Lawsuit: Eastern Idaho sheep grazing threatens bighorns

BOISE, Idaho — Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit contending the U.S. Forest Service is illegally jeopardizing bighorn sheep by allowing University of Idaho domestic sheep on two eastern Idaho grazing allotments as part of agricultural research activities.

Western Watersheds Project and WildEarth Guardians in the 18-page lawsuit filed Tuesday contend the grazing through permits issued to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sheep Experimental Station risks transmitting diseases to bighorn sheep.

The lawsuit filed by Advocates for the West challenges the Forest Service’s authorization of the grazing allotments in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.

The lawsuit contends the federal agency is violating environmental laws by allowing the grazing this fall and winter before completing an environmental analysis.

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