Another Idaho Anti-Bighorn Attempt Falls

Rancher and Idaho state senator Jeff C. Siddoway
Rancher and Idaho state senator Jeff C. Siddoway

Yesterday I posted a review (with a little help from the Idaho Attorney General’s Office) about Idaho Senate Bill 1124, an anti-wildlife bill sponsored by rancher Monty Pearce that seeks to punish bighorn-sheep conservation efforts.

Today, the Idaho state Senate Resources & Environment Committee considered another anti-bighorn sheep attempt.  RS18882 was draft legislation, introduced to the committee by another domestic sheep rancher and Idaho state senator Jeff C. Siddoway.

Idaho not liable for sheep rancher lossesAP

RS18882 :

provides that domestic sheep and livestock operators will be held harmless from adverse impacts by the State of Idaho; provides for control of certain bighorn by the Director; and the shared veterinarian program between IDA and IDFG be dissolved.

The exact language of the legislation is not available because the draft legislation was rejected by the committee before becoming a bill.

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  1. Craig Avatar

    I am an outside salesman for a building wholesale company and cover all of Idaho. I have brought this issue up to 100s of individuals and have yet to find anyone who has heard of this isssue! This issue needs to have a lot more publicity to inform the public! It is absolutely amazing this has even turned into an issue. The simple fact is to do away with welfare ranchers and alleviate the MAIN problem!

  2. Brian Ertz Avatar


    it’s pretty incredible how much there is to this story that doesn’t get scratched by the idaho media. perhaps this lack of backbone (or interest ?) contributes to why people move away from the papers and more and more we see them going out of business.

    The Payette Forest is currently deciding on an alternative that it will choose for the final decision of its Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). The preferred alternative (the decision that the Forest was leaning toward when it published the SEIS) would reduce domestic sheep on the forest by over 60%, which still has the potential to expose bighorns to disease contrary to what the Forest’s own science clearly shows as necessary, but it’s a remarkable improvement – and I understand that the public comment was highly supportive of outright elimination of sheep grazing on the Forest. And rightly so, by every measure bighorn sheep are more valuable to the people of Idaho, the tribe, and the country than these few politically connected domestic sheep operations, which do little more than attract federal subsidy while trashing the landscape and wildlife for the rest of us.

    From what i’ve heard, Forests all over the West will be looking at the Payette Decision as precedent setting – they will follow suit. The Payette has done a remarkable job – the science is sound – we hope that the decision will keep to it.

    Idaho lawmakers, and their domestic-sheep lobby interests, understand this. That’s why we see this flush of bills. They want to politically intimidate the Forest, and conservation/sportsmen group/tribal advocates, with these threats of repercussions before the decision is made with the intention that it will influence the Forest’s decision and the rippling effect of the precedent set across the West will be stymied to some degree. All eyes remain on the Payette.

  3. Ken Cole Avatar

    If you look at the popularity of the “Idaho Anti-Bighorn Bill May Backfire” post you will see that people are watching this issue. The bighorn posts seem to be getting a lot of views according to statistics. I know that people who are involved in both sides of this issue are watching this blog.

  4. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    We have put up a “share link” on the article. By using it, the story could become viral. You can win the fight to conserve Idaho’s bighorn sheep by doing this.

  5. Virginia Avatar

    I’m sorry – where is the “share link”?

  6. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    At the bottom of:

    and also at the bottom of the right high column of the blog, where links to the “Top Posts” are.

  7. Craig Avatar

    I’ve told all these individuals to come here and and see what’s going on. The news papers just don’t seem to care. Again this site is a great sorce of information that just doesn’t get out to the people by the standard news papers.

  8. kt Avatar

    Wasn’t domestic sheep rancher Siddoway an ex-Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner who then went into canned elk ranching, or something???

    I also recall something about him having fenced in BLM lands along with his canned elk/bloody antler-aphrodisiac-sawing-off undertaking.

  9. DB Avatar

    from the Lewiston Morning Tribune, Thursday, April 20, 1995:
    “Idaho Gov. Phil Batt took a measured step toward balancing the Idaho Fish and Game Commission Wednesday, appointing two ranchers to the six-member panel.
    Batt’s choices also reflected a balance among what were, historically at least, opposing forces. He added a sheepman, Jeff Siddoway of Terreton, and a cattleman, Jack Leroy Brown of Soda Springs.

    Siddoway, 46, is president of Siddoway Sheep Co. The company has been in the family four generations, raising sheep and farming. He is a University of Idaho graduate and president of the SEBS Corp., a feed business, and president of the Fremont Wool Growers Association.
    The outspoken Siddoway ranked as a major figure in several controversies swirling around Fish and Game Department related issues in southeastern Idaho. He favored building the Egin-Hamer Road and once threatened to fence off the path of a migratory elk herd.”

    And from an AP article, Thursday, December 19, 2002:

    IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Prominent eastern Idaho rancher Jeff Siddoway says he has lost money raising sheep and may fence off his land as a pay-to-shoot hunting preserve.

    The Terreton sheepman said Monday he is considering enclosing 5,000 acres of his private property with an 8-foot-tall fence, despite the protests of biologists who fear that could devastate the region’s deer herd.

    The ground covers the Juniper Hills north of St. Anthony. As a former Idaho Fish and Game commissioner, Siddoway said he does not like the idea of closing off the ground where elk and deer survive the winter, but he has to for financial reasons…..

    But now he gets really bizzare:

    By Dean A. Ferguson (Lewiston Morning Tribune) Saturday, February 2, 2008

    BOISE – The Idaho Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill to make organized dogfights a felony. A few senators argued the penalty was too harsh.
    “It’s no secret that Idahoans don’t have much sympathy for animal cruelty,” said Sen. Brad Little, R-Emmett, the bill’s sponsor….
    But elk rancher Sen. Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, made a lengthy statement the state’s priorities are skewed.
    “There were 1,810 abortions last year and we seem to sanctify them,” Siddoway said.
    People enjoy watching large carnivores killing animals, he said.
    “We go to the local arena and watch human beings pound the heck out of each other,” he added.
    By elevating dogfighting to a felony, the state puts the crime on par with rape, murder, treason and drug trafficking.
    “What if your teenage son decides to go have a dogfight out back in the alley?” Siddoway asked.

  10. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Yes and yes!

  11. kt Avatar

    DB – Oh wow. That is bizarre and twisted.

    I sure missed ever seeing rancher and bighorn-hater Siddoway’s views on the dogfighting Bill. It is sickening.

    Kudos to the Lewston Tribune for reporting what he said.

  12. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    State Senator Siddoway might have killed the tag fee increase so actively sought by Idaho Fish and Game Department, and he would seem to have a financial incentive to see Fish and Game fail because of his canned elk hunt operation.

    It is significant too that he used to be an Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner.

    This is another reason why Idaho Fish and Game’s claim they will manage wolves well can’t be taken seriously. There are many livestock people in Idaho like Siddoway who are more powerful than the Department. As a result the Department can’t seriously promise anything, and USFWS should recognize the fact.

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Brian Ertz