Lands contain habitat for greater sage grouse, redband trout

July 17, 2019

After filing suit in May, Guardians and allies have won a partial preliminary injunction preventing Hammond Ranches from grazing livestock in the Mud Creek allotment near Burns, Oregon, this summer. The judge also required that grazing on a second allotment be reduced, allowing for significantly fewer cattle.

On his last day in office, former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke ordered the Bureau of Land Management to renew grazing permits for Dwight and Steven Hammond during the government shutdown and without environmental analysis. President Trump pardoned the Hammonds in 2018 after they set fire to public lands, endangering the lives of firefighters and the public. The arsonists had a history of violating their grazing permits, and the BLM declined to renew their permits in 2014—a decision still under review when Zinke seized control of the process.

The lands in question contain important habitat for greater sage grouse and rare redband trout. Livestock grazing degrades sage grouse habitats and the stream habitats where trout live, as well as contributing to fire risk by spreading the invasive weed cheatgrass.

Read the press release.

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