Louse Canyon Complex of Allotments – Disaster Spring
Way back around year 2000 or so, Vale BLM conducted a rangeland health assessment in the Louse Canyon Complex of allotments. Grazing was causing scouring of drainages, head-cutting, desiccation and loss of spring areas and meadows. It’s been all downhill for the land since then – with BLM backpedaling from any science-based management, covering up and making endless excuses (including in staff’s sworn statements in response to litigation in federal court) for relentless non-stop degradation that is destroying the headwaters of the West Little Owyhee and Little Owyhee in the Louse Canyon area allotments. BLM has refused to address the severe ongoing livestock degradation across this landscape – which is part of the largest remaining block of sage-grouse habitat on the planet, shared between Oregon, Idaho and Nevada.
Even after over half a million acres of sage-grouse habitat in Oregon and Nevada lands burned in 2012 in the Long Draw and Holloway fires in portions of this landscape, BLM has continued to fail to make desperately needed changes to protect the sage-grouse habitat that remains.
Sediment and manure from disaster Spring area (actually a very large spring-meadow area drainage) here flushes downstream into the West Little Owyhee and Owyhee Wild and Scenic River.
Disaster Spring, is one of the West Little sites I recall visiting in the late 1990s or early 2000s. BLM has known about conditions since at this very site since then. Unbelievably, conditions have gotten WORSE.