Lawsuit targets grazing in Sawtooth National Recreation Area

BOISE -- A conservation group has filed a lawsuit contending the U.S. Forest Service is violating environmental laws by issuing grazing permits to central Idaho livestock growers with a long history of violating permit restrictions.

Western Watersheds Project in the lawsuit filed Wednesday says the Forest Service is issuing the permits in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area knowing cattle grazers aren't following guidelines.

The area also includes the newly-formed White Clouds Wilderness.

The environmental group says the cattle grazing violations harm recreational values in the popular destination, prevent plants from recovering and damage streams needed by federally protected salmon, steelhead and bull trout.

The group is asking a federal judge to reject the Forest Service's recent approval of the grazing permits.

A Forest Service spokeswoman on Thursday said the agency didn't have an immediate comment.

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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