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8-8 SS Otter Bighorn
by David Sparks, Ph.D., click here for bio
Program: Sportsman's Spotlight
Date: August 08, 12
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Domestic sheep barred from certain sections of BLM land in an attempt to protect one of the biggest hunting trophies there is, the wild bighorn.
I have done so many stories on the issue of the potential for intermingling domestic sheep with wild bighorn sheep over the years. There are all kinds of science that says domestic sheep can infect bighorns with all kinds of pulmonary disorders. That possibility doesn’t sit well with a lot of people from the hunting community. However there have been retractions of this science that have been reported and it’s hard to know what to believe. I do know this: there was a recent decision by the BLM to prohibit domestic sheep from using some of their land and I sat down with Gov. otter to talk about it. “Every time that we face this, especially since I have been Governor, there was always this talk about we have to separate them. And we haven’t separated them because of the limited science that we now have. Is there actually a transmission that takes place? If we were as certain about that as we are about the transmission of brucellosis from elk herds to cattle herds, the breeding cattle, I would probably feel a little more comfortable about some of the decisions that the department of ag and Department of the Interior are making on the sheep herds. But having said that, when I had my last meeting with Vilsack, in Washington DC I told him I was prepared to resist any new management plan either on the BLM or forest service and on any of the forest service management plans unless they started identifying alternative grazing allotments.
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