San Francisco, CA — State wildlife officials have proposed a controversial plan to kill endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep that have had contact with domestic sheep infected with highly contagious diseases.
Environmentalists are opposing the plan.
They say domestic sheep instead should be removed from federal grazing lands in the rocky Eastern Sierra where bighorns live.
After the bighorn population in the central and southern Sierra Nevada declined to a low of 100 ten years ago, the federal government listed them as an endangered species in 2000.
The population has climbed to an estimated 350 animals in recent years.