Sheep Station to Stay Open Through 2015


“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will not close the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station during the fiscal year 2015.” This is the indirect message received by the sheep industry from USDA in early December 2014. 

Catherine Woteki, Ph.D., under secretary, responding on behalf of Secretary Vilsack, indicated that sheep production research is, and will continue to be, a priority for the Agriculture Research Service. She iterated, however, that the “sheep production research as Dubois is proposed to be moved to the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) at Clay Center, Neb., to take advantage of the current research infrastructure at MARC in genetics, genomics, nutrition and reproduction.” 

CLICK HERE to read the full letter

Background From the Bozeman Chronicle:  

A rider included in the 2015 Omnibus Spending bill provided almost $2 million for the station's 2015 budget, despite USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announcing to Congress in June that the station was a liability so he planned on closing it.

The liability issue derives from several lawsuits currently filed against the Sheep Station's grazing allotments in grizzly bear habitat. Bozeman-based Cottonwood Environmental Law Center, Gallatin Wildlife Association, WildEarth Guardians and Western Watersheds Project sued to close the Sheep Station’s Centennial Valley grazing allotments after two grizzly bears were killed near sheep herds.

Since Grizzly bears are still protected under the Endangered Species Act, the groups say the station should be required to conduct an environmental study of the hazard presented by the grazing allotments.

That lawsuit and others are still working their way through the legal process and the attorneys have said the sheep station allotments are a legal liability for the USDA.

“This rider seems hypocritical coming from conservative legislators,” said GWA president Glenn Hockett. “Closing the station is a good example of less government and it’s better for wildlife.”

CLICK HERE to read full article




Source:  American Sheep Industry, Bozeman Chronicle

Posted by Jami Howell

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x