Payette National Forest Receives 15,000 Comments on Bighorn Sheep !

Bighorn lamb nibbles - © Ken Cole
Bighorn lamb nibbles – © Ken Cole

Good gracious that’s a lot of comments !
Congrats to Idaho’s prized bighorn sheep and thanks to those that commented !

15,000 Comments Received on Bighorn Sheep Viability DSEISNews Release, Payette National Forest

The bighorn sheep issue has been on the cutting edge of controversy in the state of Idaho. You can look back on our posts about wild sheep here:
Category > bighorn sheep






  1. paulWTAMU Avatar

    So does that mean they *won’t* be killing the bighorns? Good.

  2. Brian Ertz Avatar


    the state looks to be moving toward slaughtering bighorn – the feds look to be moving toward protecting them.

    it’s got to be a good thing for the feds’ backbone that there were so many comments.

  3. kt Avatar

    Yes, and here is what the illustrious legislators who keep voting to eradicate bighorns from anyplace a welfare rancher doesn’t want them are up to: Vacationing (are they getting per diem while on vacation?) and voting in absentia while on vacation and malingering in session to bicker with Otter over who gets the most pork from the Omnibus Bill:

    On an “official” trip to Hawaii – It now is clear to be the reason the Leg is so concerned about mussels is that one of them got a free trip to Hawaii out of it, and golfing in Palm Springs.

  4. kt Avatar

    I meant the Stimulus Bill! Sorry!

  5. Anthony Scherr Avatar
    Anthony Scherr

    I thought republicans were against welfare and for free markets. Why do so many support welfare ranching and non market based grazing fees? Idaho sure has a bunch of funky republicans!

  6. Brian Ertz Avatar

    The word is that as many as 98% of the 15,000 comments submitted were in favor of completely eliminating or substantially reducing domestic sheep grazing on the Payette National Fores to protect bighorn sheep.

  7. Jay Barr Avatar
    Jay Barr


    Do you think public comments mean a damn thing? There are a couple of BLM allotments on the S side of the river where its going to be business as usual, so even if PNF does the right thing…

  8. Brian Ertz Avatar


    Forests all over the West are looking to the Payette to lead with these viability determinations. If the Payette does the right thing here, bighorn populations all over the West will benefit.

    As far as the BLM, it’s a little bit more tricky as I understand it. Not the same species viability requirement as with the ’82 Forest regs. But I do know that there’s been a general 9-mile rule somehow incorporated into at least some districts. As with anything, they’ll probably need to be pushed, but if you’ve got info about BLM domestic sheep decisions in bighorn habitat that look fishy – let us know.

  9. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Yes, they try and wrap it in “property rights” to give it veneer of public interest, but it is really just special interest legislation to benefit a few of their pals. As I write this many new job losses at the university are being announced on top of hundreds earlier this year. Why? So Butch Otter can build up a second “rainy day” fund on top of the first rainy day fund that is sitting barely untouched.

    In Idaho politics, conflict of interest seems to be an honored principle of government.

    Note: Neither I, nor anyone in my family, is affected directly by these cuts. So this isn’t sour grapes.

  10. CAT Avatar

    Read Barker’s BLOG, the Idaho Legislature is going to kill bighorns anyway and pass S1175 bill TOMORROW (Thurs)!

    Oh and don’t fret, the bill also gives out 10 wolf kill permits to sell or auction off in addition to all the Bighorn sacrifices.

    Read the bill here

    IT has been passed by the Senate, it went thru the house committee and is now on the house floor for final vote before being sent on to the Governor.

  11. Brian Ertz Avatar

    Jay Barr,

    an additional response to your question about the BLM lands.

    we learned recently that the Cottonwood BLM is joining with the Nez Perce National Forest in initiating an EIS to close the Allison-Berg allotment and the BLM Partridge Creek and Marshall Mountain allotments.

    unfortunately, despite that process being initiated – Cottonwood BLM has permitted the permittee to turn out sheep this spring with very minor mitigation that include dogs and a herder to prevent contact with bighorns.

  12. Layton Avatar

    Are there Big Horns in Partridge Creek and on Marshall Mountain??

    I was under the impression that there were no wild sheep on the South side of the river in those areas.

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Brian Ertz