Location: Animal Disease Research
Project Number: 2090-32000-036-03-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 24, 2018
End Date: Sep 23, 2021
Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended for the proposed project "Forest Plan Amendment for Planning and Management of Domestic Sheep and Goat grazing within the Range of Bighorn Sheep". Amending the Forest Plan for the Okanogan National Forest and the Forest Plan for the Wenatchee National Forest to provide a forest plan direction for managing domestic sheep and goat grazing within the range of bighorn sheep to meet the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) mandate of managing for viable wildlife populations, in this case bighorn sheep in the context of range management.
As the lead agency under NEPA, the U.S. Forest Service (Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest) has invited the USDA-ARS-ADRU and specifically Dr. Margaret A. Highland to be a cooperating agency with the Forest Service in the development of the EIS. The USDA-ARS has special expertise in animal diseases that would inform the Forest's management decisions. The ARS will help provide the best available science on the transmission of pathogens between domestic sheep and goats and bighorn sheep, the risk of transmission in resultant disease in bighorn sheep and their herds, and the potential strategies to address transmission. This request is following the mandate set forth in a Congressional Appropriations Act regarding both Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service to engage the USDA-ARS for their scientific understanding of disease (pathogen) transmission.