October 2, 2009
Why is the Department of Agriculture running a 100,000 acre sheep ranch in the middle of wolf country? They call it a Sheep Experiment Station? What’s the experiment, to see how many wolves can get in trouble over a huge flock of sheep?
USDA’s Sheep Experiment Station was directly tied to the recent aerial gunning of The Sage Creek Wolf Pack. According to The Center for Biological Diversity, the pack originally got in trouble because they killed one sheep from the station. Talk about temptation, does anyone blame wolves for preying on sheep when they’re planted right in the middle of a major wildlife corridor between Montana and Idaho?
The Center has already sued the feds over those sheep and consider them to be a major roadblock to wolf recovery.
Apparently this station has been around a long time, since the beginning of the 19th century. Their stated mission is: “to develop integrated methods for increasing production efficiency of sheep and to simultaneously improve the sustainability of rangeland ecosystems.” Uh-huh. What does that even mean? I know what it means for wolves, T-R-O-U-B-L-E.
Please take action for wolves and follow this link to an Action Alert by The Center For Biological Diversity. Ask Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to close the Sheep Station and stop the gunning of wolves in Montana/ Idaho.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
4 Wolves Gunned Down By Feds Near USDA Sheep Experiment Station
Written by Rhishja Larson
Published on October 9th, 2009
Aerial sharpshooters with the U.S. Department of Agriculture have killed four wolves in Montana for preying on sheep in the secretive Sheep Experiment Station.
The last four wolves of the Sage Creek Pack were gunned down this week by USDA aerial sharpshooters, after the wolves had been targeted for preying on sheep in the 100,000+ acre USDA Sheep Experiment Station (USSES) west of Yellowstone National Park.
According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the killing of wolves in the wildlife corridor connecting Yellowstone to central Idaho is the reason the wolves’ removal from the endangered species list was reversed in court last year. The taxpayer-funded Sheep Experiment Station grazes thousands of sheep in southwestern Montana and southeastern Idaho, and its elimination would help the survival of wolves and other wildlife in this crucial habitat corridor.
Sheep experiment station avoids environmental analysis for decades
The mission of the Sheep Experiment Station, according to the USDA/ARS website, is “to develop integrated methods for increasing production efficiency of sheep and to simultaneously improve the sustainability of rangeland ecosystems.”
However, since its establishment in 1915, the USSES had sidestepped environmental analysis – even after the 1970 enactment of the National Environmental Policy Act – and had allegedly been operating outside of environmental law for decades.
By avoiding external review, the Sheep Station was able to graze thousands of sheep for over 90 years without any environmental analysis or consideration of endangered species, such as Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, lynx, gray wolves, and grizzly bears.
Thanks to a 2008 settlement brought about by a Center for Biological Diversity lawsuit, the taxpayer-funded USSES is now required to analyze the environmental effects of sheep grazing under the National Environmental Policy Act – and to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the impacts of the sheep grazing on threatened and endangered species.
Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Common
Posted in: aerial gunning of wolves, Wolf Wars
Tags: wolves in the crossfire, wolves or livestock, aerial gunning of wolves, sheep experiment station, Sage Creek Pack