Nez Perce Tribe quits Idaho bighorn working group

New state law on bighorn undermines the working group process, tribe says-

This is good news about the sorry situation. Everyone should quit this group set up to make it appear that the Otter Administration gives a damn about bighorn.

Bad news!

And on top of this a bighorn mixed with domestic sheep (on private land), but adjacent to one of these troublesome BLM sheep allotments near Riggins the other day. Then the bighorn went back to its herd.

I understand that today they are deciding whether to kill the bighorn herd of ten bighorn rams because of this interaction likely to spread sheep disease back to the bighorn.

Story: Nez Perce Tribe pulling out of bighorn work group. AP






  1. Brian Ertz Avatar

    good for them (nez perce) … this bighorn “collaborative” has been a big sick joke from the beginning. i remember attending the first interim meeting and one of the ground-rules of the thing was that no-one could talk about disease…

  2. Jay Barr Avatar
    Jay Barr

    Haven’t looked up the dictionary definition of “collaboration,” but it doesn’t feel like it’s a give-and-take situation when the sheep industry wants guarantees for business as usual and the only side giving ground (which it can’t afford) is that supporting bighorn sheep.

  3. Debra K Avatar
    Debra K

    The Tribe holds the trump card here in the form of their 1855 treaty rights. Perhaps they will finally be willing to use the considerable power they could wield over the state and federal lands and agencies.

    For the sake of the wild bighorn sheep, other wild creatures, and those of us that want to live with them in the future, I hope the Tribe may find the will to fight and not compromise. Hard to contemplate, I suspect, with the wretched treatment the Tribe previously endured from the US government and European settlers in general.

  4. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    This is a remarkable intrusion of disease into a bighorn sheep herd that was not a restored herd, but has always been in the area (so far as I can tell).

    The Tribe cannot tolerate this.


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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