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BLM Restricting Grazing in Owyhee County

Benito Baeza

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Bureau of Land Management is restricting grazing on allotments in Owyhee County after a federal judge’s ruling in a lawsuit over sage grouse habitat. The Idaho Statesman reports the cutbacks for three of four allotments announced Monday angered ranchers, who said such cuts could put them out of business. Ranchers will be able to graze fewer cattle for less time.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ordered the BLM to review 75 grazing permits in southwestern Idaho by the end of 2013 in a ruling in a lawsuit filed by the Western Watersheds Project. BLM Owyhee field office manager Loretta Chandler says the agency had few choices that would meet the terms of the ruling, so it went with seasonal grazing restrictions. Ranchers have 15 days to protest Monday’s decision.

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