JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has announced plans to protect from mineral development more than 1,400 acres of winter range used by the struggling Whiskey Mountain bighorn sheep herd in northwest Wyoming.
The former Montana congressman says there are places where it is appropriate to mine and places it is not and the Whiskey Mountain range is a good example of where mineral development should be prohibited.
The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports that the Whiskey Mountain herd has never recovered from a bout of pneumonia that slashed the herd in half in 1990 and 1991. At last estimate it numbered about 850 animals, 40 percent under the goal set by wildlife managers.
The BLM is taking public comments on the proposed mineral withdrawal for the herd’s range through July 25.