June 29, 2007
June 29, 2007 - The conservation groups of Western Watershed Project and the Center for Biological Diversity have filed a lawsuit in federal court this week over sheep grazing.
The groups claim the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) sheep experiment station near Dubois, Idaho, violated federal rules when it authorized sheep grazing on and around Yellowstone National Park.
The groups contend the grazing puts wild bighorn sheep at risk of catching deadly diseases from the domesticated sheep. And that the grazing threatens other animals, including lynx, wolves and grizzly bears.
The sheep experiment station has research land in two states: 27,930 acres of USDA's Agricultural Research Services (ARS) land near Dubois, which has office, laboratory, animal, equipment and residential buildings, dry-lot facilities for research throughout the year, lambing facilities and lands used for spring and autumn grazing and rangeland research; approximately 16,600 acres of ARS land in the Centennial Mountains of Montana, which is used for summer grazing and rangeland research; 2,600 acres of ARS at the Humphrey Ranch in Idaho, which has animal facilities and equipment buildings and is used for spring, summer and autumn grazing and rangeland research; and 1,200 acres of ARS land at the Henninger Ranch near Kilgore, Idaho, which has animal facilities and is used for summer grazing and rangeland research.
Dubois is the only range sheep experiment station in the United States and is credited with development of new breeds of sheep.