Pocatello Area Grazing Allotment Permit Renewal

Photo Credits: Kandis Christensen|||||| Photo Credits: Kandis Christensen|||||| ||||||


The federal agencies continue permitting cattle to graze and pollute watersheds and streams that comprise Pocatello’s water supply. In 2012, we organized an allotment tour with the Forest Service and other interested parties and livestock permittees. The Forest Service management allows continued pollution of the streams and water supply.  Our report and comments were submitted on the DEIS, showing all the streams in this 43,200 acre project area were polluted by nutrients, sediment and e. coli.  We have engaged Pocatello City and provided our information to them and urged them to request that the watershed be managed with better utilization, rotations, and in some cases, closures to grazing. The Forest Service continues permitting grazing at the same level.

  • WWe wrote a very direct rebuttal of this decision and sent to the Forest Service. Our work lead to them closing an additional portion of the watershed to grazing.
  • We opposed the Forest Service's categorical exclusion of the new decision to force Pocatello City to build and maintain fences to protect a portion of the watershed, which should be the responsibility of the livestock permittees.
  • Pocatello is already paying the costs of treating their drinking water, their discharge water and this will only increase. The city recently passed a $9.5 million bond issue to obtain more surface water in this watershed.
  • In 2017, E. Coli data collected by both Y2U and Western Watersheds Project  indicates that a significant portion of  watershed needs to be closed. We will challenge their annual permit for grazing in the following years.

Expected Outcome

Continue placing pressure on the Forest Service to manage the allotment in a way that reflects the impact that current grazing has on the drinking water of more than 100,000 citizens. Continue conducting stream monitoring, submitting comments, and raising awareness through media.