Will the (bighorn) "kill bill" mean an end of collaborationism in Idaho?

If Otter signs the bill, many think it will kill more than bighorn sheep-

It seems the preponderance of views in this forum is against collaboration in the Northern Rockies because it doesn’t work to really protect the outdoors and wildlife. Nevertheless, sitting down, holding hands, and talking has a lot or verbal support among Idaho’s media and many politicians.

Rocky Barker, who has in generally supported collabortion, has an article in today’s Statesman indicating the “kill bill” might put an end to this.

Will Idaho’s sheep bill mean the end of collaboration? Otter’s plan to bring all sides together to resolve conflicts over bighorns could collapse if he signs the measure. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman. Note: Ken Cole posted this link earlier as a comment.






  1. kt Avatar

    Otter set the stage for the Legislature to Act like they don’t believe in microbes causing bighorns to die by:

    1) Setting up a Collaborative Group last year where the group was NOT allowed to talk about disease. It supposedly would have offended the oh-so-sensitive sheepmen too much. ‘Cuz supposedly the sheepmen didn’t believe in disease.

    2) Not having his own staff prepare a Briefing paper or packet of some kind that would show the Woolgrowers and their conflicted enablers at Caine vet center had been lying to the Press and legislature about disease. Of course, when your Staff IS the Farm Bureau, like Otter’s is … Ignorance, lying and deceit in the cause of welfare ranching on public lands is standard practice.

    2) Otter and his predecessor Dirk Kempthorne have allowed the 15 or so inter-married well-to-do Woolgrowers – who are really what we are talking about when we talk about the sheep “industry” in Idaho – to suppress science.

    The Woolgrowers want confusion and delay. Why? They get to trash public lands longer, they get their big federal subsidies for wool, mutton, hides, drought – You name it – these guys get given our tax dollars to support THEIR herds.

    Delay provides more time for more bighorn herds to die out. Thus ridding public lands of bighorns so the ranchers will have no bother.

    You know the next place they are going with this? The Woolgrowers and Caine want to get their hands on bighorns to try “experimental” vaccines. Given the lying and denial of science coming from those quarters all along, THAT is a scary thought. More messing around with microbes by people who lie about microbes. Handling and Vaccinating wild sheep like farm animals. And along with this, too,they want to increasingly have the Dept. of Ag. dominate wildlife management in the state. While Fish and Game’s only job will be to kill the offending bighorns that “invade” a domestic sheep allotment.

    So back to where I started this. The leadership of the Woolgrower’s has known all along that bighorns die from domestic sheep disease contact. But pretending that it is a big unfathomable mystery and NEVER EVER has been documented in the wild gives them more time to wipe out more herds on public lands, and to set up the infrastructure to have bighorn sheep treated like farm animals.

    THAT too is why they want to drag out a collaboration process indefinitely while at the same time have Fish and Game busily killing invading bighorns under the new Bill. It gives them more time, more years of subsidies for mutton no one wants, and more time to make moves to get Ag. in charge of “managing” bighorns.

    As Lynn Jacobs in Waste of the West so succinctly said about public lands ranchers, on page after page: They lie.

    http://www.wasteofthewest.com/ .

    Idaho’s Governors have aided and abetted in that lying.

  2. Ken Cole Avatar

    Don’t forget about Crapo. Stan Boyd told me that the Idaho Woolgrowers Association has asked Crapo’s office for $900,000 for 3 years research to be conducted at WSU and UofI. UofI operates the Caine Vet Center in Caldwell.

    Here is the big conundrum that the woolgrowers face. They believe that there has to be separation between bighorn sheep but don’t believe that domestic sheep pass deadly diseases. That’s ridiculous, if they truly believe that then why keep them separate?

    The numbers of bighorn sheep are declining and it is from domestic sheep diseases. The trend indicates that the bighorn sheep will go extinct if there is nothing done.

  3. Brian Ertz Avatar

    Collaborationism, in this instance, is vanity .

  4. kt Avatar

    Yeah, the Woolgrowers want the Idaho politicians rob the school lunch program, or something, to add $900,000 more tax dollar subsidies to keep ranchers from taking any responsibility.

    Hmmm… Maybe that is what the Bill that Siddoway couldn’t quite remember the fine details of was ALSO meant to do. Woolgrowers go ballistic. Get rewarded by Crapo with $900,000 given to their ag enablers to work on sheep germs, meanwhile they want to continue “collaborating” too.

    How would bullies act to get what they want? Just like the Woolgrowers have.

    The public lands livestock industry is based on bullying – that is how they have beaten back every BLM or Forest Manager who has tried to change their abuse of public lands.

  5. DB Avatar

    No argument that special interest bullying has always dominated public land policy making. But that is changing evidenced by NEPA, although agencies have been bullied into not enforcing what looked like good policy decisions. I agree with Brian, too, that collaboration is vanity in many cases. Everyone wants to be a hero. I’m thinking the PNF would liked to have seen what the collaborative group came up with to help them formulate a decision on separation in their supplement DEIS. I’m vain enough to think that the collaborative dicussion could have been steered toward the alternatives the forest presented, maybe even the one that made the entire forest unsuitable for DS. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. But I agree with the BHS people who were really disspainted with this legislation, even though I think it’s so flawed it could never be implemented. Too bad Rocky Barker didn’t mention the Nez Perce tribe leaving the collaborative group over sb1175, that would have made the point. I think it’s dead in the water now even though I first thought it worthwhile (despite taking six months to getting around to discussing issues!)


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