Payette National Forest (PNF) Supervisor Suzanne Rainville is extending the comment period on the Bighorn Sheep Viability Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS). The original 90-day comment period on the DSEIS would have ended on Jan. 2, 2009. The comment period is being extended an additional 60 days until March 3, 2009.
The decision to extend the comment period was made after requests were received from a number of individuals and groups, including the American Sheep Industry Association, the Idaho Wool Growers Association and the Colorado Wool Growers Association as well as a collaborative group of domestic, wild sheep and Nez Perce tribal officials. The extended comment period should allow sufficient time for the public to review the DSEIS and provide substantive comments.
A decision on the amendment addressing bighorn sheep viability is scheduled to be issued later in 2009. The decision will amend the 2003 Land and Resource Management Plan for the PNF for the management of bighorn sheep. The draft amendment contains implementation direction for the decision in the form of standards and guidelines for the separation of domestic sheep and bighorn sheep on the PNF. The bighorn sheep viability DEIS has 12 alternatives, including a "No Action" alternative. The DSEIS and related documents can be accessed on the PNF Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r4/payette/publications/big_horn/big_horn_sheep_documents_index.shtml/.