Our strategy for achieving effective separation between wild sheep and domestic sheep is:
- find multiple-use solutions: there are places for both wild and domestic sheep on federal public lands at safe distances from each other.
- fund research into better understanding of how pneumonia transmits within wild sheep populations and between wild and domestic sheep.
- in cases of emergency risks, take immediate action to sacrifice infected bighorns before they infect other bighorns and to move domestic sheep through administrative action.
We are pursuing our strategy by:
- sustaining the research program of the University of Washington WSF Rocky Crate Chair for Wild Sheep Disease Research - Disease Research and Surveillance
- supporting Congressional direction to the Forest Service and BLM to engage us and the woolgrower community in moving domestic sheep to safe distance from wild sheep, employing the expertise of the directly-affected stakeholders in how the agencies meet their legal responsibilities.
2017 PRIORITY: THE BUDGET FOR BIGHORN SHEEP
Support Congressional direction to the Forest Service and BLM to prevent disease from spreading on grazing allotments. (Interior Appropriations report language.)
- Recent spending bills have directed the agencies to work with sportsmen and grazing permittees to control the risk of disease carried by domestic sheep. This joint effort keeps pro-multiple-use groups together in resolving a difficult problem by consensus.
- Annual budgets have supported this approach since 2015 and must continue.
- There should be no question whether to continue on this path, we should be improving the policy.
COMMUNITY LETTER TO CONGRESS
December 2016: The bighorn sheep conservation community urges Congressional appropriations leaders to continue directing the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to work closely with affected stakeholders and state wildlife authorities on the risk of disease transmission between domestic and bighorn sheep.
CREATING BIGHORN SHEEP PROGRAMS
- Supporting Congressional oversight of Forest Service and BLM on execution of Congressional direction. Congress has previously sent two multi-member letters to the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior - it's time for an updated letter.
ENGAGING DIRECTLY WITH GRAZING PERMITTEES
PROMOTING AWARENESS AND UNDERSTANDING OF THE ISSUE