The sheep are baaaack in the foothills as the herd crosses Highway 55 in Eagle

Posted at 2:22 PM, Apr 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-22 18:37:35-04

EAGLE — The sheep were a big hit in Eagle as the herd crossed Highway 55, much to the delight of the spectators that watched the show.

Every year Wilder rancher Frank Shirts and his crew herd the sheep from Wilder across the foothills on a journey to Idaho City.

But in order to get across Highway 55, law enforcement stops traffic as people gather to watch the caravan of sheep.

"This is a great example of how wonderful this valley is," said Eagle Police Chief Patrick Calley. "I've been watching this migration for about thirty years and this is the largest crowd I've seen assembled for it."

There is also another purpose to this trip, as the sheep eat grass on their trip, which helps reduce the amount of fuel for wildfire later in the summer.

"It's a great service in terms of managing fuel loads," said Gretchen Hyde of the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission. "The green grass is beautiful, but in a couple months it is going to be great fuel for fire, and so the sheep are really a natural way to manage the fuel loads."

The crowd that gathered to watch the sheep was also very entertaining. Check out the video to see this Idaho tradition.