From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 4, Number 48 - February 24, 2005
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Appeal questions grazing suitability

by Cat Urbigkit

The Greater Yellowstone Coalition and Wyoming Outdoor Council filed an appeal of the Bridger-Teton National Forest decision allowing continued livestock grazing in the Upper Green.

Parts of the appeal are similar to arguments against livestock grazing made in Deb Donahue's controversial book, "The Western Range Revisited: Removing livestock from public lands to conserve native biodiversity."

The groups argue that the Forest Service "failed to properly allocate that forage to watershed and stream protection, wildlife habitat and food, then to livestock if available. Only through such an analysis can the forest decide if livestock grazing is appropriate and provide for long-term rest to facilitate recovery and improvement of rangeland health."

The appeal includes a list of items the groups would like to have the Forest Service consider, including 24-hour supervision of the livestock by people, electric fencing of livestock at night and a change to steers-only, rather than allowing cows with calves.

The appeal suggests that lethal control of predators should be used to resolve conflicts only as a last resort, and "a wolf or grizzly bear should not be killed unless it poses an immediate threat to human safety, livestock, or other property."

The appeal stated: "Furthermore, the Pinedale Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest should have analyzed an alternative that recommended to the Regional Forester, and the Regional Forester should, [under federal rules] close the project area, and all grazing allotments around the project area, to predator control actions by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and/or the Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services for the purpose of removing any predators to benefit or protect domestic livestock on forest lands."

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