During the last days of January, the Payette National Forest released updated information pertaining to the analysis in the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) to supplement the 2003 Southwest Idaho Ecogroup Land and Resource Management Plan as it relates to bighorn sheep viability on the Payette National Forest.
The updated information includes a revised source habitat model and core herd home range analysis, a new contact analysis and a disease model. Several additional alternative management approaches were developed and analyzed in the DSEIS. The new models and updated analyses led to the development of five new alternative approaches that are described, displayed and analyzed in the updated information report. The alternatives provide for a broad spectrum of management approaches to achieve separation between the two sheep species.
The 45-day comment period on the updated report will end on March 19. Only comments pertaining to the updated information are requested at this time since comments regarding the information contained in the DSEIS have already been analyzed. The Payette plans to release the final document in May 2010.
Both the DSEIS and the supplemental information can be found at www.fs.fed.us/r4/payette/publications/big_horn/index.shtml.
The American Sheep Industry Association is planning to submit comments on the updated information report.