Federal Court Tosses BLM Grazing Decisions
For immediate release – January 7, 2011
Contacts: Jon Marvel, Western Watersheds Project Executive Director, 208.788.2290
Katie Fite, Western Watersheds Project Biodiversity Director, 208.871.5738
BLM Failed to Adequately Consider Environmental Costs of Grazing on over 48,000 acres of public land in the Pahsimeroi River Watershed
Hailey, ID — In response to a lawsuit brought by Western Watersheds Project, on January 5, 2011 U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge vacated several Bureau of Land Management grazing decisions which would have renewed grazing permits for four public land grazing allotments on over 48,000 acres of public land within the Pahsimeroi River Watershed.
“The court’s decision is a welcome repudiation of BLM’s violations of the law.” said Jon Marvel, Executive Director of Western Watersheds Project.
Download the Decision
In its decision, the court sided with each of Western Watersheds Project’s claims that BLM violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to adequately consider the environmental impacts of livestock grazing, by not considering an “eminently reasonable” alternative that would significantly reduce or stop livestock grazing on the allotments, and by ignoring cumulative impacts of livestock grazing in the context of past and future agency actions affecting the environment.
“This decision makes clear that BLM managers have chosen to ignore livestock grazing impacts to the environment” said Katie Fite, Western Watersheds Project’s Biodiversity Director, “The court’s decision will further the protection of Bull trout and sage grouse in the breathtakingly beautiful public lands of the Pahsimeroi Valley.”
View Pahsimeroi GMRT Allotments in a larger map
This decision from the U.S. District Court follows another successful Western Watersheds Project court decision remanding BLM’s attempt to build fencing within a Wilderness Study Area on July 30, 2010 on the Burnt Creek Allotment within the Pahsimeroi River Watershed. Western Watersheds Project has additional ongoing litigation to protect endangered Chinook salmon, Steelhead trout and Bull trout in the Pahsimeroi Valley.