The Idaho Statesman reports that Mike Simpson has withdrawn the rider which would have prevented the BLM and US Forest Service from addressing the ongoing issue of disease transmission from domestic sheep to bighorn sheep and would have bypassed years of analysis and a long public process which generated 15,000 public comments.

The rider would have also stopped the Payette National Forest from implementing the last phase of the domestic sheep grazing closures designed to protect Idaho’s native bighorn sheep in the Salmon River Canyon and Hells Canyon which are still suffering low lamb recruitment from previous disease exposure and could be extirpated in the event of another exposure to disease carrying domestic sheep.

Politically, the rider would have driven a wedge between sportsmen and the livestock industry who routinely get whatever they want. This is a big victory for bighorn sheep advocates, Native American Tribes, and sportsmen. It also allows other conflicts across the west, where there are numerous conflicts between bighorn sheep and domestic sheep, to be addressed in a rational fashion using the best available science.

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About The Author

Ken Cole

Ken Cole, Western Watershed Project’s Idaho Director, is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is also serves as a member of the board of directors for Buffalo Field Campaign.

5 Responses to Bighorn sheep rider has been withdrawn by Mike Simpson.

  1. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    Good news. It sounds like Simpson didn’t like the amplfied rhetoric.

  2. avatar Dan says:

    Awesome! Great news!

  3. avatar ramses09 says:

    Simpson is the same idiot or asshat as I like to call him … that put the rider in last year (along with Jon Tester)
    delisting the wolf.
    SO good news for Big Horn Sheep 🙂

  4. avatar Susan says:

    Great news and great work bighorn sheep activists!

  5. avatar Ken Cole says:

    I’ve spent the last three days here on Capitol Hill and all indications were that it would likely remain in the bill but we persisted in telling people how bad it was. I guess they listened and Simpson started feeling the pressure. It has gotten to the point that Simpson was starting to look like he just hated bighorn sheep.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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