Groups hope to keep sheep grazing in MT | TSLN.com

Groups hope to keep sheep grazing in MT

The American Sheep Industry Association and the Montana Wool Growers Association filed for intervener status in the lawsuit brought by Gallatin Wildlife Association against the U.S. Forest Service, which would prohibit the Helle Family from grazing on seven of their allotments in the Gravelly Mountains of southwest Montana. Jim Brown with the MWGA will be the principal contact in this intervention.

The Gallatin Wildlife Association contends that allowing sheep to graze in the national forest threatens to harm federally protected grizzly bears and is blocking the return of bighorn sheep.

In late July, Judge Morris denied the injunction request, pointing out that sheep grazing has taken place in the area for 150 years. One more year of grazing while the court deliberates, he said, is not going to have a significant effect on grizzlies, bighorn or Gallatin's members.

The ASI Executive Board voted in late July to approve up to $40,000 of Guard Dog funds to help defray the Helle family's legal expenses in this case.

A reminder that anyone wanting to follow the progression of this legal battle can do so at http://www.facebook.com/groups/fightforag.

–American Sheep Industry