ASI Weighs In On Nevada Bighorn Proposal
October 13, 2017
This week, the American Sheep Industry Association submitted comments to the Winnemucca District Office of the Bureau of Land Management on their proposal to capture and collar bighorn sheep in a wilderness area.
Under the Wilderness Act of 1964, these areas are designated by Congress to be maintained as close to natural as possible, only allowing the use of modern equipment – such as aircraft – in limited circumstances. In fact, under the most recent court challenges mechanical gathers in wilderness areas have faced a daunting judicial review.
In its comments, ASI pointed out that in this case, the proposed capture and collaring activity likely would be found to be in violation of the law. Further, ASI pointed to the potential harm to bighorn sheep herds through a capture, which involves the presence of wildlife specialists and aircraft, as well as netting, hobbling, blindfolding and collaring.
The association understands that pathogens related to die off events in bighorn sheep are endemic in populations throughout the west, and stress and nutrition are key factors in these pathogens leading to disease. It is ASI’s position that the stress of these management activities would be detrimental to the health of the bighorn herds targeted for collaring.
ASI continues to monitor conflicts between domestic and bighorn sheep closely, and advocates for the use of sound science. The industry has seen the loss of too many public lands sheep grazing allotments due to flawed science and poorly modeled risk assessments.
ASI’s comments can be found at: https://d1cqrq366w3ike.cloudfront.net/http/DOCUMENT/SheepUSA/NDOW%20Wildlife%20Management%20Activities%20in%20Wilderness.pdf.