MURPHY, Idaho (AP) — Two grazing allotments totaling 203 square miles in remote southwestern Idaho's Owyhee County have been permanently retired.
Jon Marvel, a public-land ranching foe and a leader of the Sagebrush Habitat Conservation Fund, said Wednesday his group struck the agreement with two "conservation-minded permittees" who had grazed cattle on the Bureau of Land Management allotments.
He declined to name the permittees.
Marvel's other group, Western Watersheds Project, co-founded the fund to buy and retire federal grazing permits.
He says these voluntary retirements help protect sensitive species including sage grouse, bighorn sheep, redband trout and antelope.
The retired allotments cover a portion of the Owyhee River Wilderness, one of six federal wilderness areas created in 2009 and promoted by U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo in a years-long collaborative process including ranchers and environmentalists.
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