Idaho bighorn/domestic sheep consensus group meets, and sheep disease transmission not on the table.

Earlier, we ran an exclusive story that the livestock industry and various officials were having a secret meeting at the request of Idaho’s governor to counter the federal courts because they were insisting that sheep operations keep their disease-ridden bands away from bighorn sheep in Hells Canyon (Idaho/Oregon border) and on the lower Salmon River in Idaho.

Dec. 3, 2007. Rumor of high level Idaho meeting to conspire against recent bighorn sheep victories.

It was true, and the so the whole thing emerged on Jan. 7 as a consensus group meeting attended by a number of groups, but the agenda was tightly controlled.

Once again what is so fascinating is how little stockgrowers are concerned about passing livestock disease to wildlife.

The Western Watersheds Project blog has an interesting account of the group’s first meeting, at least I find it appallingly entertaining. Read “Bighorn Meeting.” WWP blog.

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Similarly why is it that the ag lobby’s kept agency, APHIS, is doing so little about bluetongue which is a grave threat to whiletailed deer, pronghorn and a number of ruminant livestock.?






  1. Ghost Grizzly Avatar
    Ghost Grizzly

    I just read the wwp blog and I think that sucks. Yep only in Idaho where the men are men and the sheep are scared.;-)

  2. JB Avatar

    Hmm…a great example of how not to do collaboration. There’s no point in attempting a consensus approach if you can’t define the decision “space” you’re working within. In this case, the decision authority lies with BLM/FS, not Otter/IDFG, and the Feds were reluctant to say how much of that authority they are willing to share.

  3. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    The unfortunate thing is, this is what collaboration is about; it’s why the livestock industry is more than willing to collaborate–conservationists get empty promises and the livestock industry gets what it wants.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan