Domestic Sheep Trailing to Take Place in Bear Basin Area
McCall, ID - Summer has arrived in McCall and for many people this means water sports or gardening, but for area sheep ranchers it’s the time to move their bands to grazing lands on the Payette National Forest. As many as 7,000 sheep will be making their way through the Bear Basin Recreational Area this month on their way to higher elevations. The bands of sheep will be escorted by several guard and herding dogs, and herders leading pack strings. Groups of sheep will make their way across Bear Basin area any time between July 10 and about July 25.
Forest users are advised against walking their dogs in the area during this time period due to the potential presence of guard dogs and sheep in the area. Bicyclists are also cautioned to dismount their bikes and to move slowly upon encountering guard dogs. Signs will be installed at trailheads and trail junctions alerting the public to the presence of guard dogs and sheep in the Bear Basin area during the trailing period.
The lands of the Payette National Forest provide opportunities for a wide variety of activities, like recreation, firewood gathering, grazing, mushroom gathering, mining, and scientific research. These are all important uses and there is plenty of room for all, especially if everyone takes a few precautions and treats the other with respect. If a forest visitor encounters domestic sheep or cattle they should make the animals aware of their presence and pass by without startling them. Some popular trailheads are signed to alert visitors to the presence of livestock in the area and include cautions regarding dogs. Forest visitors need to maintain control of their dogs in these areas to prevent their dogs from harassing livestock. Under no circumstances should forest users attempt to pet a herder’s dog as these are working dogs, not pets.
Hikers or other visitors may encounter livestock while on forest trails this summer. Popular recreation areas where livestock may be present include: The Lick Creek Road corridor, Boulder Lake, and the Warren Wagon Road corridor.
If you have any questions or want to know if grazing occurs at your forest destination, please call your local Ranger District Office. For more information about the upcoming sheep trailing in the Bear Basin area, please call the McCall Ranger District office at 634-0400.