MISSOULA — A judge says he won’t block sheep grazing in a mountain range on the Idaho-Montana boarder despite worries by wildlife advocates that federally-protected grizzly bears could be harmed.
U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen said in Monday’s order that he was siding with federal officials who concluded grazing sheep in the Centennial Mountains would not harm bears.
Christensen says wildlife advocates also failed to prove that grazing makes bears more likely to chase or attack humans.
The case involves the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Sheep Experiment Station near Dubois in eastern Idaho.
Grazing was suspended in 2013 following previous lawsuits from environmental groups contending the area is a corridor for grizzlies between Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho.
Grazing is scheduled to resume this summer after officials conducted a new environmental review.