Thursday, January 27, 2022

Wyoming Stock Growers, Woolgrowers, Forest Service Reach Agreement

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CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) and Wyoming Wool Growers Association (WWGA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region and Intermountain Region on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. This new agreement replaces the expired MOU dated August 20, 2008. A meeting was held prior to signing the new 2017 MOU to discuss areas of concern and ensure that this agreement would benefit WSGA and WWGA members as well as other livestock producers in the state who have a U.S. Forest Service Allotment.

The meeting included an in-depth discussion of vacant grazing allotments and forage reserves on Wyoming forests. The parties agreed on the need to outline a process for prioritizing those allotments for which a demand for grazing exists. As s first step, the Regions will create a map showing all vacant allotments in the state. Other discussion topics included rangeland monitoring, big horn/domestic sheep challenges and next steps in continuing these valuable discussions.

“With the signing of this MOU, WSGA & WWGA have reaffirmed our commitment to finding common ground with the US Forest Service. WSGA is committed to doing everything we can to help ranchers stay the ground they have protected for many years,” states WSGA President, Niels Hansen. “Everyone involved recognizes how emotionally charged these issues are, this agreement outlines procedures and tools available to all parties to work through the emotion and focus on the resource. Most of the time we all have the same goal, how to achieve that goal is where the problems start.”

The Rocky Mountain Region and Intermountain Region of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture and WSGA and WWGA have established a cooperative program for the purposes of improving communications, fostering natural resource stewardship, maintaining, and improving management practices on rangelands in National Forest and National Grassland Allotments. 

“We are excited about this opportunity,” states Kay Neves, President of the Wyoming Wool Growers Association. “We are so pleased to partner with the Wyoming Stock Growers and the Forest Service in this MOU. It is a great opportunity for Wyoming’s sheep and cattle industries to work collaboratively on a number of issues of mutual concern.”

 

Source:  The Wyoming Stock Growers Association and Wyoming Wool Growers Association

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