Bighorn National Forest Plan

Bighorn National Forest Plan

Current Status:

Date Filed:
Jun 30, 2008

Case Title:
Western Watersheds Project v. U.S. Forest Service

Staff attorney(s):
Laird J. Lucas


Western Watersheds Project

To Protect:

Bighorn Sheep


Case Information:

The Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming has only a relic population of bighorn sheep, which die when they come into contact with domestic sheep grazing on the public lands. Yet the Forest Service continues to authorize sheep grazing in bighorn habitat, and did not evaluate grazing alternatives to the status quo when it recently revised the Bighorn Forest Plan.

Neither did the Forest Service examine any grazing alternatives to protect streams, meadows, and soils of the Bighorn National Forest. Even though forest plans will set management direction for decades into the future — and even though the Forest Service has abundantly documented the harm that livestock grazing causes to the public lands and streams — the agency simply approved existing grazing levels into the future.

This case thus challenges the Forest Service’s recent approval of the revised Bighorn National Forest plan as violating the National Environmental Policy Act and Forest Service regulations.