IDAHO FALLS - A U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in eastern Idaho that is being sued by environmental groups could close later this year.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack recently informed Congress of the decision to shut down the facility north of Dubois on Nov. 3.

Vilsack in a letter says there aren't enough scientists available to do high priority research because of declining budgets.

The station is also the target of a lawsuit filed earlier this month by environmental groups who contend at least one grizzly bear has died because of the sheep grazing.

Republican Idaho Gov. C.L. Butch Otter says he will resist the closure.

Republican Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho and Republican Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon on Friday sent a letter requesting the station remain open.

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