Idaho Falls Citizen Journalism

An environmental group and the U.S. Forest Service have agreed to a deal to help fish in the Salmon River. In 2016, the Western Watersheds Project sued the Forest Service in U.S. District Court in Boise, saying cattle grazing was hurting salmon, steelhead, and bull trout in the upper East Fork of the Salmon River. The group claimed the Service was violating the Endangered Species Act because grazing on two allotments were hurting spawning habitat. The 100 square miles in question are in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and the new White Clouds Wilderness. The agreement, which resolves the lawsuit, says no domestic livestock can use the land this year and in 2018. The Forest Service will also reassess the future of grazing on the areas in question. Western Watersheds says this will allow the riverbank and vegetation to heal and help more fish survive.

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