Approximately 700 sheep will be turned out on 900 acres for 3.5 months, starting on May 11, according to a BLM news release issued yesterday.
The Cronan Ranch Trailhead is about 12 miles southeast of Auburn, CA. The area is in the Sierra foothills, on the windward side of the mountains. The climb over the Sierra on eastbound I-80 begins at Penryn.
The sheep would be equivalent to 140 cow/calf pairs, for a stocking rate of 155 pairs per thousand acres. Or, if you prefer, 140 wild horses at a stocking rate of 155 animals per thousand acres.
The expected forage consumption is 490 AUMs. The grazing fee would be $662 at the current rate.
The announcement did not indicate if the sheepherder would pay the government for the privilege or government will pay the sheepherder for the service.
On the other side of the Sierra lies the Great Basin, home to many of America’s wild horses but not known for abundant moisture.
Stocking rates may be in the single digits for cow/calf pairs, and often less than one for the horses.