FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - APRIL 23, 2009
AGREEMENT REACHED ON GRAZING RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE FISHLAKE NATIONAL FOREST: PARTIES REACH AGREEMENT ON MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE TUSHAR GRAZING COLLABORATION
For the past two years, the Grand Canyon Trust and Utah Farm Bureau have co-sponsored an effort to resolve outstanding disputes related to two of eight cattle grazing allotments on the Tushar Mountain Range in the Beaver Ranger District, Fishlake National Forest, Utah. In March 2009, the USDA Forest Service, permittees, representatives of environmental groups, and other interested parties reached agreement on revisions to the Ten Mile and Pine Creek/Sulphurbeds Allotments.
In March 2007, representatives from several environmental organizations agreed to withdraw an administrative appeal in favor of a collaborative process to develop overall management recommendations for the two grazing allotments. The collaboration addressed natural resource conditions and livestock management, including but not limited to aspen and mountain mahogany conservation and restoration on both allotments, and a plan for reestablishment of suitable habitat for beaver on Pine Creek within the Pine Creek/Sulphurbeds Allotment.
The collaborative effort was formally convened and facilitated by the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, an independent federal agency based in Tucson, Arizona. The U.S. Institute provided general guidance and facilitation assistance through a third-party neutral, Michele Straube, of Salt Lake City.
"This is an encouraging case where grazing and environmental interests were able to work together successfully, with strong support from the Forest Service, to resolve disputes over natural resource conditions and grazing management on public lands," said Larry Fisher, Senior Program Manager at the U.S. Institute.
The parties have been meeting regularly since April 2007, conducting periodic field visits and monitoring work, and negotiating initial draft documents to determine the current conditions of the two allotments. Based on these discussions and the monitoring data they have collected together, the parties identified desired conditions that will be considered by the Forest Service in developing revised Allotment Management Plans.
A final report will soon be circulated and posted on the project website at http://tushar.ecr.gov. Some details remain to be worked out among the permittees. While regular meetings of the Collaboration have been completed, much remains to be done in finalizing plans for the two allotments, and in implementing these agreed-upon changes. The Collaboration is scheduled to meet again in January 2010 and 2011 to review implementation during the previous years.
The U.S. Institute is a federal program established in 1998 by the U.S. Congress to assist parties in resolving environmental, natural resource and public land conflicts. Since its creation, it has been involved in hundreds of environmental issues around the country, including numerous projects involving the Forest Service. The U.S. Institute serves as an impartial, non-partisan institution providing professional expertise, services and resources to all parties involved in environmental disputes. For more information, visit www.ecr.gov.
The U.S. Institute is a program of the Tucson-based Morris K. Udall Foundation. For more information about the Udall Foundation, visit www.udall.gov.
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