Idaho Wild Sheep Conservation in the Movi free Farm Flock Program
ID WSF: $40K
Idaho Wild Sheep Foundation, as a member of the Hells Canyon Initiative is engaged in a program to work with owners of small domestic sheep and goat flocks. The emphasis of this program is to identify small flock owners in or adjacent to bighorn sheep habitat. The Movi issue and the importance of avoiding direct contact between their stock and wild sheep is explained to these owners. Trained personal are hired to sample domestic sheep and goats for operators that chose to participate in the program. The goals are to educate and gain support from small flock owners, and to minimize the chances for direct contact of domestic sheep and goats with bighorn sheep.
This program was initiated in the Hells Canyon complex through the Asotin County Conservation District and is jointly funded by the three state wildlife management agencies, plus the three state chapters of the Wild Sheep Foundation. It was later expanded to the Salmon/Challis/Mackay area funded through an Idaho Fish and Game Commission Challenge Grant, with matching funding from ID WSF.
Reaction and acceptance to this program has been mixed, but mostly positive. Many operators were not aware of the problem and are willing to cooperate. By working through personal contacts, county extension agents and social media we are hopeful engagement in the program will continue to increase. The ID WSF has committed $40,000 dollars to the Farm Flock Program.