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Here is some quick copy and paste on the effort to retire Domestic sheep grazing allotments from the Uintas. Bighorns are currently expanding their range in the Uintas and...........well, I like bighorn sheep more than I like domestic sheep. There are sample comments and images for people to submit to the Forest Service below.

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The Forest Service issued a scoping notice in February to reauthorize grazing by 12,850 ewe/lamb pairs of domestic sheep on ten allotments covering 156,950 acres of the Wilderness, closer to 170,000 acres if the adjacent West Fork Black's Fork allotment were to be included, which we should request, since it is also used as a sheep driveway. This means that between 25,700 and 38,550 sheep actually are permitted to graze, depending on the number of ewes with single or twin lambs. Important issues include bighorn sheep, Canada lynx, cutthroat trout, watershed health and recreational impacts. Bighorn sheep historically occupied the Uintas, but are killed by disease, particularly pneumonia, transmitted from domestic sheep. Canada lynx historically occupied the Uintas and have been documented recently as radio collared lynx from reintroductions in Colorado moved into the Uintas and north, following the historic corridor to Yellowstone. Much of Utah's water supply also depends on the watersheds in the Uinta Mountains, which are heavily degraded and losing their storage capacity due to loss of ground covering vegetation and accelerated erosion due to sheep grazing. Sediment from eroding watersheds impairs spawning habitat for cutthroat trout and is accelerating the filling in of the lakes in these areas.


Comments are due April 23, 2016. Please consider sending an email or letter to the Forest Service expressing your opposition to continued domestic sheep grazing in the Wilderness. See example email below:

Dave Whittekiend, Supervisor [email protected]
Uinta Wasatch Cache National Forest
857 West South Jordan Parkway
South Jordan, UT 84095

Re: Uintas Domestic Sheep

Dear Supervisor Whittekiend:

Please issue a decision discontinuing domestic sheep grazing in the Uinta Wilderness. In addition to the 10 allotments named in your February 16, 2016 scoping letter, we urge you to issue a decision also closing the West Fork Blacks Fork to continued grazing. Domestic sheep are impairing our watersheds and water supply, creating accelerated erosion, degrading fish and wildlife habitat and are a threat to bighorn sheep, and other wildlife who historically depended on this area. People who travel to this area to experience the wilderness are met with tens of thousands of sheep, smells of sheep, their noise and threatening guard dogs. You can end this conflict by retiring these allotments.

Thank you for your consideration,

Photos of Grazed and Ungrazed streams in the Uinta Wilderness and sheep grazing in the wilderness


Stream with domestic sheep:



Stream without domestic sheep:


Domestic sheep:

 

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This is a problem. But the rancher bundy types will cite it as blm forest service overreach
 
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