The BLM is conducting environmental analysis of applications to renew livestock grazing permits on allotments in the Owyhee Field Office in southwestern Idaho.
Current efforts are focused on analyzing grazing management and permit renewals on BLM-managed lands in the Field Office, to meet requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Earlier environmental analysis of the effects of grazing was, in many cases, conducted on an allotment-by-allotment basis and did not consider potential inter-relationships between grazing and other multiple-use activities in the surrounding area. Today, for example, power transmission and wind energy are becoming part of the southwestern Idaho landscape. The Field Office is also increasingly popular for recreation and is valuable habitat for wildlife, including bighorn sheep and sage-grouse.
The BLM is committed to completing NEPA analysis on these permits by the end of 2013. The permit renewals are being processed in groups, generally based on geographic location within the Field Office and resource values that are present (see map left, CLICK to enlarge). In some cases, the analysis will be reported in an environmental assessment (EA), while other groups will be analyzed in an environmental impact statement (EIS).
In every case, updated NEPA analysis will allow the BLM to fully explore the interaction among grazing,
other activities in the area, and other factors that are now part of the landscape in this corner of Idaho.