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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Central California District
 
Release Date: 04/29/10
Contacts: David Christy , 916-941-3146  
News Release No. CA-CC-10-66

BLM Announces Environmental Assessment for Sheep Grazing Allotments


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Bishop Field Office is conducting a 30-day public scoping period for an environmental assessment (EA) that will consider a range of alternatives for grazing domestic sheep on the Dog Creek and Green Creek allotments in Mono County, California.

A Notice of Intent initiating the public scoping process was published in the Federal Register (Vol. 75, No. 82, Pages 22617-22618) today.

To be included in the EA process, comments must be submitted to BLM by June 1.  Interested individuals may submit comments on issues and planning criteria related to the EA and possible plan amendment by any of the following methods:

The environmental assessment is being conducted to consider whether or not, or under what terms and conditions, the BLM would issue new 10-year grazing permits for these two allotments.  The selection of any alternative that would modify the mandatory terms and conditions of the allotments, or that would make all or portions of the allotments unavailable for grazing by domestic livestock, would not conform to the Bishop Resource Management Plan dated March 25, 1993, and would therefore require a plan amendment.

 “We are announcing the beginning of the public scoping period to encourage public participation in our environmental assessment and decision making process” said BLM Bishop Field Office Field Manager Bernadette Lovato.  “Comments gathered through this scoping effort will be used to help us identify relevant issues and planning criteria to be considered in the EA” she said.

Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis sierrae), a federally listed endangered species, inhabit the Sierra Nevada range to the south and west of the two allotments.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recommended that both allotments be closed to domestic sheep grazing due to the risk of disease transmission between domestic sheep and wild sheep.  “BLM certainly recognizes the controversy and issues associated with grazing domestic sheep in proximity to wild sheep. I am committed to making a well-thought-out decision regarding these allotments” said Lovato.

Following public scoping, BLM will summarize and incorporate relevant comments into the EA.  The EA will be available for public review on the web at http://www.blm.gov/ca/bishop.

For further information please contact BLM Rangeland Management Specialist Jeff Starosta at (760) 872-5032 or BLM Supervisory Natural Resource Management Specialist Steven Nelson at (760) 872-5006.




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Central California District   2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825  

Last updated: 04-30-2010