sheep Industry Association will continue to work to ensure grazing decisions on public lands are based on sound science and protect the critical research being done at the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station.

More information can be found on the ASI website at: http://www.sheepusa.org/Issues_AsiPositions.