Idaho Conservation League Drops out of Bighorn Sheep/Domestic Sheep Advisory Group.

Cites political interference from the Idaho Legislature.

The Idaho Conservation League has become the second group to resign from the BHS/DS Advisory Group. The first was the Nez Perce Tribe who cited the same reasons for resigning.  Currently the Group is suspended while the Idaho Fish and Game and the sheep permitees develop “best management practices” as mandated by the Legislature in S1232.  These BMP’s will likely have no effect on the situation as you can see from the story I just put up.

Here is the statement made to the participants of the group. Their letter to the Governor is linked to below.

Dear fellow BHS/DS participants,

Thank you for working with the Idaho Conservation League on Governor Otter’s
bighorn sheep/domestic sheep advisory group. Unfortunately, the Idaho
Conservation League no longer sees value in participating in this process
and has submitted the attached letter of resignation to the Governor’s
office. This is a decision we did not make lightly and we regret that we
were placed in this position.

As you know, ICL has made some of its most significant achievements through
working collaboratively with a wide range of partners. These successes
include passage of the Owyhee Initiative, the Idaho Roadless Rule, and the
resolution concerning Working Lands Coalition. All of these efforts were
created to resolve stalemate situations similar to the bighorn
sheep/domestic sheep dilemma.

Unfortunately, political interference from the Idaho Legislature undermined
the advisory group’s foundation of trust and irrevocably upset that balance.
ICL, along with several other organizations, spoke up in advance about the
potential negative impacts of this legislation on the advisory group, on
state agencies, and on the ground.

The passage of this legislation means that this advisory group is no longer
a credible or constructive path forward for our organization. From our
perspective, any common ground the collaborative could have achieved would
also be dismissed by the legislature in a similar fashion.

I believe we did make strides toward understanding each other’s perspectives
and hope that we can continue to work together outside of this group. Please
feel free to contact me to discuss these or other issues.


John Robison
Public Lands Director
Idaho Conservation League

acrobat pdfResignation letter from collaborative



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Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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Ken Cole