Idaho lawmaker blames grazing restrictions for massive wildfire

Idaho lawmaker blames grazing restrictions for massive wildfire

25 July 2007

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) – An Idaho lawmaker and rancher is blaming grazing restrictions by the Bureau of Land Management for the size and ferocity of the Murphy Complex of fires in southern Idaho and northern Nevada.

Republican Representative Bert Brackett of Rogerson says if more cattle had been allowed to graze there would have been less fuel available for the fire.

The Murphy Complex of fires has charred 975 square miles, burning up feed and killing an unknown number of livestock.

At least 1 of Brackett’s cows couldn’t escape the flames.

He says grazing policy should be changed.

Jon Marvel, executive director of the Idaho-based conservation group Western Watersheds Project, says there is no scientific evidence that cattle or sheep grazing prevents fires at any time.

BLM officials say a grazing study in being done and will be finished in the next two years.

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