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BOISE -- Booted off their grazing land, Idaho sheep ranchers have now been rebuffed in state Supreme Court after justices ruled against them on Friday.

The Idaho Wool Growers Association and several ranchers had brought suit against Idaho, claiming the state failed to make good on promises to protect them against the loss of their Payette National Forest grazing allotments.

The allotments were closed to protect wild bighorn sheep from diseases spread by their domesticated cousins.

The ranchers previously lost in 3rd District Court, but appealed on grounds the state was responsible for making good their losses.

Justices upheld the lower court ruling, determining that a 1997 letter from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game contained no promise to protect ranchers.

The court also awarded attorneys' fees to Fish and Game.

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