Public comment sought on Bridgeport grazing change | RecordCourier.com

Public comment sought on Bridgeport grazing change

Federal foresters are seeking public comment on a proposal to convert from sheep to cattle grazing on portions of the Bridgeport Ranger District.

An open house has been scheduled for 4-6 p.m. July 10 at the Bridgeport Memorial Hall to help explain the change on the Dunderberg, Cameron Canyon, Summer Meadows and Tamarack allotments.

“Our goal is to determine the most beneficial management practices to achieve healthy and sustainable rangelands,” said District Ranger Jan Cutts. “We look forward to getting the public’s input to help identify any other considerations that we should be taking into account during the development of the proposed action and analysis phase of the project.”

Forest Service staff will be on hand to share information on the project and answer questions. Attendees will also have an opportunity to submit written comments.

The allotments are located in the Sierra Nevada on the southwest side of the Bridgeport Ranger District. They include portions of the Green Creek and Mount Warren herd recovery units for the endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Recovery Plan identified that disease transmission from domestic sheep and goat grazing poses one of the major threats to the recovery of Sierra bighorn.

Because of the threat, domestic sheep grazing permits were canceled in 2014 on the Dunderberg, Cameron Canyon, and Tamarack allotments. A settlement agreement with the affected permittee and the Forest Service was adopted in 2015 to address the cancellation of these permits.

In this agreement, the Forest Service agreed to conduct an environmental analysis for the authorization of cattle grazing. The district has developed a proposed action, which outlines the management of these allotments for cattle grazing and identifies potential infrastructure that may be needed to manage cattle in these areas.

Written comments must be submitted within 30 days to Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Attn: District Ranger Jan Cutts, Bridgeport Ranger District, HC 62 Box 1000, Bridgeport, CA 93517, or hand-delivered during normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays to 75694 US-395, Bridgeport, CA, 93517. Facsimiles can be sent to 760-932-5899.

Electronic comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, pdf, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), or Word (.doc) and submitted at: comments-intermtn-humboldt-toiyabe-bridgeport@fs.fed.us. They can also be uploaded to the “Comments/Objection on Project” section of the project website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=49993 under “get connected.” Commenters are asked to put “Bridgeport Southwest Rangeland Project” into the subject line.