August 31, 2007
August 31, 2007 - The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) will file a motion with the Ninth Circuit Court in Idaho to intervene in the litigation filed by the Center for Biological Diversity et al, against the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in Dubois, Idaho.
The ASI executive board voted during its July meeting to authorize legal action in support of the sheep station. After extensive research and information gathering, the ASI officer team engaged the firm of Holland and Hart to provide legal representation in filing as an intervenor in the suit.
The plaintiffs in the case claim the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Sheep Experiment Station violated National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) rules when it authorized sheep grazing in portions of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem that are outside the borders of Yellowstone National Park. They are seeking an injunction that would require the USDA to comply with NEPA and would likely prohibit grazing until USDA reconsiders NEPA in the context of an Environmental Impact Statement.
"The U.S. Sheep Experiment Station is the only U.S. Department of Agriculture range facility solely dedicated to the research needs of sheep and it is the belief of the ASI executive board that it should be protected against actions imposed by anti-livestock groups," commented Burdell Johnson, ASI president.
ASI is requesting intervention status since the industry has significant, protectable interests related to the resulting actions of this case and the resolution has the potential to impair the industry's ability to continue the vital research and analysis this facility provides for the U.S. sheep industry. Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33