The purpose of the analysis is to determine if continued grazing is appropriate within the project areas, whether grazing should be authorized, and if so, under what management direction. Currently, two permittees jointly run one band of 1000 domestic sheep on three of the allotments.
The analysis has documented overlap between domestic sheep and bighorn sheep on the allotments. The potential risk of contact between the two species is high as is the potential for disease transmission.
Forage on public lands contributes to the economic viability of individual ranching operations. Livestock-based agriculture is historically and culturally important in the San Luis Valley. Bighorn sheep also provide social and economic value to local communities.
Written comments are most useful if received within 30 days of the publication of the legal notice in the Valley Courier (expected on August 12) and may be mailed to Divide Ranger District, 13308 West Highway 160, Del Norte, CO 81132. Comments may also be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit the Snow Mesa Allotments Analysis webpage at http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=42886 or contact the Divide Ranger District at 719-657-3321.